Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame

These Legionnaires are recognized for their outstanding humanistic qualities, career accomplishments, local and state achievements; and held in high esteem by their peers and honored by their associates for their contributions and achievements; and who, for God and country, have unselfishly placed themselves below others and service above personal gain in their defense of democracy and freedom, equality and opportunity, while carving out an enviable life's record in a multitude and variety of worthy endeavors. These men and women are forever enshrined in the American Legion Boys State Hall of Fame.


Michael "Frenchie" Burnett

Michael "Frenchie" Burnett

Michael "Frenchie" Burnett is being honored for his 18 years of service in support of American Legion Boys State of Virginia. Frenchie is a vital part of the logistics team. Although Frenchie has served as the MC of the Talent show; the majority of his work is "behind the scenes". Frenchie is an important part of the logistics/supply team. The work he accomplishes is vital to the success of the Virginia Boys State program. Frenchie maintains the inventory of supplies and equipment. As a member of the logistics/supply team, he is "on site" several days prior to the opening session; to insure all is in place for the upcoming session of American Legion Boys State of Virginia.

Therefore, American Legion Boys State of Virginia recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of Michael "Frenchie" Burnett, forever enshrined in The American Legion Hall of Fame June 25, 2017.

Robert O'Keefe

Robert O'Keefe

Robert O'Keefe is being honored by American Legion Boys State of Virginia for his outstanding service to the Virginia Boys State program. Robert has sacrifced spending "Father's Day" with his family for the past 18 years in order be a valued volunteer for the Boys State program. Robert is well versed in the Boys State program and is always willing to assist other counselors. Over the course of his many years at Virginia Boys State, Robert has served as a counselor, Counselor-In-Charge, Parliamentary Procedure Instructor, chairman of the Virginia selection committee for the Samsung Scholarship.

Therefore, American Legion Boys State of Virginia recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of Robert O'Keefe, forever enshrined in The American Legion Hall of Fame June 25, 2017.

Steve Cox


Steve Cox

Steve Cox is being honored by American Legion Boys State of Virginia for his outstanding service and dedication to the Boys State program. Steve coordinates the planning and implementation of numerous tasks; resulting in the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods and services. Steve maintains an open line of communication with Radford University, between sessions of Boys State; to assure that all is in place when the next session begins. Steve is held in the highest esteem by his peers and honored by his associates for his contributions and achievements; and who, for God and Country, has unselfishly placed himself below others and service above personal gain in his defense of democracy, freedom, equality and justice.

Therefore, American Legion Boys State of Virginia recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of Steve Cox; forever enshrined in the American Legion Hall of Fame.

Fargo Wells


Fargo Wells

In recognition of his over thirty years of dedicated and loyal service to The American Legion Boys State of Virginia. Fargo is hereby recognized for his outstanding humanistic qualities and accomplishments not only to the Boys State program but for his continuing service to the local, Department, and National organizations of The American Legion and Sons of the American Legion. Fargo is held in the highest esteem by his peers and honored by his associates for his contributions and achievements; and who, for God and country, has unselfishly placed his self below others and service above personal gain in his defense of democracy, freedom, equality and justice.

Therefore before this body, it is a distinct honor to elect and enshrine R. Fargo Wells in The American Legion Boys State Hall of Fame.


Gordy Smith

Gordy Smith

Gordy Smith is inducted into the Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the program. He has served Boys State in several capacities for many years. He has held several positions supporting the program and always performed his tasks and duties in an exceptional manner. Not only has he been a superb supporter of Boys State, he has been a tremendous asset to the Virginia American Legion at the post, district, state and national levels for 24 years. He is one of the few who have achieved the following distinction … since 1992, Gordy has obtained the funding to pay for the attendance of 740+ citizens. That is higher than the entire class of 2014! Gordy was asked by the national organization to prepare a "how to" manual for use by posts throughout the nation in obtaining financing for Boys State programs. He was a respected "mentor" in the Virginia American Legion Boys State for several years where he guided and instructed young men.

