Americal Scholarship Program of the Americal Legacy Foundation
The purpose of the Americal Scholarship Program of the Americal Legacy Foundation (ALF) is to provide college and vocational scholarships to the children and grandchildren, including those by adoption, of current and deceased members of the Americal Division Veterans Association (ADVA), provided the deceased member held good standing as an ADVA member at the time of death, and to any child or adopted child of an Americal Division soldier who was killed or died while on active duty with the Division. A member of the ADVA shall be as defined in the current bylaws of the ADVA.
The Americal Scholarship Program was created in 1994 by the ADVA under the direction of Mr. Joe Chin, National Finance Officer, Mr. Peter Messina, National Judge Advocate, and Mr. Ronald Ward, Scholarship Program Chairman. The founding contribution was made by Dr. Robert Muehrcke, veteran of the 132nd Infantry Regiment. Subsequent chairmen have been Bob Short and Ron Green. The current chairman is William Bruinsma.
The Americal Scholarship Program transferred to the Ameical Legacy Foundation by a vote of the ADVA Executive Council and ADVA members at the 2014 annual business meetings at the national reunion in Houston, TX. As such, the Americal Scholarship Program is under the supervision and management of the Board of Directors of the Americal Legacy Foundation. The directors have the authority to approve or deny any requests for grants and to recommend the raising and dispensing of funds. The directors receive no compensation for their service and contribute their time as unpaid volunteers.
In the first twenty years of the Americal Scholarship Program approximately $500,000 was raised and awarded to over 600 individual scholars. Scholars may apply in more than one year and may receive awards in more than one year. Awards are for undergraduate studies and are not granted for graduate work. Awards are made payable to the educational institution on behalf of the scholar.
The number and amount of awards vary from year to year. Amounts of individual awards have been between $500 and $3,500 as decided by the directors. Scholarship applications are ranked by an outside committee that is blind to the relationship of the applicant to any current or former ADVA or ALF officer or director. Applicants are scored entirely on their proven eligibility to apply, the completeness of their application packages, and the quality of their submitted essays.
The funds of the Americal Scholarship Program are obtained primarily from donations and grants, gifts, devises, or bequests. All funds received must be unconditional. The major sources of income are unsolicited gifts and the annual direct-mail fund raising campaign of the Americal Division Veterans Association. Past and current gifts to the Americal Scholarship Program are used only for scholarships and associated costs and are not used for other programs by the ADVA or Americal Legacy Foundation.
Annual scholarship program expenses, mainly for printing and postal costs, are approximately $2,500. In recent years the annual income from gifts and donations averaged approximately $30,000. The efficiency of the Americal Scholarship Program is 90%-95% depending on the annual income received. In the immediate past years, annual contributions, investment income, and reserve funds have provided about $35,000 per year in grants for qualified applicants.
Completed application forms together with all required enclosures must reach the Americal Scholarship Program Chairman at an address he designates no later than 1 April of each year. The application form requires the following of the applicant: name, address, high school attended, high school graduation date; father's name, occupation, mother's name, occupation, sponsoring ADVA member's name, dates with Americal Division, unit, and highest rank or grade; if parents are deceased, name and address of guardian; name and address of school to be attended; and applicants signature.
In addition to the above, all of the following information must be included with the Americal Scholarship Program application:
- A letter from the sponsor describing the applicant’s eligibility to apply, e.g., the relationship of the applicant to the ADVA member or deceased member. If sponsorship is obtained through a deceased ADVA member, the letter should be written by another family member. Include information about the sponsor’s service in the Americal Division or 23rd Infantry Division. Include information about the sponsor’s membership in the ADVA. The Americal Scholarship Program will verify the eligibility of applicants.
- A Letter of Admission from the applicant’s college or vocational school of choice. (Disregard if previously submitted.)
- A letter from the applicant’s high school principal attesting to the applicant’s character if applicant is attending or has just graduated from high school. (If applicant is currently attending college, please disregard this requirement.)
- A photocopy of the applicant’s high school or college transcript.
- A detailed statement of the applicant’s academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, community service involvement, etc.
- The applicant’s 200-300 word essay on subjects pertaining to "Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Completed application forms together with all required enclosures must be submitted to the Americal Scholarship Program Chairman by U.S. Postal Service mail at the following address, postmarked not later than 1 April of each year:
William Bruinsma Click here for Application form
5425 Parmalee Road
Middleville, MI 49333