Greetings to the friends and family of the Link Foundation:
This summer I found myself telling someone about the remarkable work of Edwin A. Link. During that conversation, I referenced my visit to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute about a decade ago. On the exterior wall of the building were plaques bearing the names and likenesses of whom the Institute termed, “the 12 most important undersea explorers.” Right next to the plaque for Jacques Cousteau was a plaque for Edwin A. Link. I took great pride in seeing this recognition for Ed which acknowledged his creation and development of the first undersea vehicles with which the ocean and its floors are explored.
Equally important, however, are Ed’s contributions to other fields such as simulation, in which his pioneering efforts in creating the Link pilot trainer have compelled many to call him the “Father of Flight Simulation.” Similarly, he helped to advance the field of energy conservation and development.
The Link Foundation is best known for its nationally competitive programs to support cutting-edge research by doctoral students at the nation’s finest universities in the fields to which Ed Link contributed so much. Through the generosity of our founders, Edwin A. and Marion C. Link, the Foundation has been able to sustain, for more than five decades, this excellent effort to expand knowledge in the fields of advanced simulation and training, ocean engineering and instrumentation, and energy conservation and development.
Our program in energy is implemented annually through Dartmouth College; our advanced simulation program through the University of Central Florida; and our ocean engineering program through Florida Institute of Technology. However, from time to time, the Link Foundation transitions its programs to new “homes” and two such moves will occur in 2012 when the simulation program will move to Florida Institute of Technology and the ocean engineering program will move to Florida Atlantic University. These moves are consistent with our long-standing relationships with both of these institutions and with their fine reputations in these important fields. As we announce these developments, we also want to express great appreciation to the University of Central Florida and to Florida Institute of Technology which have effectively administered the simulation program and the ocean engineering program, respectively.
Although the Link Foundation is well known for these doctoral-level programs, which are considered to be its “primary” programs, I also wish to note that the Foundation is active in other areas of philanthropy which contribute to the enhancement of the sciences and which provide opportunities for bright and deserving students to pursue study in scientific fields. I will mention two such examples.
The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida, received its first award from the Link Foundation in 1998 in support of graduate student fellowships in the marine sciences. Annual awards from 1998-2011 have totaled $193,500, and 47 graduate students have been supported. The Link Foundation/Smithsonian Institution graduate fellowships are offered on a competitive basis and are administered through the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Fellowships. Graduate students from many U.S. and international universities have participated in the program.
Another example is our program with Indian River State College (IRSC). The Link Foundation has provided Distinguished Scholar Awards to over 68 highly qualified IRSC graduates, totaling over $204,000, since 1999. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, strong intellectual curiosity, and a desire to expand their knowledge through research.
We are proud of the past achievements of the Link Foundation and the accomplishments of the scholars supported by the Link Foundation. We look forward to a bright future in which the Foundation will continue to further the important interests of its founders, Edwin A. and Marion C. Link, by supporting outstanding students at various levels of their education. To do so, we need the continued financial support of those who share these interests and of those who have benefited in the past through the philanthropy of the Foundation.
We welcome you to the Link Foundation website and encourage you to review it in its entirety to gain a better understanding of the significant work of the Link Foundation and its most recent achievements.
Thomas F. Kelly, Ph.D.
Chair, Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors
Professor of Management and former Dean of the School of Management
Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY)