The USS ST. LOUIS (LCS 19) Commissioning Committee has established a $500,000 scholarship fund that will award annual grants to qualifying members of the crew and their dependents who are pursuing undergraduate degrees or advanced technical training. The scholarship fund, one of the largest of its kind to be presented to the crew of a naval ship by representatives of the sponsoring city, will support sailors and their families throughout the life of the ship.
“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 sail her,” said Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, the ship’s sponsor. “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.”
One important distinction of the scholarship fund is that it is available to not only members of the crew, but to their college-age children and spouses, as well. “Family members sail in spirit with their loved ones on every mission, and their patriotism and sacrifice match the commitment of the enlisted crew,” she said. “We celebrate and honor them as equal partners in service to our country.”
Barbara Taylor has first-hand understanding of the vital role family members play in military service. Her father, Edwin B. Broadhurst, and her father-in-law, Jack Taylor, were decorated pilots in World War II. She and her daughters, Patty Taylor and Chrissy Broughton, who serve as the ship’s maid and matron of honor, will continue to support the ship throughout its life.
The scholarship fund will be administered by The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that helps students at all stages of the college experience by awarding interest-free loans and scholarship grants; advising them to make informed financial decisions about postsecondary goals and options; and advocating for policies that improve college accessibility and affordability for students with significant financial need.
A grant of $5,000 will be awarded each year to one recipient based on an evaluation of academic performance, career potential, character and financial need. The grants are renewable for up to 10 semesters and can be applied toward study for a first undergraduate degree or certificate from an accredited, nonprofit, postsecondary institution. Original crew members of USS ST. LOUIS (LCS 19), known as plankowners, and their dependents are eligible to apply for as long as the fund exists. Subsequent crew members and their dependents are eligible to apply for a period extending up to five years after terminating service on the ship.
Application forms are available starting Jan. 1, 2021 through The Scholarship Foundation, sfstl.org; Scholarship Central, myscholarshipcentral.org; and The Navy League of the United States – St. Louis Council, navyleague-st.louis.org. The application window closes on April 15; the first award will be announced this summer before the start of the fall 2021 semester.
“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 ship’s 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 scholarship fund is the most substantial and enduring of two dozen gifts received by the crew of USS ST. LOUIS (LCS 19) in honor of the ship’s commissioning by the U.S. Navy last summer. Taylor and fund-raising chair Don Ross, former president and vice chairman of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, led the efforts of an 11 – member commissioning committee to solicit donations that support the scholarship fund, morale-boosting activities and commissioning events. The committee is a non-profit arm of the St. Louis Council of The Navy League.
The public may contribute to the scholarship fund by sending checks made payable to The Scholarship Foundation, 6825 Clayton Ave., Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63139, including a designation for the USS ST. LOUIS (LCS 19) Scholarship Fund.
USS ST. LOUIS (LCS 19) is a part of a well-connected family of littoral combat ships that maneuver primarily in shallow, coastal waters. Designed for speed and agility, the LCS network counters threats of coastal mines, terrorism and stealth submarines. The ship was commissioned in its homeport of Mayport, Fla. on Aug. 8 and has two crews – designated the Blue and Gold crews – both consisting of nine officers and 61 enlisted sailors for a total of 140.