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.
James O. FlintJim Flint is being honored by the American Legion Boys State of Virginia for his outstanding service to the Virginia Boys State Program. A Virginia Boys State counselor for nearly three decades and only missing three sessions during this period, James Flint has been a staunch supporter of our program since the 90’s. Having joined the United States Army at age 18, Mr. Flint, a Vietnam Veteran, brought his leadership knowledge to a program that could affect positive change in the youth of America. As Commander of Post 30 in Radford, Mr. Flint was asked to join the Boys State program by a friend in the late 90’s and started his service here as a Junior Counselor.
Working his way through the ranks at Virginia Boys State, Mr. Flint is now a senior staff member and has assisted annually with the core operations of Virginia Boys State. In recent years, Mr. Flint has been known for his room inspections and moving flag ceremony, encouraging the attendees of Virginia Boys State to show proper respect to our Country’s Flag. Through his room inspections, Mr. Flint ensures that the citizens of Virginia Boys State follow the guidelines laid out in the Flag Book and are universally applied across all cities of Virginia Boys State – igniting a sense of responsibility in the citizens who attend annually. Through his Flag Tribute, Mr. Flint works to ensure that the citizens of Virginia Boys State understand the sacrifices that have been made for us to have the ability to fly the American Flag during our Boys State program and hopes to reverse the trend of fewer Americans respecting the importance of the Flag. Mr. Flint’s contributions to the Virginia Boys State program cannot be understated, and we thank him for his commitment to creating better, more informed United States citizens every year.
Jeffery A. Finch
Jeffrey A. Finch is being honored by American Legion Boys State of Virginia for his outstanding service to the Virginia Boys State Program. Jeff attended Virginia Boys State in 1986 and served as a Legislative counselor for all but two sessions since 1986. Jeff worked for 38 years with the Virginia House of Delegates, of which he served 23 years as Deputy Clerk for Legislative Operations.
Further, Jeff serves as Adjunct Faculty in the Political Science Department for Christopher Newport University, and the Government Department for J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College. He previously taught in the MPA Program at Virginia Commonwealth University and has guest lectured at James Madison University and the University of Richmond.
Jeff is a dedicated member of the staff at American Legion Boys State and has faithfully served Virginia Boys State for 33 years. Therefore, American Legion Boys State of Virginia recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of Jeffrey A. Finch; forever enshrined in The American Legion Boys State of Virginia Hall of Fame, June 25, 2021.
Erik Campbell is being honored by American Legion Boys State of Virginia for his outstanding service to the Virginia Boys State Program. Erik honorably served in the United States Army.
Erik has worked as a junior counselor, counselor in charge and for the past several years has been a valued member of the Boys State logistics team. Erik has lived in Florida for the past 3 years but continues to make the trip to Virginia to assist with American Legion Boys State of Virginia.
Erik is a dedicated member of the staff at American Legion Boys State and has faithfully served Virginia Boys State for 19 years. Therefore, American Legion Boys State of Virginia recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of Erik Campbell; forever enshrined in the American Legion Hall of Fame, June 24, 2018.
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.
1951 – 2018
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 sacrificed 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 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.
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.
Gordon “Gordy” Smith
1928 – 2016
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.
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.
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.
Garland “Ray” Rhyne
1938 – 2020
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 D. Greene
Legionnaire Larry Greene 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 L. 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.
Ken Knight has been a member of the Boys State family for 25 years. His military service was with the US Navy. He has been a member of the American Legion for 29 years. During that time his involvement included offices held on the Post, District and State levels, and he served as Department Vice Commander. He has served on numerous National committees and programs and has been very active with the Legion College program as well.
In the 25 years with Boys State, he has been a City Counselor, Registrar, Boys State Committee Chairman and presently is Director of Operations. He is one of our “go to” guys; you ask him to do anything and it is done. He has worked for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving for 27 years, but still hasn’t brought any samples with him to Boys State.
His wife Pat, is the American Legion Auxiliary incoming Southern Region Vice President. Together he and his wife have 6 sons and 9 grandchildren.
At Boys State he can be counted on to be there when he is needed and to stick to it until the job is done.
1934 – 2020
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.
