Four students from very diverse backgrounds each got a chance to attend the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, thanks in part to Thomas B. Crowley Sr. scholarships. Crowley Maritime Corporation awarded scholarships to Virginia Steiner, Morgan Wilson, Hannah Holland and Caroline Crowell during the 2009-2010 academic year.
Steiner, a history major from Mount Saint Mary College, currently works at the Mystic Seaport Museum as a historical interpreter, is a member of their demonstration squad and the Anchor Watch educational program. She also participates in Officer Candidate School for the United States Marine Corps.
A native of Olalla, Wash., Crowell is a junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. An English major, Crowell is captain of the archery club and student representative on the library policy review board. She plans on attending graduate school and majoring in library science.
Wilson, a Mount Holyoke College environmental studies major, attended the program to better understand the relationship between people and oceans. Her love for the sea began when she was growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast and living aboard a 1948 Chris Craft.
"I'm deeply interested in the human relationship with the environment and how that relationship has evolved over time and continues to change. My education at Mount Holyoke College has been nothing short of fantastic, however the Environmental Studies Department focuses on terrestrial studies rather than aquatic studies," Wilson said. "The Williams-Mystic Program has afforded me the opportunity to focus more closely on that aspect of the environment that interests me the most - the oceans."
Holland, a Birmingham-Southern College history major, said she was forever transformed while participating in the program.
"I moved a thousand miles away from home to study the ocean, something with which I had only ever had brief interactions, and I was transformed. Williams-Mystic provided me with a chance to dream bigger than I had ever thought possible and to have fun every single day. Plus, I got to drive a Crowley tugboat, and I can now talk confidently about the economic and social implications of global container shipping. How many college women from Alabama can do that?" Holland said.
In the fall of 2009, Crowley expanded the scholarship program with the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, increasing its donation from $10,000 to $20,000 a year for deserving and need-based students in the program. This has allowed four students, two in the fall and two in the spring semester, to take part in the program, instead of one student per semester.