|Archived News - 2000 -
Received from Robert Hudson Westover - Chairman of the Foundation
November 6th, 2000
Latest Board Meeting Report
Dear Friends and Supporters; Let me start by thanking all of you for your kind e-mails, letters and phone calls. The SS United States Foundation is still forging ahead despite all obstacles. These obstacles have been too numerous to list in the time I have to send out this message, but you can all rest assured that as long as I have a breath in my body, and the ship is still floating, I will fight on. Since the 3rd Annual Meeting this June in Philadelphia, we have been fortunate to garner well over 50 million impressions in both the print and broadcast media. These hits have included the Philadelphia Inquirer and ABC World News Tonight and this is not to mention several radio interviews and smaller media sources. The set backs have been nearly as disappointing as our successes have been thrilling. The most notable set back is the failure of the current owner of the vessel to permit her inclusion as a National Landmark. As many of you know, the Landmark Commission was denied permission to board after repeated attempts on the foundation's part to allow them access to the vessel. Another equally frustrating set back has been Congress' failure to expedite the process of purchasing and protecting the ship for generations to come. Despite attempts by friendly sources in Congress toward our goals of National Monument Status, we are still looking at 2 to 3 years before seeing any realistic funding for restoration. Still, our stragic plan for the coming year and beyond was clearly spelled out in the last board of directors meeting and it is exciting. UPDATE (Results of the Friday, October 20th Meeting of the SSUSF Board of Directors):
1)The Chairman of the SS United States Foundation upon approval of the members of the board of directors present at the October 20th meeting, is pleased to announce a partnership with Original Ventures, a high profile development firm based out of New York City. Original Ventures, owned and operated by David Plattner, has been working for the past three years to bring the SS United States to New York City as a Queen Mary type tourist attraction. (Several other cities with large harbors have also been considered for the project.)
The board agreed that Plattner's group has the capital and the track record to make such a restoration of the ship a very real possibility. Despite the fact that she would not be put back to sea (the ultimate dream of her fans and this foundation) she would be restored to as much of her original look as possible and remain on the National Register of Historic Places. Under the agreement, her engine rooms would remain intact as living museums of her once great heritage. Additionally, all of B Deck would be dedicated as a museum in memory of her history, as well as areas through out the ship.
Under the agreement (much of which is still being negotiated) the foundation and Original Ventures will form a limited liability corporation of some sort to operate the process of securing a home for the vessel. More details will follow.
2) The board agreed to adopt a webcentric approach to operations at this time. Webcentric is a term referring to an all Internet form of communication with the general public. In other words, the foundation will no longer send out newsletters or information letters. This will save us thousands of dollars in postage and hundreds of hours in man hours to write and send out printed material. For now, it is the only practical reality we have to keep a national movement afloat, as it were. We are extremely fortunate to have the talents of Paul Robinson and his well designed Web site at our disposal. Please refer all inquires to the Web site from now on. For those who have friend and relations who don't have access to the web, we suggest that you print out all required information for them and pass it along, or suggest to them that they use their local library to access the Web site.
3) The board voted to approve the creation of The SS United States Crew Shop. The shop will be accessed through the Web site and will be online by June of 2001. More details will follow.
4) Because of legal requirements, the board voted to cease operations of official SS United States Foundation Chapters who have not registered with their state governmental agencies by years end. (After January 1, 2001 said chapters will be referred to only as SS United States Foundation Local Groups and will not have any official designation or recognition.)
5) The board agreed to endorse a children's book by Elizabeth Fletcher based on the history of Commodore Alexanderson and the Big U entitled Grandfather's Ship, the SS United States. For more details on Ms. Fletcher's heart warming tribute to Commodore Alexanderson, please see Mike Alexander's Web site at: www.ss-united-states.com
Robert Hudson Westover
Chairman SS United States Foundation
September 28th, 2000
Next Board Meeting Announced.