Vera J. Bright
1936 – 2015
Vera Bright was a member of Suffolk American Legion Auxiliary unit from 1953 until it ceased to exist in 1983. She is now a member of Stafford Unit 290. She held most elected offices in the Suffolk unit and was District President in 1960.
She is a retired English teacher who taught Senior English and Public Speaking at Lakeland High School. She has served as a counselor at Virginia American Legion Boys State for 24 years. She began her service here as a secretary in the office and in 1990 she became editor of the Boys State yearbook.
Her interest in children and youth extends beyond Boys State. For 25 years she was a volunteer with the Old Dominion Area Council, Boys Scouts of America. She has served as a Den Leader, District Cub Chairman, Council Cub Chairman, and as a member of the Executive Board of the council. She was the first chairman of the Cub Scout Day Camp and taught many courses about Day Camping at Boy Scout Training events. She was honored for her service to Scouting with the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest award that can be given to a volunteer by a Council. She is a volunteer with the American Red Cross where she has served on the Disaster Action Team and currently trains others to serve on the team. She is active in her church, Magnolia United Methodist, where she serves as a Certified Lay Speaker, Sunday School Teacher and is active in the Methodist Women Group.
Elaine Kramer was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a member of Woodbridge American Legion Auxiliary Unit 364. She has worked for Prince William Public Schools, Holy Family Catholic Church, and recently retired from Sandia Ceramics as Office Manager.
She has been involved with Virginia American Legion Boys State for 28 years. She began her service as a secretary in the office and has served as office manager for a number of years.
1933 – 2010
Roger Messier was born in Vermont. An Air Force veteran who belongs to American Legion Post 273 in Poquoson, Roger is a past American Legion Department Commander. He serves as a National Executive Committee man. He also serves on the National American Legion Finance Committee. He retired from NASA where he was involved with the Gemini and Apollo programs.
He retired from NASA where he was involved with the Gemini and Apollo programs.
He has been active in local government. He served on the Poquoson City Council and served as Vice-Mayor of the city. He also served on the Poquoson City School Board.
He has been active in the Virginia American Legion Boys State program for 19 years. For most of this time, he has served as Master of Ceremonies. He is a dedicated family man.
Robert J. Steele, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
1936 – 2016
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.
A native of Illinois, Rick Foster attended Seneca Township High School in Seneca, Illinois and was selected to attend illinois Boys State in 1966. After attending Illinois State University, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency, a signal intelligence unit, and served in Vietnam, Thailand, and the United States. After his enlistment ended, he remained in Virginia and joined the Prince William County Police Department and is retired from that agency.
He has been a counselor at Virginia Boys State for 19 years where he has served as city counselor, Chief City Counselor and now holds the office of Quartermaster. In this position he serves as the interim contact for Boys State with Liberty University. In this capacity he works arranging for buildings, classrooms, supplies, and other requirements of the program. He is a member of the Boys State Board of Directors.
Rick is a member of American Legion Post 364 in Woodbridge and has served as 16th District Boys State Chairman. Rick has always been known as a hard worker. For his willingness to help wherever he is needed and his dedication to the Boys State program with no thought of personal gain, Rick Foster is inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell
1933 – 2007
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.
Michael E. Harris
Michael E. “Mike” Harris was born in Staunton, Virginia and attended Robert E. Lee High School. He attended Blue Ridge Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Louisville. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Mike works with the Virginia State Police and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant assigned to the Superintendent’s office at the State Police Headquarters. He also serves as Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Operations and also as the Bureau of Field Operations Management Analyst.
He is a Vietnam War veteran who served with the United States Air Force. He is a member of American Legion Post 42 in Martinsville, VA. He has served in the Virginia American Legion Boys State for 20 years. He first started as a Junior Counselor in 1980 and progressed to Counselor in Charge. He then served as Chief City Counselor. He has served as Assistant Director and in 1999, he was selected as Director.
He is recognized for his exceptional knowledge of Boys State and his leadership and management skills. For his dedication to the program, Michael E. Harris is inducted into the Virginia Boys State Hall of Fame.
Harriet Lester Williams
Harriet is a graduate of Christiansburg High School and Radford University. She has worked for Virginia Tech for 30 years in the Food Science Department. She has been married for 30 years and is the mother of two wonderful sons and is the daughter of two highly respected and dedicated members of the Boys State family.