Kathy Lyons

Kathleen "Kathy" Lyons

Kathy Lyons is inducted into the Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame for her many contributions to the program. She has been a member of American Legion Post 290 Auxiliary since 1983 where she has served numerous terms as Auxiliary President and Girls State Chairman. For the past 21 years, Kathy has volunteered in the administrative office at Boys State where for the past 4 years, she has been the Office Manager. In that position, she has modernized the office procedures which has greatly increased efficiency and reduced the high stress of processing large amounts of data, preparing the myriad of reports and management tools required by the counselors and other staff elements in performing their duties. Her efforts have contributed greatly to the overall experience of the Boys State citizens.

Bob Brady

Robert "Bob" Brady

Bob Brady is inducted into the Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the program. He has served Boys State in several capacities for many years. He has held several positions at Virginia Boys State and always performed his tasks and duties in an extraordinary manner. Not only has he been a superb member of the Boys State staff, he has been a tremendous asset to the Virginia American Legion at post, district and state levels. Bob has, for many years, been the primary staff member who arrives several days prior to a Boys State session to prepare and coordinate the myriad of issues and problems in order to assure the staff have all the many parts necessary to perform their tasks and duties. You can rest assured that if there is an issue he will solve or fix it before it grows into a major problem. He is one of the reasons the Boys State citizens have the most meaningful experience possible.


None given


None given


Ray & Marty Rhyne

Garland "Ray" Rhyne

Legionnaire Ray Rhyne graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Political Science. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel Infantry Officer from the US Army in 1992 with over 29 years of military service. He worked for the Federal government in various positions, culminating with his retirement from the Department of Homeland Security in 2007. He has served the American Legion at all levels, post, district, state and national. He currently serves on the National Homeland Security Commission. Ray has contributed to the success of the American Legion Boys State of Virginia program by serving as the Newspaper Editor, Chief of Logistics, and currently as the Yearbook Editor. American Legion Boys State has and continues to be his passion.

Marie "Marty" Rhyne

Legionnaire Marty Rhyne (Retired Master Sergeant US Army) has served Boys State program since 1997 at all levels, from post to district to state. As Registrar, she modernized and streamlined the registration process. As a member of the Boy State Board of Directors, she proposed, designed and implemented the first Virginia Boys State webpage. She is also a tremendous asset to the Virginia American Legion at the post, district, state and national levels. She is one of the few who have achieved the following distinctions: Post Commander of the Year with 100% membership, District Commander of the Year with 100% membership, and Department Vice Commander of the Year with 100% membership. Marty is well-respected at the national level and has served as secretary for the National Defense Committee at the National Convention for the past several years, and is a graduate of and facilitator for the National American Legion Leadership College.


Larry Green

Larry Green

Legionnaire Larry Green graduated from High School after his illustrious career as an all-star basketball player and then attended Old Dominion University for one year before enlisting in the Air Force. During his time in the military, he was stationed in Libya and Washington D.C. After his enlistment ended, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he graduated with honors, earning a BS Degree in Accounting. He passed his CPA exam later that same year.

Larry joined American Legion Post 252 in 1987, the year his son was selected to attend Virginia Boys State. The following year, 1988, he came to Boys State as a city counselor and continued as a counselor for ten years. He is currently the Boys State Treasurer, a position he has held for the past 12 years. In his post, he has held several positions including Post Commander and 12th District Commander.

Jarad Phelps

Jarad Phelps

Jarad Phelps is a member of the sons of the American Legion Squadron 372. Jarad attended American Legion Boys State as a delegate in 1990. He returned to Boys State as a city counselor in 1992. As city counselor, he also took on the roll of Honor Guard and Flag Courtesy Coordinator. Jarad currently serves as Chief City Counselor. As Chief City Counselor, his duties are many, including recruiting counselors during the year. During the session of Boys State, he oversees all the city counselors and cities, a daunting task but one he handles with both professionalism and efficiency. His dedication to this program is inspiring and is more than just one week per year.


Curt Dickinson

Curt Dickinson

Curt Dickinson was in the Army and served two tours in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a Colonel.

His Boys State service began fourteen years ago. He has served as a city counselor and currently serves as Assistant Director.