The Board of Directors of the SS United States Foundation will hold its final meeting of the year October 20th at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC (on the main floor, conference room MO9). The morning session will be closed to the public. The open session will begin at 1pm and continue until 5pm. The open session will consist of a workshop on ways to assist Congress in passing legislation to procure the former National Flagship and restore her as a museum. Please e-mail by October 17th, if you plan to attend.
Robert Hudson Westover
Chairman SS United States Foundation
September 2nd, 2000
ABC News features Westover on "Interesting people of the 21st Century" segment.
For Immediate Release:
Contact SS United States Foundation 703-625-3037
September 2, 2000
Washington DC -- Every Friday night, ABC World News Tonight selects several individuals as "the most interesting persons of the 21st Century." Last night Robert Hudson Westover, Chairman of the SS United States Foundation, was the first mention of the three and was beat out for the top spot by an Olympic gymnast. Mr. Westover was only informed an hour before the broadcast that he would be included among such notables. Those mentioned on ABC World News' 21st Century Lives are selected from e-mails sent to World News Tonight from viewers who express admiration for a person's outstanding achievements. "I'm still somewhat shocked. I always felt saving the United States was an important aspect of our national heritage, but I certainly never thought I would rank among the most interesting persons of the new century," Westover said. "So many others have played such an important part in all this. I wish somehow they could have all been mentioned." The short 20 second spot included an introduction of Mr. Westover, a photograph of the SS United States, and a photograph of Mr. Westover on top of the 175 ft high vessel unfurling an American flag on the Fourth of July. The photo, which apeared on the front page of the State Section of the Philadelphia Inquirer has become the most recognized photograph of Mr. Westover and the most controversial. "When the photographer saw me unfurling the flag on top of the radar mast, he insisted on taking my picture," Westover said, remembering the danger involved with taking such a picture. "The platform at the top of the mast is only 4ft. by 3ft. and there are no railings. It's a 50ft. fall to the deck from that mast." But the photographer insisted and the photo was taken. When the owner of the vessel saw the picture, he banned Mr. Westover and all members of his foundation from ever boarding the ship. "He had every right to ban me, but the other members of the foundation, that was a bit much," Westover added. The situation has since been resolved--the other officers of the foundation are permitted on board--but Mr. Westover has never since boarded the ship. "I'll go on board sometime in the near future. I have too much other work here in Washington to take the time for a tour," Westover said, referring to his lobbying effort to convince the United States Congress to buy the ship from the owner and protect it as a museum.
August 31st, 2000
Those Darn Computers!
If you sent Robert Westover any email in the last month and have not received a response it may be due to a hard drive crash Robert experienced. You may wish to resend your correspondence to ensure receipt.
Thanks for your patience!
June 29th, 2000
International Naval Review - Summary
Dear Friends and Supporters:
June and July have proven to be very busy months for the foundation. Our presence at the International Naval Review in New York City was seen by over a million visitors. Thousands of flyers and applications were distributed during the week long event. Many thanks to all who jumped in and helped out--at the last minute no less! A special thanks goes out to Linda H. Kneller who came through as the coordinator of the event. Until last weekend, I had never met Linda, but she answered the call to help and was there making phone calls and setting up the space for the foundation. This is volunteerism at its best. It's an inspiration to see such dedication. In the future, we hope to have a presence at many more large public events all over the country.
At our third annual meeting, the membership elected Richard Rabbett of Boston Mass, as the new Secretary of the foundation. Richard, a new member to the board of directors, among his other responsibilities, will now be producing the reformatted newsletter with board member Hugh Lydiard of Arlington VA. The rest of the organization administration remains as it was last year. The workshop 'How to Lobby Congress and Get Results' was a huge success with many attending going home with a clearer understanding of how the legislative process works.