The Boys State program does not start on Sunday when the boys arrive, it begins several months before and Harriet has been instrumental in this preliminary process for over 35 years. The organizing, inputting, and maintaining of the database for registration records, as well as updating these records before, during, and after the week of Boys State are among her many duties.
In short, this program could not exist if not for the efforts of this hardworking, dedicated individual.
Bruce F. Jamerson
1957 – 2011
Bruce F. Jamerson is a native Virginian, born in Richmond and a product of the Chesterfield County and Richmond City Public Schools. Bruce is a 1979 graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Political Science and History.
Bruce was first elected Clerk of the House of Delegates in 1991. His tenure with the General Assembly dates to his initial employment in 1974 when he was a high school junior. His career with the House of Delegates has included positions as Postmaster, Purchasing Officer, and Assistant to the Clerk. This year marked his 27th straight General Assembly session.
Bruce’s Boy State service as a Legislative Counselor began in 1981 with this year marking his 21st Boys State program. Since his first year at Boys State, Bruce has been a committed volunteer, lending his abilities to many aspects of the program and has been instrumental in its continued success. He has been in charge of the legislative program since 1992, and through his leadership and dedication he has completely restructured this aspect of the program, yielding an exercise in the legislative process that is of the highest standard. He has used his parliamentary and legislative knowledge as well as his experience with state government to suggest and implement annual modifications that have enhanced the experience of all Boys State participants. Bruce is currently serving his third term on the Boys State Board of Directors.
In addition to Bruce’s Boys State experience, he is an active member of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries; a member of the Virginia YMCA Model General Assembly Committee; an active member of his church where he serves as a deacon and treasurer; and he is also an Eagle Scout.
As a member of the Boys State Board of Directors and as Director of the Legislative Program, Bruce has helped strengthen the Boys State Program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For his dedication to the program, Bruce F. Jamerson is inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
Jack M. Rainey
1916 – 2012
A Veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Corps, Jack Rainey, returned to civilian life, secured a job with a major food chain and joined the American Legion Post 79, South Hill. He has been a member of this post for 58 years. Over these years he has served the Legion in many leadership roles, as Post Commander, District Commander and Department Commander. He continues to serve as Adjutant of the Post. He is a member of the Internal Affairs Committee of the Department of Virginia and is a Past Alternate National Executive Committeeman.
His involvement in the Boys State program is equally impressive. He has served as a City Counselor for 16 years, as a Board Member, as President of the Boys State Board of Directors, as Chairman of the Boys State Financial Committee, as a Chaplain’s Assistant, and as an Assistant Talent Show Director. Under his supervision, as Chairman of a specially created Boys State Budget Committee, at a time of extreme financial difficulty for the Boys State Program, he oversaw the creation of a budget proposal which kept Boys State solvent, thus keeping Boys State functioning and free of debt.
As a continuing and current member of the District Boys State Committee, he assists with the various high schools and their nominations of delegates to attend Boys State. His personal contact with the boys, and with their interviews and transportation, has kept the no-show delegates at a minimum, and has helped to ensure the highest quality student attendance.
His keen interest in the boys and with the Boys State program makes Jack Rainey exceptionally well qualified for induction into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
Edwin J. Dentz
1924 – 2008
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.
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.
1928 – 2003
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.
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 N. Starling
Dr. Thomas Starling is a 1940 alumnus of Boys State. He received his B.S. degree in Agronomy from Virginia Tech, and received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from lowa State University. For his graduate studies, he majored in plant breeding and minored in plant pathology and genetics.
Returning to Virginia Tech he progressed through the ranks from assistant professor to associate dean of the graduate school, later giving up that position to return to teaching and research. As recognition of his teaching and work with students, he was named an “Outstanding Educator of America” in 1975.
His major contributions have been in the development of new and improved varieties of oats, barley and wheat. He led the research efforts in the development of four oat varieties, 9 barley varieties, and 7 wheat varieties. Several more wheat and barley varieties were released by his successor from the germplasm he had developed. Because of his contributions in these areas, he was appointed W.G. Wysor Professor of Agriculture in 1996.
Dr. Starling was selected as a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy and in the Crop Science Society of American.
