ABMA Isabella Marie Gillen  Scholarship

The Isabella M. Gillen Scholarship Fund: A Legacy of Education and Honor

In the heart of the Aviation Boatswain's Mate Association (ABMA) lies a tribute to a remarkable legacy—the Isabella M. Gillen Scholarship Fund. Established to honor the memory of Isabella Gillen, this scholarship embodies the spirit of dedication, service, and educational pursuit that were hallmarks of her life and the lives she touched.

Isabella's legacy is intertwined with that of her husband, Robert Francis Gillen, whose life and career in the U.S. Navy reflected a profound commitment to service and community. Born on May 28, 1930, in Newburgh, New York, Robert F. Gillen embarked on a distinguished naval career at the tender age of 17, enlisting as an Aviation Boatswain Mate (AB). His journey through the ranks culminated in his retirement as a Commander in 1976, a testament to his dedication and leadership within the naval community.

Commander Gillen's contributions extended beyond his military service; he was a visionary who recognized the importance of camaraderie and support among his peers. In 1976, he became one of the Founding Fathers of the Aviation Boatswain Mate Association, an organization dedicated to uniting those who served or are serving in the Aviation Boatswain's Mate rating, fostering a sense of brotherhood, and providing support to its members and their families.

In the wake of his beloved wife's passing, Commander Gillen sought to create a lasting tribute that would not only honor Isabella's memory but also provide meaningful support to the ABMA community. Thus, the Isabella Gillen Scholarship Fund was born. This scholarship aims to support the educational aspirations of ABMA members and their families, offering financial assistance to those pursuing higher education. It stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity, reflecting Isabella's and Robert's shared belief in the transformative power of education.

The Isabella M. Gillen Scholarship Fund has since become a cornerstone of the ABMA's charitable efforts, symbolizing the association's commitment to its members' well-being and success. Through this scholarship, the legacy of Isabella Gillen continues to inspire and impact the lives of many, ensuring that her spirit of generosity, love, and support lives on.

As we reflect on the history of the Isabella M. Gillen Scholarship Fund, we are reminded of the profound impact that individuals can have on their communities and the enduring power of education. This scholarship not only serves as a tribute to Isabella's memory but also as a testament to the values of service, dedication, and communal support that define the ABMA.

(applicants will need to use a gmail account to submit an application)

(All ABMA Scholarship Donations are Tax deductible)