To be the chairman of such a dedicated group of volunteers, from all of the country and in some cases around the world, has been one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of my life. It is rare to have a nation wide preservation movement of this magnitude. In the history of this nation, only a handful of organizations have brought into play the forces we have to bring about a rescue of a great national treasure--and none as big as the Big U! (I've been told by those who have worked on Presidential campaigns, that only running for President of the United States brings into play a national effort like this has--howbeit on a much smaller scale in our case.) I bring this up not so much to collectively pat everyone on the back, but to take a stand against those who find pleasure in denigrating what we are doing, and what we hope to accomplish.
Recently, I received a letter carelessly attacking this organization and all that we have accomplished in the past two years. At first I wrote out the message below to lambaste the sender of the e-mail. As I wrote, and taking notice of the time it was taking to respond to such ignorance, I concluded that I will write a message to end this type of misguided attack (we have received others) against this organization for once and for all and have Paul post it on the web site. From Now on my response to the e-mail below is what I will refer antagonist to when they need to vent their diatribes. E-mail sent to me:
Dear Mr. Westover,
Why hasn't your organization done anything substantive to rescue the SS United States? You have only a thousand members. How do you think this is going to make any difference? Why don't you do what they did to save the USS New Jersey or Statue of Liberty? You can't get this job done without more public support. Congress is a busy place and the Big U is not ever going to be important enough. People supported things like the Statue of Liberty because they believe it somehow enhances their lives. People have to believe in the preservation of the Big U. Ninety percent of American don't even know the ship exists, and Philadelphia news organizations are not going to tell them. You can get this job done, Mr. Westover, with just a little change in course. But right now, I see you sailing into an iceberg. Make some kind of a deal with owner. Take the money you have and take your case on a national level using television and not the news. You need to make TV commercials and have ads in magazines all over the country. Then maybe congress will listen. If a car maker from Detroit could save his company from almost certain bankruptcy by personally making us all believe him, then you should be doing the same thing! Wake up! You need to do more.
Dear "Wake up",
The SS United States Foundation was established two years ago with one member. There are over a thousand now. We have never pretended to have the 'sure way' to save this vessel. We have existed from the beginning to promote awareness and hopefully, through this awareness, bring about a rescue. The Statue of Liberty, the USS New Jersey and the other icons in the American consciousness were either already protected federal sites or business organizations with billions in sales--despite bad days--and had the
money on hand to save them. We have done what we have with less than $10.000 on hand since the inception of this organization and have generated what would have cost millions in promotional materials and media placements had we paid a PR and Advertising firm to do the work.
The problem is, we have generated so much media for the ship that many assume we have tons of cash on hand--and even a full time paid staff. We don't even have a part time paid staff! This effort is all volunteer. We don't have the funds to hire a 'big name' spokesperson to promote our cause to an ill-informed nation. We can only hope that someone of notoriety steps up to help. We have reached out, but no one has come forward. As for Congress, let me tell you, had this ship not been in the hand's of its current owner, she would have, long ago, been on her way to restoration as a museum. Because she is privately held, no law maker seems willing to introduce legislation for fear of igniting a Constitutional debate on private property and federal protection. Again, if we had millions, we would have forced the issue by now. To that end, I am personally taking my free time to persuade Congress to take on this controversy--speak about working against all odds.
Please don't compare what we have accomplished--and hope to accomplish--with institutions that have millions, if not billions to spend. Find me one nonprofit historic preservation organization of all volunteer workers, working on a national level, to save a privately held structure, owned by a hostile owner, that has accomplished what this foundation has and I will show you one organization that has pulled off this feat--the SS United States Foundation.
Mr. Wake Up, until you have proven by your dedication of thousands of unpaid hours of labor for a non profit, until you have galvanized hundreds of dedicated persons around the country to start local chapters and attend meetings--oftentimes traveling across country at their own expense--to strategize ways to save a forgotten national treasure, until you have been brought to tears over seeing nearly everything you've worked for be destroyed by careless critics, until you have done half this, you are in no place to sit in judgement of this organization and its volunteers and all the selfless labor we have put into saving this ship. So, before you pass judgement, ask yourself: what have I done to save this ship?