He was recognized by Progressive Farmer magazine of “1986 Man of the Year in Service to Virginia Agriculture”. He received the Gamma Sigma Delta’s “Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award” and received the Virginia Tech’s Ag Alumni Organization’s “Distinguished Service Award”. He has received plaques of commendation from the Virginia Crop Improvement Association, the Virginia Seedsmen’s Association, and the Pennsylvania Seedsmen’s Association.
He has served in many positions in the Blacksburg United Methodist Church in civic groups, as well as a volunteer at the Montgomery Hospital. He is an active member Phi Kappa Phi, Scholastic; Sigma Xi, Research; Alpha Zeta; Profession Agricultural, and Gamma Sigma Delta; Agricultural Fraternities.
Dr. and Mrs. Starling have two daughters and three grandchildren. His many professional and civic achievements certainly qualify him to be inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
David M. Braun
David Braun is a 1982 alumnus of both Boys State and Boys Nation. He received his B.B.A. degree from William and Mary, and is certified in Business Process Reengineering (B.P.R.) from George Washington University; and also total quality management from the Paul Hertz Group.
He is president of Capstone Strategic, a Washington firm specializing in formulating and pursuing strategic growth efforts and he represents numerous Fortune 500 and multinational companies. He is the author of several papers and among them are “International Acquisitions”, and “The Capital Value of Intellectual Property”, published in The Journal of the Adhesive and Sealants Council. He is currently working with several state governors and corporate leaders to author a book on privatization and outsources. Over the past six years he has lectured to over 2000 executives.
He has served as a Boys State for the past 14 years as a junior counselor, senior counselor, and currently as the Program Director. He is also a current member of the Boys State Board of Directors. He is a member of the Sons of the American Legion. His many professional achievements as well as his continuous service to Boys State make him worthy of his induction into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
L.F. Payne is a 1962 Boys State alumnus. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from V.M.I. He is a Vietnam veteran and a member of Lynchburg American Legion Post 16. In 1973 he obtained a M.B.A. degree from Darden School of Business, U. VA. He has functioned as the Planning and Development, President, and Chairman of the Board of the Wintergreen Development, Inc. A special election in 1988 sent him to Congress where he served on the House Public Works and Transportation Committee. He was also a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee. In the 102nd Congress he served on the House Budget Committee. He was a leading proponent of the balanced budget amendment and the line item veto. From 1993 until his retirement in 1996, he was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He also served on the Social Security and Trade subcommittees, and a member of the Democratic Leadership Council and the Conservative Democratic Forum. He has received numerous awards including the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Guardian of Small Business award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Eagle of Freedom Award from the American Security Council Foundation, and the Friend of the Farm Bureau Award from the American Farm Bureau.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Plantation Boys Foundation. He was the Democratic Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor during the last state election and is currently outspoken about a run for Governor in 2001. L.F.’s Boys State experience and his lifetime achievements certainly qualify him to be inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
R. Edwin Burnett
Ed was a 1970 Boys State and Boys Nation Delegate. After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the College of William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law, he served as a Boys State City Counselor and Lecturer from 1980-1984. He also served as an Assistant and City Counselor from 1971-1979.
Ed is highly respected in his professional field of Civil Litigation. He is very active in all phases of the legal profession, having served as President of the Virginia Bar Association, Past President of the Young Lawyers Conference, and the Lynchburg Law Association.
His civic activities include being President of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, Past Chairman of Diaconate Peakland Baptist Church, past Board member of the United Way of Central Virginia, and current Board member of the Lynchburg Children’s Museum. He is an adjunct Professor of the Marshall Wythe School of Law.
His honors include being listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America, and in “Best Lawyers in America.” He is a fellow of the UVA Law Foundation. Ed’s outstanding professional, religious, and civic accomplishments, and his many honors received are those qualities looked for in our Boys State alumni, and as recorded certainly qualifies him for induction into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
James F. “Jimmy” Draper
1916 – 1996
A Past Department Commander, Jimmy became addicted to Boys State after serving as President of the Boys State Corporation, a task he took very seriously. During his term of office he offered numerous suggestions for program improvements. He subsequently volunteered his services for 12 years as an Administrative Counselor and also served for 7 years as a member of the Board of Directors.
Jimmy used his administrative ability to update and improve many Boys State forms, but no doubt, his greatest contribution was his two year, intensive investigation of colleges and universities throughout the state in search of a home for Boys State. We are here at Liberty University as a result of his work. He will long be remembered for his deep interest in Boys State.
