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TEF Brief from the Chairman of the Board

Winter 2019/20


 I applaud and thank you all as we ring in 2020. Thanks to your generous donations in 2019, the Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF) had its best year ever. Your support enabled TEF to award 105 scholarships and increase our perennial scholarship portfolio by four. In the past two years, we have added six perennial scholarships, elevating our perennial portfolio to 66 while the remaining 39 TEF scholarships awarded in 2019 were funded by annual scholarship supporters. Finally, our financial portfolio rose to over $4 million, nearly a 60 percent increase in funds available over the last four years.

Since 2016, TEF’s grants have ranged from $2,500 to $15,000 per year. Last year, more than one-third of our grants were funded at $3,000 or more. This is an increase from less than one-quarter funded at the same level or more last year. TEF works hard to increase the value of our scholarship grants each year to keep pace with the one to two percent increase each year in college costs. The steadfast generosity of our loyal benefactors allows us to do this. Thank you as well for your support with these increased annual grant amounts for our Naval Aviation legacy youth.

We are often asked about our TEF “$1K” Hawaiian shirts. These high- quality Bamboo Cay shirts are custom-made and embroidered exclusively for TEF. These shirts are available in navy blue, haze gray, off white and night-trap black in sizes medium through 3XL. As the shirt name indicates, they are available for a donation of $1,000 or more to TEF. We also added an installment payment plan to acquire one of these shirts. Donate $85 per month for one year using the GiveDirect form on our TEF donation page, and you can own one of these famous TEF “$1K” shirts. Once you sign up for this type of monthly donation, contact us and tell us what size and color shirt you want, and we will have it embroidered and sent to you right away.

In closing, I wanted to share a few words from our 2019 TEF scholarship awardees. These young students are amongst our nation’s best and brightest youth, and as you read their thank you notes to you, our scholarship sponsors, you’ll agree our nation’s future is in good hands. 


“I would like to thank you once again for giving me the incredible honor of receiving the … scholarship. I remain so deeply moved by the generosity of your sponsors.” From a sophomore at Purdue University


“Thank you so much for granting me one of your scholarships. I am honored and blessed to be chosen to receive this award and am so thankful for those like my grandfather who fought for this country, making it possible to earn scholarships like this. Your generous support is helping me pursue my dreams to become an architect.” From a freshman at Purdue University


“I would like to thank you very much for your incredible generosity in sponsoring the … scholarship I was fortunate enough to receive from TEF. This is deeply meaningful to me in that my father’s naval service has always been a source of pride and inspiration. I head off to Duke University this fall to study chemistry and the classics in anticipation of a career in medicine. Your generous scholarship award has made this dream more possible for me, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.” From a freshman at Duke University


“Thank you so very much for awarding me this … scholarship. I am studying neuroscience at UCLA and this scholarship is enabling me to work toward my lifetime goal of becoming a surgeon. I am forever indebted to you for your tremendous generosity and I remain blessed to be the daughter of a Naval Aviator who so proudly served our nation.” From a sophomore at UCLA


“I’m majoring in biology and working toward earning my medical degree. The TEF scholarship you so generously provide is making this possible for me.” From a junior at Yale University


 Thank you again for your most generous and kind support as we move forward to make 2020 another banner year!


RDML J.J. Quinn, USN(Ret)

Chairman of the Board

Tailhook Educational Foundation

About The TEF

The Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF) is a charitable nonprofit California corporation created in February 1992. The Foundation's charter is "to educate the nation's public with regard to the history and present day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country's national security."


The main activities of the Foundation are:

To support the Tailhook Association

To distribute The Hook magazine to schools throughout the nation at no cost to the schools

To provide scholarships to qualified applicants

To support U.S Navy and Naval Aviation leadership

TEF Scholarships

TEF’s minimum scholarship is $2,500 per grant per year. Funding TEF scholarships is achieved either annually or perennially.

Perennial Scholarships

​A perennial scholarship is funded by providing TEF with at least $50,000 either in a lump-sum donation, or using a payment over time option*.

​A $50,000 TEF Scholarship portfolio yields a $2,500 grant for your named scholarship per year in perpetuity*.

Sponsors funding perennial scholarships can add funds to their portfolio whenever they chose, donating any amount they chose.​ Each donation to an existing perennial scholarship portfolio increases the annual grant yield for that scholarship from that year on.

​Several of TEF’s original $50,000 perennial scholarship portfolios now exceed $100,000, all yielding at least $5,000 in an annual grant.

Annual Pass-through scholarships

An annual or “pass-through” scholarship is funded by providing TEF a payment of $2,500 or more each year to sponsor your named scholarship that year.

Pass through scholarship donations can also be for more than $2,500, and they can change each year by donating more than $2,500. 

TEF’s current pass through scholarships range I amount awarded from $2,500 to $15,000.

TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per year. A number of our annual scholarships are awarded to students pursuing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.

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Scholarship Eligibility

To qualify for a Tailhook Educational Foundation scholarship, an individual must graduate from high school and be the natural, step, or adopted child or grandchild of a current or former (U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Coast Guard) Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Naval Aircrewman. Also eligible are individuals or children/grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Eligible applicants must also be accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college. 

Applications are available on 15 December and due back at TEF headquarters by 01 March each year.

Scholarship Timeline


9696 Business Park Ave. 

San Diego, CA 92131-1643

The Tailhook Association is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization 

The Tailhook Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

CFC Campaign Number: 10251

TAX ID: 33-0487778 


Magazine Deadlines

Spring: 15 February
Summer: 15 May
Fall: 15 August

Winter: 15 November





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