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IU launches scholarship for sailors connected to new USS Indiana submarine

Sep 26, 2018

Indiana University has launched a new scholarship for sailors who have served or are serving on the USS Indiana, a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy submarine that is the first ship named for the Hoosier state in more than 70 years.

The USS Indiana will be commissioned Sept. 29 during a ceremony in Port Canaveral, Florida.

The USS Indiana
USS Indiana Commander Jesse J. Zimbauer, left, and Master Chief Lafrederick Herring stand by the prow and mast of the USS Indiana, a World War II-era battleship, at Memorial Stadium.Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

“This new scholarship honors Indiana University’s long history with the United States Navy, which stretches back to World War I and is still very active today thanks to our strong partnerships with the Naval Support Activity Crane in nearby Martin County,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “With this fund, we hope to make the excellent education offered at Indiana University more accessible to sailors who have protected our freedoms with their dedication, sacrifice and courageous service to the nation.”

The Virginia class attack submarine is the third Navy vessel to bear the name Indiana. The other two were battleships, one that served during the 1898 Spanish-American War and the other during World War II.

Commissioned in April 1942, the World War II-era USS Indiana was a 35,000-ton South Dakota class battleship. It earned nine battle stars for her service during World War II, including participating in the invasion of the Marshall Islands and Iwo Jima.

In 2013, Indiana University secured the original prow from the USS Indiana, reuniting the prow with the ship’s mainmast and two of its gun mounts, which had been on display outside Memorial Stadium’s west entrance since May 1966. The memorial is one of the largest and most comprehensive to the ship, complementing a smaller one featuring its anchor at Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum.

The memorial is only one of the ways the university honors its nearly century-long partnership with the U.S. Navy, from serving as a significant Navy training site during World War II to the recent renewal of a cybersecurity partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.

“At Indiana University, we consider the crew of the USS Indiana to be honorary Hoosiers,” said Kirk White, IU’s assistant vice president for strategic partnerships, military liaison for the IU Office of the President and a colonel in the Indiana Army National Guard. “It has been a pleasure getting to know them during visits to the campus and to their Norfolk, Virginia, base. This scholarship helps build the bonds between the crew and the university family while helping crewmembers earn a degree.”

Indiana University’s one-time scholarship, paid for through campus scholarship funds, will grant $5,000 toward education-related expenses on any IU campus across the state. Awarded to one full-time current or newly admitted graduate or undergraduate student each year, the funds will be available for use in the academic year of the student’s choice.

Eligible sailors should request consideration by May 1, 2019, by contacting IU’s military and veterans services coordinator John Summerlot at Indiana Memorial Union, M084, 900 E. Seventh St., Bloomington, IN 47405, 812-856-1985 or

Applicants will be evaluated during the month of May. A recipient will be selected and notified by June 1. The award can be used during any period of enrollment, at any IU campus, from that point forward.

Recent legislation grants in-state tuition for anyone who is serving or has served on the USS Indiana after June 30, 2019.

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