Robert Hudson Westover
SS United States Foundation
June 29th, 2000
Great Annual Meeting!
The SS United States Foundation's 3rd Annual Meeting was a huge success. Over a hundred people came out on a hot and humid day to listen and learn at the Independence Sea Port Museum at Penns Landing in Philadelphia. Kudos to national vice president Jeff Henry and his team from the Philadelphia Chapter of the foundation for putting on such a professional presentation.
With thousands of dollars in graphic design work donated by foundation member Jeff Kuwait, the meeting impressed even the Philadelphia Inquirer which ran a story in the Sunday edition of that newspaper (over 1 million readers! see the link below). In addition to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an interview with Chairman Robert Westover was repeated through out the day on Philadelphia's largest talk radio station. Not too bad for an organization which had only 8 people at its first meeting 3 years ago!
Visitors came from all over the country just to attend the meeting. One Marine drove all the way from Camp Lejune in North Carolina just to be there--Semper FI! And another guy drove all the way from Chicago to attend. With dedication like this, we have a better chance of saving this ship then ever before.
Here's an article in the Philly paper covering the event...
June 12th, 2000
Latest Lobbying Effort for the S.S. United States...
The SS United States Foundation is once again lobbying lawmakers in Congress for legislation to be introduced giving the ship Federal protection (federal ownership). This is, ultimately, our only chance to save her. We are specifically targeting the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York delegations. If you reside in any of these states, please start calling your Congressmen and ask to speak with the Chief of Staff (or your actual Representative or Senator if you can get through). For those living outside these states, this will be an opportune time for anyone to do the same with their representatives as it will take a majority of votes to pull this off--in both the House and the Senate.) You'll need to tell the Chief of Staff that you want the ship purchased as an historic site and turned into a museum and to please introduce the needed legislation to have this done. (The SSUS is already recognized by the Federal government as having 'compelling national significance'--so the Congressman can't use the private property Constitutionality issue to not introduce this legislation).
If you are a member of the foundation, make certain to state this, and inform the Chief of Staff that a representative from the foundation will be stopping by with literature within the next month. Also, direct them to the web site! The web site contains everything your Congressman, or woman, will need to know about the ship and our national effort to save her.
(You can locate your Congressman at www.house.gov )
May 17th, 2000
UPDATE!!! Press Conference CANCELLED
The press conference planned for Friday, May 19th at Pier 82 has been cancelled. The conference planned by Cantor Affiliated Interests has been cancelled due to President Clinton's visit to Philadelphia which is also taking place the same day. No word currently about rescheduling the event. Stay tuned!!!
May 15th, 2000
Press Conference Scheduled...
We have been informed that a major announcement regarding the SS United States will be made on May 19, 2000. A press conference has been scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Pier 82 in Philadelphia.
The press conference will be opened to the public.
This is all that is known at this time. We will send updates when more information is provided. This information was confirmed by Cantor Affiliated Interests--the owners of the SS United States.
April 12th, 2000
Board Additions and Updates...
The SS United States Foundation's Save the United States Brochure has just been awarded advertisement's highest honor, the ADDY. Many thanks to Matt Smith and his team who designed this now famous brochure.Actions taken at the board meeting:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Rabbett to the Board of Directors of the SS United States Foundation from his current role as Advisory Board member and Chair of the Foundation's Boston chapter. Richard joined the Foundation in October 1999 and has been an ardent supporter of its mission to save the Big U.
Richard's fascination with ocean liners began in high school with the Titanic tragedy which led to over 15 years of personal interest and research on the disaster. Burned out on everything Titanic related following the 1997 movie, he instead turned his focus to other well known liners and their technological, cultural and historical impact. While surfing ocean liner web sites in 1997, he stumbled across Mike Alexander's SS United States page and was amazed at what he saw. Not only was he impressed with the technology behind the Big U, but he was even more astonished that he'd never heard of her. When he further learned that she still survived nearly 30 years after being decommissioned, he decided to pursue her history in depth and discovered both the SS United States Preservation Society and subsequently the SS United States Foundation. It's been full speed ahead ever since.
