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Yesterday, Friday May 24th, the Class of 2013 shoved off for the Fleet.
That’s 65 Classes since we left USNA.  Those of us who stayed in for 30 years have now been retired for more years than we served.  Our children who followed us into the Academy have now retired. Many of us like  Marguerite and Charlie HEID 17th Co.  and Carol Manganaro have grandchildren who are active duty USNA grads.

There!   That should make you feel old enough to sit back and relax as you read what is or has gone on in the Class since the last Shipmate.

As part of graduation week John Fry 21st Co. presented our award to the top grad in Information Technology.  John writes--

At the Prizes and Awards Ceremony at the Academy this year, among 149 total awards, I was pleased to present the Class of 1948 Information Technology Award, a check for $1,000, to David Nygren, for having achieved the highest grade-point-average among IT majors.  With a combined GPA of 3.92, he graduated 38th in his class of 1069.  Commander Kevin Blenkhorn, Associate Chair of the Computer Science Department, remembers teaching David Nygren his Plebe year.  Three years later, the former teacher became the taught.
          Midshipman Nygren was a leader in USNA’s  2013 Cyber Defense Exercise, involving all the service academies trying to defend their teams’ computer networks against National Security Agency attackers.  He will enter the fleet as a Surface Warfare Officer for two to three years and then transition to the Information Warfare community, to defend Navy’s computer networks.  In the 1930s the Navy was known for being our nation’s first line of defense.  Gaining urgent momentum recently, cyber operations may well become our first line of defense years ahead.
          On behalf of the Computer Science Department, Commander Blenkhorn has expressed thanks “for all the support your class has given us.’  The endowment, among other thing, provides for a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Information Technology, development and teaching a valued Plebe course on cyber security, initiating a new, academic major in Cyber Operations, as well as recognizing the outstanding graduate in Information Technology each year since 2005.

John’s email prompted me to go back and see how that gift/endowment evolved.  We were at the time preparing for our 55th and Phil Rogers, in assigning tasks to the committee suggested we should consider giving a monetary gift.  Burt Edelson and Warren Graham put together a gift committee consisting of:

                   Jim Beggs  10th Co.
                   Eddy Welch 4th Co. (deceased)
                   Charlie HEID 17th Co.
                   Ed Sutter 15th Co.
                   Pete Goldman 8th Co. (deceased)
                   Don Buhrer 5th Co. (deceased)
                   Burt Edelson 20th Co.(deceased) and
                   Warren Graham 2nd Co.

The committee contacted the Academic Dean, Bill Miller, who said he needed a fund to, among other things, hire a visiting professor for a new course in Information Technology.
Many of us donated to that gift.  The principal is managed by the Foundation and expenditures are at the direction of the Academic Dean.  I believe IT will now be folded into the Cyber Security Department along with Computer Science.

My understanding of the $1000 award is that it is funded by return on investment from our gift/endowment.   For the first several years of the award we gave $300 but noting that you can’t buy much today for that amount of money, and comparing our gift to other monetary awards, we raised it to the current level.   If you feel motivated to add to the ’48 gift, mark your check Endowment #824800.

New subject--Publication of obituaries as in Last Call and my emails to all for whom I have an address usually results in some comments.  The following notes are examples.
From Rhona Gorder

Chuck 12th Co. and I attended Pete Jefferson’s 20th Co. memorial on Saturday afternoon at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church with reception following.  We estimate about 200 people were in attendance, with Chuck being the only US Naval Academy representative.  We didn’t know anyone there.  It was a lovely service and the four speakers concentrated on Pete’s life after the Navy, which revolved around yachts, sailing and competition.  Seems like he was a hero in this area winning all the local championships for years, numerous national championships and two international sailing competitions.  We understand also that he and his teams won a lot of sailing competitions while at the Naval Academy.  In 1984 he was head of the USA Olympic Teams boats and in charge of supervising repairs and whatever was needed.  He was a craftsman that could build anything and whatever he built always looked professional.  After he could no longer sail he turned to model boat competition.  We were told that these were not little bathtub model boats but big six-foot long models with masts six foot tall.  Again, he excelled and won all the competitions in model boats.  We paid our respects to Barbara, his widow and Chuck talked briefly about the Naval Academy and that he didn’t really know Pete afterwards because he never attended any alumni luncheons or other alumni events.  She commented that Pete “wasn’t a joiner”, but she was obviously pleased that Chuck had come to the service to represent the class.

And the following from Bob Shultz ’50

It was my extreme good fortune to have Captain Harry Peter (Pete) Jefferson as my Division Commodore (COMDESDIV 52) when I had command of AGERHOLM (DD-826) based in San Diego, 1968-1969.  He was strictly hands off unless you needed help, then his support was total.  He went to bat for his Skippers 100%.  He was not big on providing unneeded guidance and issuing laborious directives.  We went to Viet Nam from San Diego in January 1969 with little more than a verbal “I’ll see you in Subic” for the transit.  If you got in trouble he would say, “I see you stubbed your big toe”, and that was it.  When things went wrong, one of his favorite expressions was “Same Old Bananas”.  I hadn’t heard that expression before, but I have used it many times since, and when I do, I always think of him with great nostalgia.  Throughout my naval career, which included command of four ships, Pete Jefferson was one of the finest superiors I had the pleasure of working for.

As always we must report the loss of good friends/Classmates.  This time around only one but that one was real contributor to the Class. 
          5th Co.    Buhrer, Donald P.   5/20/13

Scribe’s Note: Read Don’s autobiography in the 50 year book if you have it.  Don served on many committees for homecomings, reunions, the Gate etc.  He also was personally present for every Army/Navy game from 1944 until 2012 when health did not permit.  He watched that last game on TV with Ginger Cove residents.

As of this writing the 65th reunion is just over a week away.  I will give you a complete rundown in the next column; however, in doing some research on another project the following may interest you.  At our 40th reunion we had just about 400 people.  I have pictures but no numbers for the 45th.  We had a 48th reunion in Monterey with 120 attendees from all over the country.  Three hundred thirty two of us came to the 50th reunion in Annapolis and 335 came to the 55th.  We had a 58th reunion in San Diego in 2006 hosted by the Gorders and their committee and there are many pictures on our web site of about 105 people.  Our last gathering, our 60th, hosted 197 Classmates, wives, children and friends.  Our signups for the 65th lead us to anticipate 118 at the most.  The drop off over the last 10 years is attributed to health and its concomitant restriction on travel.  We’ve had a number of cancellations and in almost every case sudden or unexpected change in health was the reason.  We’re not getting any younger folks.  If you read the Shipmate Class News of classes ahead of ours you will see a definite trend of children getting involved in the planning of the 65th and 70th.  I expect to see that at our 70th if we have one, but Roger Carlquist 19th Co. and his committee have managed this one.  The signup sheet I have for the 65th shows only one “child” with a parent and that is CAPT Bob Baughman, USN with Nan.  She lives in New Bern, NC and is traveling by herself.  He lives in San Diego and is using this as an opportunity to be with his mother.

Our treasurer, Charlie Mertz, tells me that our memorial/flower fund was, on 3/31/13 at $8,973.20.  Presuming you all take care of yourselves that might last us through the year.

Today is Memorial Day.  I hope each of you had your flags displayed proudly on the front of whatever dwelling you are now calling home.  Ours is on the front of our home for the last 44 years.  We find that hard to believe but hope we can extend it, living independently for at least four more so that we may see our grandchildren graduate from college.  If we are really blessed perhaps we will be able to attend the 70th reunion of the Great Class of ’48.