The National Defense Industrial Association's board will establish the Lawrence F. Skibbie Scholarship Award, in honor of the association's former president, who retired Sept. 21.
The purpose of the scholarship will be to support one or more advanced graduate students in the fields of engineering, science or management in disciplines relevant to defense and national security.
According to Gayle C. White, chairman of NDIA's space committee, the defense workforce lacks highly trained personnel, who are too often drawn to the non-defense private sector because of more competitive pay. "Personnel skilled in math, sciences and engineering are in short supply in all technology-based industries," he said. "Today's 'new' economy is dependent on highly skilled and well-educated individuals. Increasingly, this dependence has focused on information systems, both space-based and terrestrial. Mathematics, science and engineering are crucial skills in the development, sustainment and operation of [our defense] systems."
The Skibbie Scholarship will be awarded for one year, but can be extended to a second year based on satisfactory student progress. Up to $10,000 could be awarded each year. The candidates will be chosen on the basis of individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status or any other class protected by any federal, state, local law or regulation.
The scholarship will be administered by the NDIA executive committee. A solicitation to potential candidates will be issued in fiscal year 2002.
As president of NDIA and one of NDIA's predecessor organizations, the American Defense Preparedness Association (ADPA), Skibbie was a proponent of a strong industrial base and often testified before both houses of Congress on matters pertaining to the defense industry.
During his 33 years of Army service, he held a variety of command and staff positions, culminating in his final assignment as deputy commander for research, development and acquisition of the Army Materiel Command. …