WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association (SMSA), the nation's only provider of scholarships to the children and grandchildren of America's fighting Seabees and Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officers, will recognize distinguished leaders from the worlds of business and the military at its inaugural Building America's Future Gala today. SMSA has provided over 2,800 scholarship awards totaling $4.6 million since 1972.
This year, the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association awarded $275,000 in scholarships to 85 recipients. SMSA provides critical support to Seabee families as the ever-increasing costs of higher education significantly outpace the average military family income. More than 50 percent of SMSA scholarship recipients are pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors and they tend to graduate at rates twice the national average.
"We are committed to honoring our country's Seabees and ensuring that educating their children is not another sacrifice that these deserving military families have to make," said Rear Admiral Michael Giorgione, CEC, USN (Ret), SMSA Chairman. "As our nation celebrates 75 years of Seabee service this year, we've launched the Seabee 'Can Do' Legacy Campaign to ensure we are able to support more students with larger scholarships for generations to come." The Seabee "Can Do" Legacy Campaign seeks to raise $7 million by 2020.
Rear Admiral Bret Muilenburg, Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers, is the Building America's Future Gala Military Guest of Honor. RADM Muilenburg has a distinguished service record of leading U.S. naval operations in peacetime and during deployments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
In addition to RADM Muilenburg, the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association will honor military and business leaders and visionaries who demonstrate the Seabee "Can Do" values of service, honor, courage, and commitment in their work. At the gala three awards will be presented, including:
- The "Can Do" Award, presented to AECOM, for their generous scholarship investments and enrichment support to Seabees and other global initiatives.
- The Searchlight Award, presented to General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.), for his distinguished 37 year military career that included serving as Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command and Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan. General Allen has always praised the outstanding efforts of deployed Seabees many of whom served under his command.
- Everyday Hero Award, presented to Steelworker Chief Jesse D. Hamblin (SCW/DV), USN who risked his own life to save a young boy involved in an underwater plane crash.
Donations to the Seabee "Can Do" Legacy Campaign can be made at www.seabee.org.
About the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association:
The Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association is the nation's only provider of scholarships for the children and grandchildren of individuals who have served with America's fighting Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC). SMSA has awarded over 2,800 scholarship awards totaling $4.6 million since 1972. The Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association participates in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC number 11959). Scholarship applications are accepted until April 15, 2017. For more information on the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association and its scholarship program, visit www.seabee.org.
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SOURCE Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association