Shortly after the death of Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee in the Apollo I January 1967 tragedy a few of Roger’s classmates of Central High School Class (1953) suggested starting a scholarship fund in his memory. One of his classmates was Grand Rapids Attorney Reginald Norris who chaired a formation committee that included Roger’s parents Don & Blanche Chaffee. The founding of the Fund was publicized in the Grand Rapids Press and donations from classmates, local school candy sales and a $1000 check from North American Aviation were some of the first donations. The first Board of Directors was made up of community leaders from all walks of life. The Scholarship Fund had a balance of $9,261 at yearend 1967. The first scholarship of $500 was awarded to Bernie Siebers, an outstanding senior from Central High School in May 1968.
Robert Steelman, President (1998) Linda Burba, Vice–President (1998)
Ted Burba, Vice–President (1998) David W. Pequet, Treasurer (1984) Donald VerMerris, Secretary (2004) Dale A. Young, Historian (2002)
The Honorable Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) 38th U.S. President
Don L. Chaffee (1910-1998) Blanche M. Chaffee (1912-1996) Donna Chaffee Young (1932-2002)
Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, ret. Apollo and Gemini Astronaut Marty Allen; Chairman Emeritus Gerald R. Ford Foundation Col. Jack Lousma, ret. Skylab and Shuttle Astronaut Dr. George J. Woons Retired Superintendent Kent Intermediate School District Douglas Guthrie (1953-2013)
Dr. Jack and Joanne Townsend
Judge Michael R. Smolenski (1944 - 2009) Retired, Michigan Court of Appeals W.D.
“Frank” Frankforter (1920-2014)Director Emeritus, Grand Rapids Public Museum
Lt. Col. Harold Bode (1997-2017) USAF Chaplain, ret.
David DeBruyn (1987) Curator Emeritus Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium Ron Caniff (2015) Kent Intermediate S. D. Superintendent Mike Karpus (2006) Grand Rapids Press Max Gibbs (1972)
Brent Havens (1991) Matthew Pequet (2008)
Dale Robertson (2013) President, Grand Rapids Public Museum
Kenneth Cott (2014) Grand Valley State University
Glen Swanson (2017) Grand Valley State University
Emily Hromi (2017) Planetarium and Theater Manager, Grand Rapids Public Museum