by Shannon Martin McClain ‘98
The Sisterhood of Mother B and the USNA Women’s Shared Interest Group (SIG) have already had a busy summer, and it’s only July – actually, how is it already July? – During June, the SIG provided scholarships to three young women for summer programs at the Naval Academy which included the cost of the program as well as an introduction to a local member of the Women’s SIG who will act as a mentor throughout the upcoming year and perhaps beyond. We will have more on that story in the following weeks as we hear back about these young ladies’ experiences on the yard. Our other big event in June was the USNA I-Day EXPO and Parents Picnic.
On 27 June 2019, the Class of 2023, including 300 women, checked in for their Plebe Summer. While the newest members of the Brigade were finishing medical screenings, receiving haircuts, and gathering their newly issued gear, their family members and friends joined the fray on Hospital Point at the USNA EXPO Tent and Parents Picnic. Among the local businesses and other organizations, members of the Naval Academy Women’s Shared Interest Group (SIG) were there to greet them. It was an opportunity to welcome everyone to the Naval Academy Family. Nancy Vegel ’83 shared some of her thoughts from the day in her after action report, and I wanted to pass the information on to the Sisterhood.
The EXPO provided an opportunity for organizations and local businesses to introduce our newest families to the local area and the various support networks available to Midshipmen and families during the next four years and beyond. Nancy Vegel ’83, Maira Gailbraith ’90, Nikki Battaglia ’96 and Michele Phillips ’98 took time from their schedules to staff the Women’s SIG table and introduce the Women’s SIG. From all accounts, the Women’s SIG table was a hit. The Women’s SIG handed out more than 250 information cards and shared their stories with the parents of both the daughters and sons of ’23. Current members of the Sisterhood, there for various reasons, came by the table to say hello and admire the display. Vice Admiral Tim Carter, the Naval Academy Superintendent and his wife Linda also stopped by to show their support.
Sharon Disher ’80 provided memorabilia for the table including photographs, old-style women’s covers, a t-shirt from Herndon, and her book, First Class. The postcards and Women’s SIG tablecloth and runner were made possible in part through t-shirt sales with the Sisterhood of Mother B. The handmade embroidered “USNAAA WOMEN’S SIG” bags were also a huge draw. While sales are not allowed during the EXPO, several people expressed an interest in how to get one of those bags, something that we should add to the list of possible fundraising Sisterhood Swag. In addition to the beautiful, and highly sought after bags, the Sisterhood’s ideas for this year’s fundraising efforts include SOMB decals, new shirt designs, and perhaps a baseball cap.
The USNAAA Women’s SIG plans to continue their outreach with future candidates and involvement in the alumna community. If you are looking for ways to get involved, reach out to your Area Coordinators to support your local Women’s SIG and participate with your local Alumni Association Chapter. Stay tuned at Sisterhood of Mother B for opportunities to get some sweet swag and help support the SIG. We are also exploring opportunities to honor the Women Graduates of the Naval Academy in association with some of the upcoming building projects on and around the Yard. Stay tuned!!!