Joseph H. Holleman, Jr.
He was a delegate to the first Boys State which was, in 1939, called “Old Dominion Boys State”. He is a veteran of World War II and is a member of American Legion Post #1 in Richmond. He has had an illustrious forty-five year career serving Virginia in the House of Delegates, and from 1974-1991 functioned as the Clerk of the House.
He served eighteen years as a Boys State instructional counselor, forming and directing both the Boys State House and Senate. He also served for six years as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors. His impact on the program has greatly enhanced the smooth functioning of the Boys State legislative body, and thus, he is worthy to be inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame.
Glen E. Conrad
1949 – 2021
Honorable Glen E. Conrad served the Western District of Virginia in both magistrate and district courts for 45 years.
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.
Frederick A. Schauss
1893 – 1973
A legendary figure of aviation being cited as one of the first pilots to make a cross country night flight.
With only a compass to guide him, this past American Legion Post Commander and life member of Post 130, dedicated 20 years of life to the Boys State program. He served as a City Counselor, member and later as an honorary member of the Board of Directors, as chairman of the Department’s Boys State Committee and as the assistant director, holding this last position for 9 years.
While passing from this life in 1973, he was a great American who loved his flag, his country and his Boys State, and he is welcomed into the Hall of Fame, posthumously.
A 1968 graduate of Boys State, and elected to the office of Governor that same year, he has continued his relationship with the program for 25 additional years.
He began his Boys State association as a junior counselor, and currently functions as the Deputy Chief Instructional Counselor. As a member of the Board of Directors he serves as the Registered Agent for the Boys State Corporation.
His inputs to the program have resulted in numerous improvements making him worthy of his induction to the Hall of Fame.
A 1956 graduate of Boys State and Boys Nation, this dedicated counselor currently functions as the Information Coordinator, supplying Boys State newsworthy events to the press, radio and TV.
He is a veteran of the Vietnam War serving in the capacity of Intelligence Officer. Returning from the army tour of duty he joined American Legion Post 1976. He is a former editor of the Army Times.
Over his 25 years of service with the Boys State program he has carried out the duties of a City Counselor and Program Instructor. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1988.
Lee R. Peters
1922 – 1998
A Legionnaire for the past 46 years, he has dedicated much of his energies to Legion sponsored youth programs, specifically to the sons of the American Legion and to Boys State. He has held numerous Legion offices, ranging from Post Commander to past Department Vice Commander.
1927 – 2008
A Legionnaire of many talents, he has served the Legion in a wide capacity: as past Commander of Post 38, past third District Commander, honorary State Commander, State Adjutant, National Vice Commander and National Legislative Council Chairman.
A guiding friend of Boys State and as Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee, he has worked to maintain the well being of the organization. He also has served as a Boys State Counselor and member of the Board of Directors.
His long time behind-the-scenes interest of Boys State mandates his election as a member of the Boys State Hall of Fame.
1925 – 2004
This legionnaire’s interest and involvement in the Boys State program spans over numerous years of service and in a multiplicity of activities. A member of Post 16 for 49 years, he has served as the State Commander as well as a member of the National Executive Committee.
He was instrumental in assisting with the move of Boys State to Liberty University. During the program’s long stay in Lynchburg much of the Boys State materials were stored in his garage. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors and as its president.
His devotion to Boys State and his many years of service to the program has mandated his election as a member of the Boys State Hall of Fame.
1902 – 1994
After sixteen years of devoted service to Boys State as an Instructional Counselor, this recipient is nationally recognized and respected in the field of parliamentary law. Among his many honors, he is a certified professional parliamentarian.
He is one of a selected few to hold a Certificate of Proficiency as an accredited teacher for the National Association of Parliamentarians, and was selected to write a series of educational television programs nationally aired by N.A.P. His book, Parliamentary Procedure Essential Programs, was in part a product of his Boys State experiences, and is widely used by both delegates and the general public.
His dedication to the Boys State program will long be remembered by the hundreds of delegates who were privileged to attend his parliamentary class.
Terry L. Plunk
1966 – 1991
A 1983 delegate to Boys State, his elected position as Crockett City’s Nationalist Party Chairman helped the party to a sweep of the top three positions. Excelling in sports at the high school level also allowed him to help Crockett be named the top sports city.