In recognition of his career accomplishments and his service to Boys State, Curt Dickinson is inducted into the American Legion Boys State Hall of Fame.


Elaine Kramer

Vera Bright

Roger Messier


Robert J. Steele, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)

Bob Steele

Robert J. Steele was born in State College, Pennsylvania. He attended Boys State in Pennsylvania and was selected as a Senator from Pennsylvania to Boys Nation. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of the ROTC and served as Student Body President.

Bob completed the U.S. War College with distinction.

He was commissioned in 1958. He had a diversified and very challenging career in the Navy. His assignments varied from a command of Naval ships to a responsible position in Naval operation strategic plans and policy. He served in the personal staff of Admiral Zumwalt and management duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense concerned with International Security Affairs.

Bob was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1984.

He has served as Chief of Staff for the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe. In the early phase of his career he served as a White House Aide during the term of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Bob received numerous medals and awards in recognition of his accomplishments.

He retired from the Navy in 1988.

He served as a counselor at Boys State for 9 years and for the last 5 years was the keynote speaker for the Sunday night Opening Session of Boys State.

For his service to his country and his contributions to the Boys State program, Bob Steele is inducted in the Boys State Hall of Fame.


None given


Rick Foster


Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell

Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was educated in Lynchburg schools and in 1949 was selected to attend Virginia Boys State. He attended Lynchburg College and graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri with a degree in Theology.

On his return to Lynchburg in 1956, he founded Thomas Road Baptist Church. As the church began to grow, he had a vision for an educational system that would enable people to obtain a Christian education from kindergarten through post-doctoral programs. He founded Lynchburg Christian Academy in 1967. In 1971, he founded Lynchburg Baptist College which was later renamed Liberty University. He has served as Chancellor of the University since its founding in 1971.

Dr. Falwell has received many honors throughout his career. In 1979, he was named Clergyman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America. In 1981, he was named Christian Humanitarian of the Year by Food for the Hungary International. He has been voted several times among the 10 Most Admired Men in America in the Good Housekeeping poll. He was named Virginia's Most Influential Clergyman of the 20th Century by the Virginia Historical Society. He has been featured on the covers of Time and Newsweek.

Since attending Boys State in 1949, Boys State has held a special place in his heart. He is a great friend and strong advocate of Boys State and has generously accommodated Boys State operations here at Liberty University.

For his generous support of the Boys State program, Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell is inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.


Mike Harris

Mike Harris

Mike was Director of American Legion Virginia Boys State and President of the Board of Directors for many years.


Harriet Williams


The Honorable Bruce F. Jamerson

Bruce Jamerson

The Honorable Bruce F. Jamerson was the Legislative Coordinator of American Legion Virginia Boys State and Secretary of the Board of Directors. He contributed almost 30 years to Virginia Boys State.

Jack Rainey


Edwin J. Dentz

Edwin Dentz is a native of Washington, D.C. He was educated in the Washington school system and received a full academic scholarship to George Washington University where he attended only one year before he went into service during World War II. He took part in the Battle of the Bulge during his military service. After his military discharge, he returned to George Washington University and obtained his Juris Doctorate in Law in 1949.

Edwin J. Dentz

He worked in the United States Department of Justice for many years. He worked with the Selective Service Board for 16 years, and also served on the National Selective Service Appeals Board. In addition, he worked on a variety of governmental assignments in the Washington area. He is a member of the District of Columbia and the Virginia bars. He has served in various offices in his local Post and in 1982-1983 served as Department Commander for the Department of Virginia. He has served two terms as National Executive Committeeman from Virginia. For many years he has served as chairman of the National Legislative Council for the American Legion. He currently serves as Judge Advocate for the Department of Virginia.

He was instrumental in the formation of Springfield Post 176 of the American Legion, which is the largest Post in Virginia. In recognition of his service to the American Legion, he was presented the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal.

His work at Boys State spans 20 years. He has served as President of the Board of Directors for one year, and for more than 10 years has served as Vice President of the Board. Currently, he teaches Parliamentary Procedures Class at Boys State as well as serving as chairman of the Samsung Scholarship Committee.