A native of Connecticut, Richard has lived in the Boston area for the past 12 years. He has spent the last decade working in higher education and the past four years as Faculty Administrator for the Boston University School of Dental Medicine, overseeing the administration of a 350-member faculty at the third largest private University in the United States. He brings the research resources of a major academic institution and one of the largest University information networks in the world to the battle.
[Two of Richard's chief tasks will be to work with Board member Bill DiBenedetto to codify the merged membership lists of the SS United States Preservation Society and the SS United States Foundation and develop new fundraising and corporate giving strategies. He will also work closely with myself, Dan Trachtenberg and other Board members to plan a major 50th anniversary celebration for the Big U in (New York City/Philadelphia) over the July 4th weekend, 2002]
As a resident of a historic port city and the East Coast, Richard has a great appreciation for leviathans of the ocean like the SS United States. He brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the fight and I am delighted to welcome him to the Board.
It also pleases me to announce the appointment of Jeff Henry to the board of directors. Jeff is a firefighter, and a OSHA compliance consultant for Geneco Safety Associates. His interest in Ocean liners began at age seven. Jeff joined the S.S. United States Foundation in 1998 and founded the Philadelphia chapter in August of 1999. Mr. Henry was appointed to the position of national vice president last October.
Jeff's grandfather served his country in the U.S. Merchant Marine during the Second World War aboard the S.S. West Point (America)--The sister ship to the Big U. Jeff writes: "My family link is mostly what makes me so active in trying to help educate the public about the United States My grand father is my link to the past. His generation is forgotten by many people today. I think their history should not be forgotten."
The board of directors now consists of eleven members(one vacancy). They are as follows:
Robert Hudson Westover
Founding Chairman & CEO
Vice Chairman, President & COO
Director of Communications
Director of Membership Services
Director of Administration
Bruce A. Lehman
Director of Media Relations
A new category of directors who have served with distinction has been
created. Two former directors were added to this permanent honorary board.
The new Honorary Board of Directors members are:
Former Legal Council
Former Vice Chairman & Vice President
March 15th, 2000
The time is now for writing your Congressman!....
I just received a phone call from the Philadelphia Daily News. They have been calling Congressional Representatives for the past week asking them what they are doing to Save the United States. And guess what? They haven't heard of it! When pressed, some of them do recall someone coming in with information about the ship. Now is the time to write. Tell them you want Federal protection for the ship. She needs to be a museum for all Americans. It will cost--but so do B2 Bombers, and we have dozens of those! Tell them to introduce legislation ASAP. They'll have bipartisan support----and the President would sign the bill! Your Congressman works for you. Make him do his job and Save the United States. Write, call, e-mail and keep it up until you hear from them. This is our hour. We can do this!
Robert Hudson Westover
SS United States Foundation
HOW TO HELP:
Click here to view our toolkit for Writing your Congressman.
March 11th, 2000
Philly News continues to discuss the S.S. United States in it's opinion columns...
The effectiveness of our e-mail and letter writing campaign has exceeded all expectations. A reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News has informed me that the newspaper has never had more response to any one single story or editorial in its over 100 year history! Now that's what I call grassroots in action!
Let's keep up the momentum and start convincing Congress to protect the Big U. If you have to, go into your representatives local offices and let your voice be heard! After all, they work for YOU.
Robert Hudson Westover
New Flash! Philly Daily News has a change of heart!
Philly Daily News publishes updated opinion column regarding the ship with a much more positive tone:
You can read these columns here...
February 15th, 2000
Television Coverage from Philadelphia's CBS affiliate.
