2015 has been a busy year for your Foundation, as you have seen in the pages of our Pull Together newsletters and through the stories on our website blog. It was our particular privilege to participate in two special Navy centennial anniversaries this year:
- The 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Navy Reserve, marked by a number of ceremonies which prominently featured the Dave Winkler-authored coffee table book, Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always: More Than a Century of Service by Citizen Sailors (a great holiday gift by the way, for your favorite Navy Reservist—see our website at www.navyhistory.org for details!).
- The 100th anniversary of the establishment of the position and office of the Chief of Naval Operations. At a memorable celebration in May at the Navy Museum with the Secretary of the Navy presiding, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Commandant of the Coast Guard present, 30th CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert was joined by NHF Chairman Emeritus and 20th CNO Admiral Jim Holloway to cut the birthday cake with the sword of 15th CNO Admiral Arleigh Burke!
All this reminds us of our mission statement that the Naval Historical Foundation preserves and honors the legacy of those who came before us. We educate and inspire the generations who will follow.
Your support makes a difference in our ability to accomplish that mission! We have been especially appreciative of the financial support that many of you are making to keep us on course—and the purpose of this end-of-year appeal is to ask you to continue that generous practice!
- Mail in a donation using the enclosed form or via our website online giving option at www.navyhistory.org.
- Consider making a pledge to join the 15 members whose level of giving has made them charter members of our Admiral James L. Holloway III Donor Society (Executive Director Todd Creekman can provide details);
- Using the planned giving tips on our website, remember NHF in your will or with a stock or IRA donation before the end of the year;
- Encourage a friend to join, or present that friend with a gift membership!
So what do your dues and donations, particularly from these year-end appeals, accomplish for naval history? One of our high visibility programs recognizes naval history excellence from middle school students to the pre-eminent naval historians of the 21st century:
- The Captain Ken Coskey National History Day Naval History Prizes—middle and high school students.
- The Captain Edward L. Beach Naval Academy History Department Prize—Naval Academy midshipmen.
- The Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn NROTC Essay Competition—NROTC midshipmen.
- The Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award—career naval historians.
Our STEM-H (H for History!) program has been so well-received that we are now partnering with the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, CA on a three-year grant. The grant took effect in August, just in time to support our third annual STEM-H teacher fellowship program at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, CT. The grant expands STEM-H programs to all Navy museums, including museum educator and teacher training by the USNA STEM Center. USNA training focuses on project-based learning and the engineering design process, including materials and examples of basic lesson plans adaptable to each museum. Historic naval ship museum educators also fall within the scope of the grant, broadening Navy STEM-H outreach possibilities nationwide.
USNA STEM Center workshops in the fall, spring, and summer in Annapolis are open to all Navy and historic ship museum educators and local teachers. This year’s 25-26 September workshop included a special half-day session for museum educators from Groton, CT, Norfolk, VA, Great Lakes, IL, Newport, RI, Alameda CA and Washington, DC. Travelling USNA workshops at historic naval ship sites for museum educators and local teachers are planned in winter 2015-2016 for Norfolk, VA and Alameda, CA, with more to follow. The NHF portion of the grant enables STEM-H fellowship support for: educator travel to USNA workshops, teacher lesson planning efforts with educators at the Navy and historic naval ship museums, and the work to have all developed lesson plans shared on Navy museum, historic naval ship, NHF, and Historic Naval Ships Association websites. Your continued support will permit us to work with more museums and ships to link teachers and students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through the lens of naval history!
We continued to reach out to our members at gatherings beyond our Annual Meeting, including:
- An April National Maritime Awards Dinner in partnership with the National Maritime Historical Society at the National Press Club in Washington, DC where the NHF recognized Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert with a Distinguished Service Award;
- The annual Submarine History Seminar in April in partnership with the Naval Submarine League;
- A reception in May in conjunction with the kick-off of the North American Society for Oceanic History’s
- annual conference at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California;
- The annual Battle of Midway Celebration Dinner in June in partnership with nine other Navy and Marine Corps nonprofits—where we were joined by six hardy veterans of that pivotal battle;
A joint mid-October symposium with our four sister historical foundations titled Violent Skies: The Air War Over Vietnam—to commemorate the 50th anniversary of service and sacrifice by Navy men and women during the Vietnam War.
Your contributions are vital to our ability to carry out our naval history mission! In return for your generous year-end tax-deductible contribution, you earn our sincere thanks for becoming a dedicated partner in the effort to connect Americans with their proud naval heritage!
John T. Mitchell
Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)