Eddie has used his legal skills in aiding Boys State with interpretations of Boys State business.

In his position on the Board of Directors, Eddie has helped to strengthen the Boys State program here in the state of Virginia. For his dedication to the program, Edwin J. Dentz is inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.

Lloyd Stacey

Lloyd Stacy first came to the Boys State program in 1989, at a time when his financial wizardry was needed in order for the program to continue. Financial wizard is exactly how he is known within the American Legion Department of Virginia.

Lloyd completely restructured the financial framework and through the discipline he established, Boys State has continued to prosper and flourish.

Lloyd Stacy

After observing his work bring the finances under control, the Boys State Board of Directors made him official treasurer of Boys State of Virginia, Inc.

Due to his financial stewardship, Boys State has been able to obtain necessary support, supplies, modernize equipment and infrastructure and to provide for a solid financial foundation for our continued operation.

For over 25 years, Lloyd has been, and continues to be, one of the pillars of the American Legion of Virginia.

He has been a member of Woodbridge Post 364 for 26 years. For twenty-two of those years he has served as Post Finance Officer.

He served as Post Commander in 1981-1982 and Sixteenth District Commander in 1984-1985.

He has served for many years as the Sixteenth District Finance Officer.

He served with distinction as the Department Adjunct in 1987.

He was elected Department Vice-Commander in 1990-1991.

He is an honorary life member of Woodbridge Post 364 and as a member of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans in Canada, United States Unit.

For his continued work with the Boys State program, Lloyd Stacy is inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.


Thomas Starling


David Braun

L.F. Payne


Edwin Burnett

James Draper


Joseph Holleman


Glen Conrad

Glen Conrad

Honorable Glen E. Conrad is currently Chief Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. He began his Boys State activities as a 1966 delegate, and was elected to the office of Senator from his city. He went on to college for his law degree, and later was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge, the youngest magistrate in the nation at that time. Over his 23 year affiliation with Boys State, he has served as college coordinator, Senator coordinator, program director, and chief instructional counselor. He also served as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors. His greatest achievement and contribution to the program has been his development of the Boys State counselors manual and workbook. This book has been used in some form by numerous other Boys State programs throughout the nation. Because of his many contributions, he is welcomed into the Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame.


None given


Fred Schauss


Andy Bradshaw


Phil Budahn

Lee Peters

Wilbur Walker

Emmett Burley


Stanley Ryan

Terry Plunk


Harold Purnell

John Blackwell

William Vest


Dom Scaffido

Joe Crouch


In Memoriam

John Bright

John Bright

John Bright has been a member of American Legion Post 57 in Suffolk, Virginia, for 35 years, and has held most elected offices in his post and district during this time. He is retired from Naval Civil Service. He has served as a Counselor at Boys State for 26 years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Boys State.

His interest in programs for children and youth extends beyond those sponsored by his Local Legion Post. For 20 years he has been a volunteer with the Old Dominion Area Council, Boys Scouts of America. After many years of serving as a Cubmaster, he currently is chairman of one of the two districts in the council, and is a member of the Executive Board of the Old Dominion Area Council. He has been honored for his service to scouting with the Silver Beaver, which is the highest award that can be given to a volunteer by a Local Scout Council.

He serves as Boys State Chairman and Oratorical Chairman for the Fourth District of the American Legion, Department of Virginia. It has been through his sustained effort that the number of participants in the Oratorical Contest, both in the City of Suffolk and in the Fourth District, has increased.

James Pilley

James Pilley

A super motivated Legionnaire of Post 113, Virginia Beach, a retiree from Sears, but still active in his own private business, this energetic person has devoted much of his free time over the past 25 years to Boys State. He came into the program as a Junior Counselor. He now functions in the important position of Chief City Counselor, guiding and directing the efforts of 48 City Counselors. His knowledge of hurts and pain has brought relief to numerous Boys State Delegates suffering a basketball sprain or other minor ailments. He has served for many years as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors and has represented the program at numerous National Boys State conferences. The delegates refer to him as "Mr. Fix-It." His counselor peers simply call him "Jungle Jim".

