When the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation (DSF) was established in 1961, COM SUB LANT’s spouse became the first DSF President. On 7 July 2000, I became the 16111 President of this wonderful foundation when my husband, John, became the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT).
As John and I prepare for our upcoming move and retirement from active duty, I would like to share my thoughts, genuine affection, and respect for everyone who has been a special part of DSF.
There are many reasons DSF has grown from one modest $350 scholarship to over $5 million for 839 scholars. The vision and determination of a few officers’ spouses to help provide financial assistance for our submarine sons and daughters were the catalyst and spark that captured the attention of the entire Submarine Force 43 years ago. Sound advice and smart investment decisions created the solid long lasting Trust Fund DSF has been built on. This foundation is not, and has never been, endorsed or financially supported by the Navy or Submarine Force. DSF is a not for profit organization under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3). The $5 million DSF has granted since its inception has been raised by the Submarine Force family members, both officers and enlisted, by corporate donations, individual gifts, and countless fundraising activities. Without the thousands of talented, dedicated, generous donors and volunteers, DSF would not exist! The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation is the largest and oldest scholarship for military college-bound children in our entire Navy. With the Submarine Force continually being downsized, we continue to raise over $100,000 every year from our own submarine community. Every dollar of this money goes directly to the scholars. This is truly a legacy to be proud of. DSF is the model that all other Navy community scholarships want to emulate.
The Foundation currently has a staff of five part-time paid employees, a 10 member Board of Directors comprised of the President, two retired Admirals, a retired Force Master Chief, several retired Captains and four outstanding Hampton Roads community leaders. DSF also has a 15 member Distinguished Advisory Board whose members do not vote but are available to provide advice to the Board of Directors. The Advisory Board consists of men and women who are distinguished military and civilian leaders. With the combined efforts of our Board, Advisors, staff, and the submarine communities in Bangor, Washington; Groton, Connecticut; Honolulu, Hawaii; Kings Bay, Georgia; Norfolk, Virginia; and San Diego, California, we will ensure continued success of DSF well into the future.
Why do we work so hard and care so much about this foundation? SIMPLE! The sons and daughters of our submarine family deserve the opportunity to find financial assistance to help support their educational goals and future aspirations. These young people are the future of this great country.
During the past three years, I have been a member of DSF’s selection committee. As a mother and teacher, I can honestly say DSF’s selection process is fair, difficult and encouraging. Fair because of DSF’s high standards and excellent requirements for application, difficult because we had 317 applicants in 2003 with only 33 openings, encouraging because the applicants are all wonderful, smart, creative, and awe-inspiring young men and women. I am continually amazed at the tough academic programs, extra-curricular activities, and personal challenges these young people seem to be able to balance. EVERY SINGLE APPLICANT IS A WINNER! Every member of every selection board wishes we could award a scholarship to each applicant.
To all our DSF scholars-I congratulate and commend you! The entire Submarine Force is very proud of you. To the applicants who were not selected this year, DO NOT GIVE UP! Apply again. You may be selected next year.
I leave DSF with total respect and gratitude for the many, many people who have given me valuable advice and support since July 2000. DSF will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you everyone!
2003 DOLPHIN SCHOLARS
This year the Dolphin Scholar Foundation will fund 133 Scholarships, including 33 new recipients. Each grant will be $3,000, totaling $399,000 in scholarship monies.