A message from the President - Dan Trachtenberg:
As you are all aware, the Philadelphia Daily News printed a scathing editorial in their opinion section of last Thursday's edition. The resultant outpouring of emotion and support for the SS United States from members of our foundation all over the world has been staggering. Yet it is not surprising: the SS United States is loved and admired to this day by one and all.
Today, February 15, 2000 I was interviewed by Philadelphia CBS affiliate KYW-TV-3 for their 5 PM evening news program. I also taped an interview for KYW news radio, a Philadelphia AM news station. For the Television interview, I was questioned along with Jeff Henry, our new Vice-President and head of the Philadelphia chapter, and Karen Spiro, who is planning the fund raising gala we hope to have in the fall of 2000. In the interview, I addressed the Daily News article directly, stating that it was totally unfair to liken the SS United States to an abandoned car found on any street. No car on earth, abandoned or otherwise, carries with it the history and the love and affection that the SS United States has had over the years. I also listed the many accomplishments our foundation has been able to achieve, and Karen Sprio briefly outlined the gala we hope to have, should we receive the necessary approval.
These interviews were an ideal arena for our foundation to shed light on our ongoing efforts, as well as an opportunity to address directly such highly unfair opinions like those expressed by the Philadelphia Daily News.
The SS United States is far from abandoned. She has more support and people fighting for her than any vehicle in the history of mankind. Thanks to the generous outpouring of support from our Foundation, her future is more secure than it's been in years.
SS United States Foundation
February 14th, 2000
Latest Press From Philadelphia Daily News..
This controversial opinion editorial was published in the Saturday February 12th, 2000 issue of the Philadephia Daily News:
The Editorial: Can Be Read Here
Reader Reaction: Published this week in the Philly Daily News as reaction to the above editorial.....
I have never seen seven letters to the editor for one editorial in a major US daily newspaper. This is evidence of the impact we're beginning to have.
Keep up the good work!,
Ahoy, Daily News: Don't give up this ship
Why did the Daily News, so instrumental in helping inform the public about the SS United States, print such an ugly editorial (Feb. 9) on this maritime legend?
This "eyesore" is one of the greatest design achievements from the last century. She was designed by William Frances Gibbs, a Philadelphian whose designs kept Philadelphia's shipyards turning out the largest number of ships during and after World War I and fed the families of desperate-to-work shipyard workers.
Philadelphia has one of the nation's most inexcusable waterfronts because of the invisibility of its great maritime past and the uninteresting and transient designs now there to "attract" tourists. Camden will soon have its own maritime celebrity, the battleship New Jersey. City Hall should bury the hatchet with the owner of the SS United States.
Stop complaining. Philadelphia has one of the greatest ocean liners ever built in in its own back yard.
Go pick on City Hall - that's a city landmark which could be called an eyesore.
BILL TILLEY, Philadelphia
One can only hope your suggestion regarding the SS United States was facetious. We have the opportunity to rescue one of the few truly great ocean liners, a symbol of American achievement.
It would be far better to use the power of the press to preserve a historic artifact than to destroy it.
JON E. SALLEY
The SS United States Foundation has put forth an unbelievable effort to raise awareness of this ship's plight, enlisting members worldwide, and even succeeding at getting her listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
To say she is a forgotten, rusting hulk is just plain wrong.
STEVE SWANSON, New Orleans
The SS United States has and will always be a national icon. The SS United States Foundation has had her placed on the National Register of Historical Places, and is working on having her registered as a historical site so she can be restored to her proper dignity. I was privileged to sail on her twice, and my father was with US Lines over 30 years.
Please do not work to destroy her - work to save her.
JIM RICHTER, Tulsa, Okla.
Your editorial displayed an ignorance of the intangible value of the SS United States and an incredible insensitivity to its historic relevance. Fortunately, the National Register of Historic Places, the National Landmark Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation disagree.
I am not a Philadelphian, although I've made the trip to your city to see the ship (leaving some tax money in the city coffers). Even in its current faded condition, SS United States is an awesome representative of a time in history well worth preserving.