Rex Tillotson

Rex Tillotson

A recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for Sacrificial Service in Combat, this father of four daughters has spent his educational career in serving college students. After retiring as the Associate Dean of Admissions at the College of William and Mary, he entered private business. He is a man of many talents; pilot, motorcyclist, auctioneer, writer, and a second degree black belt karate expert. His association with Virginia Boys State spans over 30 years, holding at sometime every position in the organization, and for 10 years as Director. He was a member of the Boys State Board of Directors and served as Executive Vice President. Over a 15 year period he was a Junior Counselor, Section Counselor, Legislative Counselor, and Legislative Director of the prestigious Boys Nation program. His friends all call him "Tiger", and "Tiger" is currently the Director of the North Carolina Tarheel Boys State Program.

Sidney Weil

Sidney Weil

A spry young World War I veteran of 92, this Boys State pioneer has been active in various Legion programs. He has held positions and assignments in his Local Post 24, positions at the District and State level as well as positions at the National level.

He was one of the original 1939 Legion appointed committeemen to establish and participate in what was then called Old Dominion Boys State. He served as a City Counselor for 13 years. From the first session, one delegate became a Governor of the State, and another is a current City Counselor now with 23 years of service to Boys State.

Boys State is forever grateful for the efforts of this dedicated and youth-oriented Legionnaire and founder.


In Memoriam

Henry Roughton

Henry Roughton

A forty year member of the American Legion Post 113, Virginia Beach, a retiree from the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, and now currently serving as a Deputy Sheriff, this dedicated Boys State Counselor has devoted 25 years of unselfish service to Virginia youth. Starting as a Junior Counselor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, then a Senior City Counselor, he now serves Boys State as the Director of Communications. He supplies all their important radio operated elements, which makes for the ease of sending and receiving the vital operational messages, which insures a smooth functioning program. He has served as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors for over 19 years. His ability as a Director does not stop here, for he is also responsible for staging the ever popular Frankie and Johnny court trial. Boys Staters have had many enjoyable moments because of his program efforts.

Carlyle Tiller

Carlyle Tiller

A 1941 Boys Stater, ranking first academically in his high school, he is a graduate of the University of Richmond, with a M.B.A. from the Warton School of Finance. In 1976 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science from the University of Richmond. Among his many honors one finds the Ben Franklin Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Pennsylvania, the Alumni National Service Award and the Voice of the University Award from the University of Richmond. He has served as President of the Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a veteran of World War II. After service and schooling he began his career with Wheat First Securities in 1950 as a Research Analyst. He progressed through the ranks to President in 1970 and Chief Executive Officer in 1971. He is the Past Director of the Midwest Stock Exchange, Securities Industry Association, and the New York Institute of Finance. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Rector to the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond. Although he retired in 1986 one can normally contact him by simply calling his old office number.


George T. Blume

George T. Blume

A 1941 Boys Stater and citizen of Pershing City. His schooling has spanned Virginia, the South, and Midwest. As a teacher, researcher, and extension professional he is recognized throughout the state and nation for his contributions in the areas of human resource development and demography. He has received recognition of his efforts from various national and state associations, honorary fraternal organizations, and patriotic organizations.

As a 25 year member of the Virginia American Legion Boys State program, he has been deeply involved in four major program happenings: the integration of the Boys State counselor staff, the design of the Boys State logo, the successful awarding of the Freedoms Foundation, George Washington Honor Medal, and the establishment of the College Scholarship Fund. For the past 15 years he has been a member of the Boys Nation staff. He currently serves Boys State as the Assistant Director, and Secretary to the Board of Directors.

George Whitley

George Whitley

A Legionnaire dedicated to serving youth, one of his many functions is that of the Boys State committee-man for the Second District. He also acts as his district's Boys State Chairman, and orchestrates the many necessary Boys State activities.

