The USS St. Louis and her crew have received one of the largest education scholarship endowments in the Navy’s history from the ship’s commissioning committee.
The commissioning committee of the USS St. Louis, a littoral combat ship, established a $500,000 scholarship fund that will be awarding annual grants to crewmembers and their children who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or advanced technical training.
The fund will last throughout the life of the USS St. Louis and will benefit several generations of its crew. Plankowners and their families can apply for the scholarship as long as it exists, whereas new crewmembers and their families will be eligible for the scholarship up to five years after leaving the USS St. Louis.
Each year, a crewmember will receive a grant worth $5,000 based on a holistic evaluation that will cover academic performance, career prospects, financial needs, and character. The grants are renewable to up to 10 semesters (approximately five years of study), which could amount to up to $50,000 of total scholarship.
USS St. Louis has two crews (Blue and Gold) comprised of 70 sailors each.
“It is a great honor to have this beautiful ship named for our hometown, and to establish a lasting bond with the inspiring men and women who are stationed aboard it,” said Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, the ship’s sponsor, in a press release. “We’ve embraced the crew as honorary St. Louisans and have committed to making a meaningful investment in their futures. This legacy scholarship fund is our way of showing how much we value them.”
The fundraising for the scholarship fund was led by Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, her daughters, Patty Taylor and Chrissy Broughton, Don Ross, former CEO and Vice Chairman of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a non-profit organization that helps students financing their education with interest-free loans and grants, will administer the fund.
The USS St. Louis is the seventh ship in the Navy’s history to be named after the city of St. Louis.
“Continuous learning is a way of life for all of us in the Navy, and higher education and advanced training provide the strategic edge we need to stay innovative and competitive and to grow rewarding careers,” said Commander Eric Turner, the USS St. Louis’ executive officer. “We are thrilled by the size and scope of this extraordinary gift, and deeply grateful to the Taylor family and the people of St. Louis who continue to support us and our families with their encouragement, friendship and generosity.”
The USS St. Louis is a brand new ship, having been commissioned in August in Mayport, Florida, which is also her homeport.
Littoral combat ships are designed to operate in shallow, coastal waters, and their agility and speed makes them good candidates for countermine, counterterrorism, and anti-submarine warfare.