Thomas Henry Porter Memorial Scholarship
for the promotion of Irish Culture
To recognize Tom Porter’s many contributions, to celebrate our 25th anniversary as an organization, and to support the perpetuation of our shared Irish cultural heritage, the 2005 IAS executive board unanimously decided to establish and award for the first time this scholarship fund in 2005. The current IAS board in any given year will serve as a scholarship committee to make this award annually, preferably with a member of Tom Porter’s family serving in an advisory position on the committee each year.
About: Tom Porter
Tom Porter served as IAST president from 1993 – 2002.
During his tenure, the IAS grew dramatically, largely due to his Irish charm and recruiting skills, and also established strong links with other Celtic organizations in the area. He was instrumental in working with the Mayor’s office to make Bangor, Northern Ireland, a sister city of Virginia Beach. Tom also joined forces with the DC Irish Centre to recognize Irish nationals who fell in U. S. military service with special wreath laying ceremonies at and IAS bus trips to the Viet Nam Wall on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. He was a major presence in the founding of the Multicultural Alliance of VA.
Originally from Derry, Northern Ireland, Tom came to America in 1958 to join the U.S. Navy, which he retired from as a Senior Chief Petty Officer after 30 years of proud service. He and his wife, Monica, raised 2 daughters (Sonia & Michelle) and 5 grandchildren (Sean-Patrick, Quentin, Monica, Kala, & Jacqueline) in Virginia Beach. Tom was a true people person and an enthusiastic promoter of Irish culture. He started many IAS meetings with an Irish song delivered in his lilting tenor, and he was quick with a joke and a smile. For years, he and his beloved Irish wolfhound, Willie, were a frequent sight at events in the Tidewater area.
Please complete the following application, and return it to the Irish American Society of Tidewater. IAST_Porter_Scholarship_Brochure_03-11