He has spent 27 years as a City Counselor. He also serves as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors. As a City Counselor, he is highly respected for this knowledge, patience and understanding of youth assigned to his city. On at least two occasions, since records have been kept, he has won the coveted Best City Award. His quiet, calming method of operation has earned him the trust and love of his city's citizens. Boys State operates a "little bit better" because of his unselfish devotion to the youth of Virginia Beach and the state.


In Memoriam

Rodney (Rod) Lester

Rodney "Rod" David Lester


An essential person, but one who is seldom ever noticed is the Boys State Treasurer and Registrar. Always behind the scene, but always in front on every issue. This recluse individual has carried out these duties assigned to him over his 25 years of service to Boys State. During the months of January through June, he is kept busy receiving, processing and handling application, assuring those selected youths that they will soon become citizens of Boys State. He orders pins, shirts, supplies and is in charge of Boy State Headquarters. This array of assignments does not include writing all of the checks necessary to facilitate a smooth on going program, or even to keep the books balanced. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. To sum up, his importance to Boys State, he is a tireless worker, often times covering up the mistakes of others. It can easily be said of him he is the glue that binds together the many separate parts of the program.

Richard H. Poff

Richard H. Poff

Boys State graduate of 1941, college athlete, scholar, World War II bomber pilot, with 36 missions and the distinguished flying cross, he received his LLB degree from the University of Virginia in 1948. He was elected to Congress in 1952 and served the 6th district unchallenged for a period of 20 years. He distinguished himself as a Congressman, being the author of numerous bills, one of which bears his name, the Poff Act of the 83rd Congress, which made jumping bail by communists and other federal defendants a crime. He was generally recognized as one of the most astute constitutional scholars in the Congress. He was names Virginia's Outstanding Young Man by the Jaycees, was selected on the 15 outstanding young men in American Politics, and in 1960 was named American Delegate to the Atlantic Conference of Young Political Leaders. There are many other honors as well. Since 1972, he has served as Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Virginia. He has authored many opinions resolving state constitutional issues and questions of statutory interpretations. A life of public service, he stands as an example and as a credit to his native state and nation and to the American Legion Boys State program.

Samuel J. Snow

Samuel J. Snow

Starting some 31 years ago as a junior counselor, he has progressed up the organizational ladder to his current position of Director of Operations. Along the way he gained high respect as a senior counselor, having numberous Best City Awards to his credit. He also edited the Boys State Annual for several years. His emergency medical technical training has been a valuable asset to Boys State, and a much sought after service by citizens in need of help or a good tape job. With his sharp pencil, his statistical formulas have tempered and shortened many debates. Through his efforts, the American Heart Association's Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Class was added to the program, and over the past years, more than 300 citizens have qualified to administer CPR. His many hours of dedication earned him membership on the Board of Directors. He continues serving as a dedicated member to the Boys State program and worthy of this recognition.


Thomas Dobyns

Thomas Dobyns

A past commander of his Legion post, and a quiet person with the patience of Job, he has always stood ready to stir you with a cymbal crescendo or put you at rest with a soft shoe routine. Within a few short hours to go on, he is always able to bring out the best a musician has to offer. Once director of the Highty Tighties Regimental Band, he is now content to settle in less demanding but still challenging musical opportunities.

Band Master of the Boys State Band for over 30 years, he has transposed many struggling trumpeter to that of a polished musician. His musical contribution has aided tremendously to the success of the Boys State program.

E. Alvin Lyle

E. Alvin Lyle


A dedicated Legionnaire for over 36 years, E. Alvin Lyle served Boys State as Master of Ceremonies since 1959. Long in service to American youth, no one could be more qualified to fill the position of Boys State's Master of Ceremonies than a retired railroad station master. Short in statue but a giant in the eyes of his audience, Alvin kept Boys State on schedule and in harmony.

Alvin held numerous positions within the organization. He was active in the Boys State selection process in the Richmond area; he is a member of the Boys State Board of Directors and holds the very special title of the one and only "Grand Poobah". While others will serve in his stead and try to emulate standards he set over the past 25 years, he remains a legend in the history of Boys State.


In Memoriam

Guy T. Pobst

Guy T. Pobst

With all his civic involvement, it is surprising that Guy had any time left to devote 30 years as Warehouse Superintendent for the Central Supply Company of Virginia, let alone his wife and grandson.

