From Ship to Scholar: Raytheon-Zumwalt Scholarship Awarded in Honor of Naval Legend


Many of today’s students weren’t born during U.S. Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr.’s lifetime. But his legacy lives on through history books, a Navy ship christened in his name and now a new college scholarship in his honor.

Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. His worked reformed U.S. Navy personnel policies to improve enlisted life for sailors. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Raytheon recently presented the first annual Raytheon-Zumwalt scholarship to Harrison Ballard, a 2014 graduate of Panther Creek High School in Cary, N.C.   

“If I had to capture the emotion I felt in that moment, it would be gratitude,” Ballard said. “Sheer gratitude.”

The accolade is a tribute to legendary Admiral Zumwalt, Jr., the youngest Chief of Naval Operations in history, who reformed U.S. Navy personnel policies during the 1970s to help improve enlisted life for sailors.

The scholarship is worth $20,000 over the course of four years. 

“It was with great pride I learned that you have become the first recipient of the Raytheon-Zumwalt Endowed Scholarship Award,” said Admiral Zumwalt’s son James G. Zumwalt in a congratulatory letter to Ballard. “My late father devoted his life, both in and out of uniform, to positively impacting the lives of his fellow man. It is my hope you embrace such a philosophy of selflessness as you embark upon your life's career.”

Ballard is also the son of a retired naval officer. He graduated as the salutatorian of his high school and he’ll join Duke University’s class of 2018 to pursue a degree in neuroscience this fall.

The DDG 1000 destroyer is one of the world's smartest ships. It carries technologies that will transform the day-to-day operations of the Navy, much as the ship’s namesake, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, did during his 32-year career. (U.S. Navy photo)

Raytheon established this scholarship to help champion the educational pursuits of future scientists, technologists and engineers who exemplify Zumwalt’s legacy.

The company has a long history delivering naval radars, ship systems and services to the U.S. Navy. They’re currently working to integrate the advanced technology aboard the stealthy new USS Zumwalt destroyer, officially christened in a ceremony held earlier this year.

The ship is the first in a class of three revolutionary vessels. It carries cutting-edge equipment that will benefit the Navy for years to come.

 “The Raytheon-Zumwalt Scholarship is a fitting testament to an innovative leader and his namesake ship-class, both contributing to a transformation for the U.S. Navy,” said Kevin Peppe, vice president of Raytheon’s Seapower Capability Systems business area.  

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