Letter from the Chairman
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
I’m excited about the future of the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association (SMSA.) In 1970, our organization was founded with two primary objectives; first, “the construction of appropriate memorials to commemorate the work of the Seabees throughout the world and to perpetuate the memory of those Seabees who, by their labors and valor, have contributed so greatly to the Naval Construction Force as an essential element of sea power in the defense of our Nation.” That mission was completed when the Seabee Memorial was dedicated in 1974. The second objective: “awarding of scholarships to the deserving children of the men who have comprised the Naval Construction Force” has evolved into a broader mission to award scholarships to the children and grandchildren of the men and women who have comprised the Naval Construction Force.”
This evolution has allowed us to have some astounding results. SMSA scholars have a four-year graduation rate of 81% compared to the national rate of 39%. These graduates go on to do great things in their respective fields, most in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In 2015, we started tracking first generation college students and I’m excited to announce that 28% of our scholarship recipients are the first in their family to attend college.
We just announced the scholarship awards for 2019 and we awarded another record amount of scholarship dollars to 25 fine students. This year, we also awarded two new scholarships. We’ve been raising funds for several years for a special scholarship for the children of Seabees wounded in action. I’m excited to announce that this year, we awarded the first two scholarships to children of Seabee Purple Heart recipients. Also, to meet the need for skilled trades, the SMSA board approved a new scholarship for 12-18-month Career and Technical Education Scholarships. We awarded the first one this year to a student studying carpentry!
The rest of 2019 is going to be exciting for the SMSA as we continue to find ways to serve the Seabee community. We’re working hard with the other two Seabee charitable organizations, the CEC/Seabee Historic Foundation (SHF) and the National Seabee Veterans of America (NSVA), to find ways to work together toward our shared goal of serving Seabee families and protecting the Seabee legacy. We’ve had one event this year in partnership with the SHF in Washington, DC and look forward to finding more ways to work together with both of these fine organizations.
As the year progresses, I look forward to sharing more news with you about the success of the SMSA and our scholarship recipients.
CAPT Mike Blount, CEC, USN, Ret.
Chairman of the Board