He was a 40-year member of the Big Stone Gap Volunteer Fire Department and served as Assistant Fire Chief. His record in the Lions was just as impressive, serving in a number of different positions including District Governor. His Legion record spanning 43 years matched his other involvements, serving as Post Commander 3 times, District Commander, and selected for The Mister American Legion State Award.

Guy served Boys State for 22 years in a variety of roles; as Junior Counselor, City Counselor, Chief of City Counselor, and as an Assistant Director. As City Counselor, his city was always judged Best City or close to the top. He was also a member of the Board of Directors.

Guy's philosophy of helping someone less fortunate than myself benefited the many youth from his home area, and those associated with the Boys State program.

Henry L. "Les" Lam, Jr.

Henry L. "Les" Lam, Jr.

Assistant Director
Virginia Boys State 1987-1997

Les Lam, a retired circuit court judged, died on January 8, 1999. Judge Lam joined the Army Air Force in 1942 and served as a flight instructor for 3 years. He received his law degree from William and Mary in 1952 and then began his practice of law in Virginia Beach. In 1969, he was appointed as traffic court judge and founded the Virginia Beach Motorcycle Traffic School. In 1975 he was appointed Circuit Court judge and during that tenure acted as chief judge for several years. Upon retirement, he served on the review panel for the Virginia Court of Appeals.

He served as commander of American Legion Post 113 in Virginia Beach during 1954. In 1961 he served as American Legion State Commander for Virginia. Les served Boys State for 31 years. For 21 years he served as a city counselor and for the last 10 years served as Assistant Director. He also served on the American Legion Boys State Board of Directors and, in 1963, was President of the Board.

He was inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame in 1983 in recognition for his outstanding service to the program. Judge Lam will always be remembered for his work at Boys State. Under the leadership of men like Les, the Boys State program in Virginia has grown into one of the finest in the nation. His cheerful manner and kindness will be missed by all of those who knew him.


In Memoriam

Anderson Minor Renick, Sr.

Anderson Minor Renick, Sr.

1894 - 1984

Dedicated to the Legion - his God and Country - his Family. Always honest and tenacious in his personal values and convictions - a tireless worker - a great Shriner - and a spirited man of many civic interests and involvements.

"Andy" served the Legion in many capacities and ultimately as its Department Commander - recognized for his extensive contributions to Boys State of Virginia by being selected for membership to its prestigious Hall of Fame.

We of the American Legion Boys State of Virginia salute Andy Renick … a true gentleman and accomplished statesman.

Arthur W. James

Arthur W. James

1889 - 1985

Statesman unlimited … Serving government extensively at the state, national and international levels … Veteran of World War I, the Mexican Border Conflict, and World War II.

Arthur was quietly knowledgeable of political issues and author of many timely governmental publications including Virginia Government In Brief, the textbook used in the American Legion Boys State of Virginia Program. Academically astute, his special lectures in city government, governmental structure, and the Virginia political system were classics and will forever remain paramount in our heritage.

John J. Wicker, Jr.

John J. Wicker, Jr.

1893 - 1985

Truly a giant in the American Legion at all levels. One of the original founders of the Legion and Boys State of Virginia Program. Active in civic and church activities for his firm belief in God and Country was paramount.

An attorney by profession, a State Senator by choice, devoting his entire life in loyal and dedicated service to his fellow man, always willing to lend a helping hand and especially remembered in Boys State circles for his colorful lectures in Parliamentary Procedure. John Wicker, an outstanding statesman will eternally be loved and remembered in our heritage.

* Meaning "self-important person"

According to The Encyclopedia of Virginia, John J. Wicker, Jr. was a Richmond lawyer, state senator, and Democratic Party muckety-muck who in 1962 sent a telegram to John F. Kennedy scolding the president for crediting the Pilgrims with America's first Thanksgiving when that honor should, in fact, go to Virginians. (As all honors should, right?) Kennedy corrected himself the next year. For the full story visit Encyclopedia of Virginia.

