NoVA History

The Northern Virginia Section is located in Region 2.

The Northern Virginia Section was officially established on January 1st, 1977.

Below are the main chronological events of the Section for the first ten years:

Oct. 1, 1972: Orest A. Meykar initiates a petition to form the Northern Virginia Subsection and with the assistance of Dr. Jenny Bramley soon obtained the required number of signatures.

Nov. 13, 1972: AdCom meeting of the Washington Section with Forrest G. Hogg, Chairman, presiding. The minutes state that “The petition to form a Northern Virginia Subsection was presented, approved and forwarded to the National Headquarters, IEEE.”

Dec. 11, 1972: AdCom meeting of the Washington Section with Stuart Bouchey, Vice Chairman, presiding. The minutes report that Dr. Thomas F. Curry was appointed Interim Chairman of the Northern Virginia Subsection although the Subsection had not yet been approved by IEEE Headquarters. This approval followed a short time later.

May 14, 1973: AdCom meeting of the Washington Section with Forrest G. Hogg, Chairman, presiding. The minutes state that “It was moved and approved that a $300.00 budget be allocated for the use of the Northern Virginia Subsection through the end of the fiscal year.”

June 19, 1973: Organizational meeting of, the Northern Virginia Subsection at Computer Sciences Corp., 6565 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, with Forrest G. Hogg presiding. Dr. Thomas F. Curry was elected Chairman and L. Douglas Ballard was elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Vernon E. Gardner was asked to prepare Bylaws for the Subsection.

September 12, 1973: The first regular general meeting of the Northern Virginia Subsection was held at Tysons Corner, McLean, Va., with Edward F. Mitchell, Engineering Vice President of Potomac Company, speaking on “Environment versus Energy.”

Feb. 13, 1974: At a general meeting of the Northern Virginia Subsection the members approved unanimously the Subsection Bylaws.

Sep. 11, 1974: U. S. Senator William D. Scott addressed the Subsection at Tysons Corner on “Current in Congress.”

Sep. 21, 1974: The Subsection had a tour of the National Observatory near Green Bank, West Virginia. (On Oct. 16, 1982, the tour was repeated, this time joint with the West Virginia Section.)

Dec. 4, 1974: L. Douglas Ballard, Chairman of the Subsection, established a Committee to study the feasibility of transitioning the Subsection to full Section status. The Committee reported favorably and proceeded to obtain the required number of signers on a petition.

June 2, 1975: AdCom meeting of the Washington Section. There follows a quotation from the July/August 1975 issue of the Washington Bulletin: “By majority votes by both the ExCom and the AdCom of the Washington Section (on June 2, 1975), the request of the Northern Virginia Subsection for full Section status was denied. It was the general consensus that the Subsection would fare better both administratively and financially in its present status.” Notwithstanding the above, the Northern Virginia Subsection submitted its request. A few months later the following was reported in the December 1976 issues of the Washington Bulletin: “The of the IEEE approved, subject to certain conditions, the Northern Virginia Subsection’s petition to become a full Section. The conditions to be met were written agreements between the Sections on several items including financial operations, student affairs, the operation of technical chapters and, the operation of a joint local office and publication of a joint monthly bulletin.” The memorandum of understanding between the two Sections that followed called for the following:

  1. The division of expenses for the Washington office. (Northern Virginia subsequently withdrew from this agreement effective March 1, 1978).
  2. Financial arrangements for a bulletin, serving both Sections. (See Feb. 1978 below.)
  3. The Washington Section to provide the Northern Virginia Section with $6500 as the latter’s share of the reserve fund. This was accomplished in January of 1977.

Nov. 15, 1976: At a special meeting of the Washington Section ExCom, Alvin Reiner, Chairman, presiding, it was decided to petition the for the formation of a Council encompassing the Washington Section and the proposed Northern Virginia Section.

