Roy Vander Putten is a strong advocate for higher education, a philanthropist, and deeply committed to supporting Coast Guard enlisted personnel. These factors led to Roy creating a fund at the Coast Guard Foundation to help enlisted men and women better themselves through eduction.
Ten years ago, Roy established the Vander Putten Family Enlisted Grants to assist active duty and reserve Coast Guard personnel with grants up to $500 a semester for text books and miscellaneous educational expenses. Since 2001, the fund has provided more than $195,000 for grants to nearly 700 service men and women.
The grants are used for things that Coast Guard tuition assistance and scholarships don't cover, like the cost of expensive textbooks, calculators, or lab fees. Roy was also instrumental in helping establish the new education grant program to benefit spouses of Coast Guard personnel.
"It was extremely important to me to help as many Coast Guard men and women as possible pursue their goal of attending schools of higher education," Roy said. "Not only will their college experience benefit their advancement opportunities while serving, it is imperative for a satisfying and rewarding post-service career."
Roy and his wife, Evon, at the 2010 Salute to the Coast Guard Foundation Awards Dinner in New York City.
Roy enlisted in the Coast Guard at age 17 and served for four years as an Aviation Electronics Technician. He then went on to earn an undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
For several years he was a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Business School and a member of the Chancellors' Advisory Committee. Today he is semi-retired after an exceptionally productive business career. He credits his formative experiences in the Coast Guard for establishing the skills and values that helped greatly to his academic and business accomplishments.
Roy also has a long history of community and civic involvement. He is a former Trustee of the Foundation for Advancement of Catholic Schools, and a former Chairman of the Board of the Talcott Mountain Science Center. He also served as a Trustee of the Hartford Graduate Center of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Roy and his wife, Evon, live in Florida.