John J. Wicker Jr. served as one of the American Legion's founding members.

W. Glen Rardin

W. Glen Rardin

Glen Rardin, also known as "Mr. Boys State" and "Pappy", was honored by the Virginia General Assembly, House Joint Resolution No. 357.

Glen has faithfully served this group with dedication and enthusiasm each year for a total of 37 years. During this association, he served 7 years as city counselor (1946-52); 2 years as Chief City Counselor (1953-54); 21 years as Director and Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors (1955-75); and for the past 7 years as senior advisor and Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors (1976-82).

Glen undertook a massive project to Boys State programs nationwide and to present factual information about each program. The intent of Rardin's Review is to honor and publicize each program as they continue teaching good government on a state and local basis, promoting better citizenship, and encouraging leaders to become active as they endeavor to make their state and communities better places in which to work and to live. Read the Virginia entry from Rardin's Review.

Virginia excerpt from Rardin's Review

Old Dominion Boys State, Inc. was first conducted in 1939.

Found and Director: 1939-1952, Judge Charles W. Crush. Past Department and Past National Vice-Commander, Lawyer, ex-memeber of Virginia Assembly, and Judge.


1953-54, James F. Barnes, III. Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University.

1955-75, W. Glen Rardin. Assistant Director, Virginia Division War Veterans Claims.

1976-, Rex Tillotson. Associate Dean of Admissions, College of William and Mary.

In 1956, the name was changed to The American Legion Boys State of Virginia, Inc. The program was conducted on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia from 1939-63, the college of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia from 1964-72, and Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia from 1973.

Boys State graduates are serving in local, state, and national public offices, as business executives, doctors, lawyers, educators, ministers, and leaders in all fields of endeavor. Former graduates include:

  • Linwood Holton, former Governor of Virginia
  • Richard Poff, 20 years in United States Congress, now Federal Judge
  • Joe Hollman, current secretary, Virginia House of Delegates, counselor Boys State, organizes Boys State General Assembly
  • Glen Conrad, Federal Magistrate, counselor Boys State and supervisor of program
  • Thomas Peake, President Boys Nation 1957 Professor of History, King College, Bristol, Tennessee
  • George Blume, Ph.D., Extension Service, VPI, Boys State Counselor, 19 years and now assistant director
  • Andy Bradshaw, Practicing attorney, legal counselor of Boys State for 12 years
  • William Vest, Retired Loan Officer, Veterans Administration, Boys State Counselor for 16 years
  • Malcom Minnick, Jr., Minister in charge of North American Missions, Lutheran Church

Boys State Alumni in many of our high schools are putting into practice information learned at Boys State about our two-party system of government (registration, caucuses, conventions, campaigning, and elections) in selecting their class and student body officers.

Freedom Foundation Valley Forge Award presented to the 1957 Inaugural Speaker, M. Carl Andrews, editor of The Roanoke Times, for the following editorial:

"How proud the sponsors would be if they could have seen what happened at Boys State this past week. I have seen both U.S. Congress and the Virginia General Assembly in joint session and must say that these youngsters, with the expert coaching of adult counselors, staged an almost perfect simulation.

I came away with the distinct feeling that Virginia and our Nation are going to be in good hands if these high school juniors are a fair sample of our boys.

For one I am grateful for this program. It is one of the finest and most constructive efforts by veterans to protect and project the principles for which they fought three ways."

Boys State 1939 — 248 delegates

Boys State 1979 — 690 delegates

Boys State 1981 — 750 delegates; 100 counselors

Ratio to male class members: 1:46

The 1982 Virginia Boys State was highlighted by the induction of Legionaires and Past Directors of Boys State: W. Glen Rardin, A.M. "Pappy" Renick, Charles W. Crush, Founder, Arthur James, and John W. Wicker into the Boys State Hall of Fame.

Schedule includes:

  • Recreation 3:00-6:00 p.m. daily
  • City Tournament play in softball, touch football, basketball and tennis
  • Extracurricular Activities 3:00-6:00 p.m. daily
  • CPR, Better Speaking and Parliamentary Law