Jan. 1, 1977: The Northern Virginia Section came into being. The Council, however, has never become operational, notwithstanding the great amount of effort toward that end. Therefore, the Council is not mentioned further in this history.

Feb. 9, 1977: William W. Middleton, intermediate past Director, was present at a general Section meeting and presented Dr. Billy D. Davis, Chairman, with the certificate of formation of the Section.

1977: The Section’s finances became the greatest obstacle to overcome during 1977. The new Section’s share of the Washington Section reserve fund, $6500, had been received. However, no rebate money was received in 1977. The IEEE concerning the upgrading of a Subsection to a Section was not at that time very clear as to when the rebates to the new Section would begin. The “IEEE Rebate Schedule” applicable at that time included the following limited statements.

  • “Basic Allowance: $200.00 for each Section established as of December 31.
  • Section Member Rebate: $1.50 for each member (all grades) and Affiliates.” No mention was made regarding the upgrading of Subsections to Sections.

It had been assumed by the Northern Virginia Section officers that when a new Section was formed by a split portion of an existing Section, a pro rata portion of the existing Section’s rebate would automatically be allocated to the new Section. The 1976 records were used by IEEE Headquarters to determine the rebate which was paid in 1977. The Northern Virginia Section had no record by this definition and thus did not receive a rebate in its first year or operation. It is of interest to note that the “1980 Section Rebate Schedule” had the following expanded information:

  • “Basic Allowance: $200.00 for each Section established as of December 31.
  • New Section Establishment: For new Sections established after Dec. 31 of the prior year, an annual rebate shall be allowed, prorated based on the number of days from the date of establishment until December 31 of the current year.
  • Upgrading Subsections to Sections: For Sections formed after December 31 of the prior year from Subsections, the current year rebate for the new Section shall be based upon terms of a written agreement between the officers of the parent Section and the new Section, consistent with the preceding policy and in consultation with the Regional Director and IEEE Headquarters. Such agreement shall be concluded prior to the establishment of the new Section.” Hopefully, future newly-formed Sections will experience an easier birth.

Feb. 9, 1977: The proposed Bylaws for the Northern Virginia Section, as prepared by Mr. V. E. Gardner and Mr. James F. Strother, were unanimously adopted at the general meeting.

Oct. 3-5, 1977: Northern Virginia lost little time in initiating action to sponsor a symposium. Mainly through the efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Martino, the Northern Virginia Section became one of the sponsors of the First Annual Symposium on in Medical Care held on Oct. 3-5, 1977. This sponsorship has continued during the years that followed.

Feb. 1978: In the Feb. 1978 issue of the Washington Bulletin there appeared the statement: “Commencing with this issue of the Bulletin, only those members who. belong to the Washington Section, and those members of either the Washington Section or Northern Virginia Section who belong to Chapters/ will continue to receive this Bulletin.” The above restriction meant that immediate action was required to service those Northern Virginia Section members who did not belong to Group Chapter/. Dr. Beverly Bowen Moeller came to the rescue. On learning of our plight, she joined the IEEE as a Member, arranged with E-Systems, Melpar Division, for printing a monthly bulletin, scheduled addressing and asserting “parties” at her residence and delivered the packages to the Postal Facility in Merrifield, Va. The first issue of the Northern Virginia Bulletin appeared in April 1978 and the publication continued through the June-July-August 1983 issue. After about two years of E-Systems I invaluable help, the Section was financially able to arrange for bulletin printing to be done by Associations International, Inc., McLean, Va. Relations with the Postal Facility in Merrifield, Va., proved to be so favorable that a letter of appreciation was sent to the facility on May 10, 1979. An appropriate letter of appreciation was also sent to E-Systems, Melpar Division, on June 12, 1979.