On completing his college years at VMI as an honor graduate, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, and, in turn, was promoted to First Lieutenant.
His tragic death occurred in the line of duty, clearing a minefield outside the airport at Kuwait.
“He was the model and ideal of all that is good about today’s youth,” stated Bob McClelland.
“He was a very special person,” remarked one of the Boys State counselors.
“He died in the field of honor,” quoted the VMI Chaplain.
“He was proud of his country and his profession,” said his mother.
“He was fighting for the country we love and for the principle of freedom throughout the world,” as the citation so states.
Welcome, Terry, welcome into the Boys State Hall of Fame, as one who for God and country did unselfishly place yourself and service above personal gain in defense of democracy and freedom.
Harold A. “Hap” Purnell
1909 – 2000
A former hospital administrator, store manager, high school athletic coach, and former Cincinnati Reds coach, this energetic recipient is also a member of the Guilford College Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a past Commander of Post 73, as well as a life member of that post.
He has served as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors, and as a City Counselor, training numerous junior Counselors to their current position as senior Counselor.
His interest in youth is easily documented by his 50 years of service with the Boy Scouts, and his 25 years of service to Boys State.
1925 – 2004
A long time member of Post 191, this recipient is a former Post Commander and past Post and District Chaplain. He currently serves as the Department Chaplain.
For the past 25 years he has functioned as the Boys State Chaplain in a unique manner by allowing and encouraging the citizen Chaplains to present the morning Chapel Service based on their own experiences, feelings, and beliefs.
Along with his Chaplain duties he has served as a City Counselor, as an Administrative Counselor, and as a Boys Nation Committee person. He has also served numerous terms as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors.
William E. “Bill” Vest, Jr.
1923 – 2003
A Legionnaire member of Post 3, WWII Air Force veteran, and a retired Realty Officer, Veterans Administration, this unique individual can boast of a special status held by only one other individual. This recipient was a citizen of the first Boys State program held in the state, in 1939, and for the past 25 years has functioned as a City Counselor.
Looked upon as a model City Counselor he has probably won more Best City Awards than any other Counselor. His valuable abilities and inputs have not gone unnoticed, for he has served for many years as a member of the Boys State Board of Directors.
Dominick W. Scaffido
1919 – 2010
A long standing Legionnaire of Post 24, a bundle of energy, and always on the run, our “little ‘ole winemaker” has devoted 25 years of service to Boys State.
Over the years he has functioned as a Junior City Counselor, Senior City Counselor, and currently fills the position of Director of Operations, which because of its numerous duties, is not only difficult, but impossible to define.
His other Boys State involvement includes numerous speaking engagements at Post and District levels – at the Annual Legion College, and as a Boys State spokesman at the Fall, Spring, and Annual Legion Convention. He is a frequent Virginia Representative and Resource Person at the National Boys State Conference.
He currently serves on the Boys State Board of Directors and is Secretary to the Board. His motto is “can do – will do” and Boys State operates much smoother because of his dedication to the program.
1934 – 1989
A retired Navy lieutenant, member of American Legion Post 16, and a legislative influential throughout the 22 districts of Virginia, this 12 year member of the House of Delegates passed away on April 12.
His contributions to the Boys State program spanned a 15 year period, serving in the positions of Junior City Counselor, Senior City Counselor, and Legislative Advisor. He was also a member of the Boys State Board of Directors.
Governor Baliles said of this counselor, “He will be long remembered for his service to the Commonwealth, and will be missed by his many friends and admirers – of which I count myself one.”
For his devotion and contributions to the Virginia Boys State program, Boys State proudly inducts him posthumously into the Boys State Hall of Fame and presents the medal and citation to his devoted wife, Joyce.
John R. Bright
1930 – 2014
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 E. Pilley, Jr.
1924 – 2014
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”.
1921 – 1998
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.
1896 – 1990
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.
Henry C. Roughton
1921 – 2006
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.
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
1925 – 2022
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 E. Whitley
1916 – 2012
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.
Rodney “Rod” Lester
1916 – 2012
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 reclusive 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
1923 – 2011
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
1930 – 2002
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.
1922 – 1989
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
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.
Guy T. Pobst
1918 – 1987
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.
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.
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
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.
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
1904 – 1989
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.