Unlike the autos you mention, the ship presents no danger, blocks no streets and has not been abandoned. Decisions will be made about how/when/where to bring her back to "life" productively and appropriately.
Until then, she waits, quietly.
The fact that the waiting is happening on the Delaware should not prompt the kind of shortsighted mock outrage you expressed. The ship deserves better.
DAN MICHAU, College Park, Md.
In your zeal to be oh-so-clever, you overlook the SS United States's irreplaceable significance to our national heritage. It was the crowning achievement of maritime engineering in her day.
Our country never had a ship that could compete with the Britishn and French until the SS United States was built in the '50s. We were late to the party, but we were the belle of the ball.
To suggest she be put to such an undignified end is to ignore all that she represents, like calling for conversion of the Lincoln Memorial into a parking garage.
Air travel has made "cruises" obsolete? Tell that to the multibillion-dollar cruise industry.
Then again, apparently Gilligan himself is on your editorial staff.
MARK PERRY, Los Angeles
The thousands who sailed on the SS United States would not agree with that editorial.
I don't see how a ship with this history can be placed in a category with junk cars. She has earned the right for more respect. At least her name does.
JACK GIVEN, Lansdale
February 14th, 2000
Press Appearing in the Seattle Times
An upbeat article appeared in the February 9th, 2000 issue of the Seattle Times
The article: Can Be Read Here
February 3rd, 2000
New Board Member Added...
It pleases me to announce the appointment of Lieutenant Dan McSweeney, USMC, to the Board of Directors of the SS United States Foundation. Dan's father was brought from Scotland to work on the building of the SS United States in 1952, and continued to serve on her until her retirement in 1969. Although Dan was born after the Big U's lay-up, he feels as strongly about saving her as we all do.
Dan will be our liaison to the Navy and Marine Corps. His first project is to coordinate the foundation's involvement in a large maritime event to take place in New York City this July (more details will follow).
Dan McSweeney was born in New York City in 1970 and raised both there and in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. His father emigrated to the U.S. from Glasgow, Scotland and his mother is from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He graduated summa cum laude from Valley Forge Military Academy in 1988. After high school, he attended college, worked, and traveled, eventually earning a B.A. in urban studies from Eugene Lang College, New School University (New York) in 1994. He received the David Woods Award for Humanitarianism while at Lang. He has studied abroad in Scotland and Puerto
After college, Dan completed a graduate fellowship in public affairs with the Coro Foundation in New York and then spent one year backpacking in Europe. Upon his return to the U.S., he became National Director of Advocates for the Future, a public issues, leadership, and advocacy education program for young adults conducted by Third MIllennium, a "Generation X think tank" based in New York.
In 1999, Dan joined the United States Marine Corps and attended Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va. After being commissioned a second lieutenant, he attended Basic Officer Course, also at Quantico, and the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md. Currently, he serves as a public affairs officer at Camp Lejeune, NC, where he manages a variety of internal, community relations, and media projects on base.
Dan is a member of the board of governors of Eugene Lang College and is a former member of the alumni association executive committee for the Coro Foundation. He was a founding member of "The Enlightenment," a national organization of 20-somethings concerned with public issues.
Welcome aboard Dan!
January 23rd, 2000
Landmark Status Update.....
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Officials at the Department of the Interior have informed me that they have received the application for listing the SS United States as a National Landmark, and aside from a few minor changes, it looks good. We will receive a formal acceptance of the application within a few weeks.
After a formal acceptance has been made, the ship's case will be reviewed by a team of historians and maritime experts who will than either recommend the ship for listing as a National Landmark or return the application for further review.
I will keep you posted on this very important procedure.
Please note that on March 25, the foundation will be holding its first board meeting of the new year. Since this will be a Saturday, the location has yet to be determined. The meeting will follow the standard schedule. As always the afternoon session will be open to the general public. The open session begins a 3:30pm.
Robert Hudson Westover