Sep. 13, 1978: Virginia State Senator Clive L. DuVal addressed the Section at Tysons Corner, McLean, Va., on the subject of “Risks of Nuclear Plants in Virginia.” Nearly all Chapters which were under the of the Washington Section at the time the Northern Virginia Section was established eventually became joint Washington/Northern Virginia Chapters with the Washington Section as the managing entity. The Northern Virginia Section is, however, the managing entity for Chapters formed in Northern Virginia since 1980:

  • Speech, and
  • Computer

April 3, 1980: The Northern Virginia Chapter of the Speech and Society was established with Dr. Ronald E. Higgenbotham as the Interim Chairman. Donald J. Marsh spoke at the first meeting on April 17, 1980, on the subject of “Integrated Services Digital Networks.”

Sep. 29, 1980: The Northern Virginia Chapter of the was established with Vernon E. Gardner as the Interim Chairman. Its first general meeting took place on March 11, 1981, in the form of a tour of a Defense Communications Agency Facility in Reston, Va.

June 18, 1981: The Northern Virginia Chapter of the was established with Wayne B. Bloomquist as the Interim Chairman. The first meeting was a joint effort with the Washington Chapter on Feb. 17, 1982. At this meeting, Marve Gordon spoke on “Policy Implementation Impacting Computer systems Usage in the Department of .”

Jan. 2, 1982: The Section was shocked by the sudden death of its Chairman, Dr. Charles R. Ammerman, in mid-term. Vice Chairman John J. Kelleher served as Acting Chairman for the remainder of the term after which he served as the elected chairman for a full term.

Mar. 30, 1982: The Northern Virginia Section receives word that it is among the ten largest Sections in the six regions encompassed by the United States.

May 5, 1982: The Northern Virginia/Baltimore/Washington Chapter of the Society on was established with the Northern Northern Virginia Section as the managing entity and Susan A. Thomas as the Interim Chairman. This was the first Chapter established in this Society. The Chapter was preceded by a Working Group which had been active while was still in the committee stage. Rosemary Chalk had addressed the group in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 29, 1980, on the subject of “Ethical Dilemmas in Modern Engineering” and Dr. Joseph Pelton had addressed a joint Committee – Northern Virginia Section meeting in Falls Church, Va., on Nov. 16, 1981, on the subject of “The Electronic Future and Us.”

1982: An IEEE Student Chapter At George Mason University was established within the Northern Virginia Section area, with Prof. W. Murray Black as the Interim Chairman. On Sep. 8, 1982, the new Student Chapter and the Northern Virginia Section held a joint meeting on the University campus.

1983: The Northern Virginia Section became a member of the Washington Academy of Sciences. Much credit for this event is due to Northern Virginia’s member, Ralph I. Cole.

June 14, 1983: A joint meeting of the Northern Virginia Section and the Chapter on was held in McLean, Va. to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Section. Hans C. Cherney, a candidate for the office of IEEE President-elect, addressed the group. At a brief business meeting prior to the address, the members voted unanimously to increase the number of directors from six to eight, a Bylaws change considered advisable because of the great increase in the size of the Section since its organization.

Sept. 1983: The first issue of The Washington/Northern Virginia Scanner was published. This is a joint publication of the Washington and Northern Virginia Sections replacing the two bulletins, The Washington Section Bulletin and The Northern Virginia Section Bulletin. Beginning in 1977, the Northern Virginia Section and the Washington section have sponsored a joint Awards Banquet each Spring to honor the newly-elected Fellows and others deserving recognition. Although the Northern Virginia Section has not been an official sponsor of EASCON, two of its members have been very active in this organization. Dr. Arvid C. Larson was elected to a three-year term as a Member of the Easton. He was elected Chairman of the for one year and at the end of his term was re-elected. John J. Kelleher has been a Member of the EASCON Committee for six years, a Member of the EASCON for three years, and has served as Chairman of the for two years. Over the ten year history of the Northern Virginia Section, we have been fortunate to enjoy the use of meeting room facilities provided by three areas: Computer Sciences Corp., E-Systems Melpar Division, and the Planning Research Corporation.