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Educational Foundation

During his tenure as OpSail's honorary chair, Walter Cronkite once told a fellow reporter that "there's a lot to be learned from the experience at sea." Cronkite was devoted to maritime education and rarely missed an opportunity to interact with young sailors-whether he was charming Eagle cadets on the Baltic Sea or teaching first-timers how to tie an eye splice. Under his chairmanship and oversight, the National Maritime Historical Society, an OpSail 2000 and 2012 partner, launched the Maritime Education Initiative, with a focus on "encouraging exploration of our nation's maritime heritage; supporting firsthand experiences aboard seagoing vessels and with sail training groups; highlighting the important role publications play in preserving maritime heritage; and encouraging the public to visit maritime museums."

In honor of Mr. Cronkite's legacy to maritime education, OpSail has endeavored to establish an educational foundation, currently in its fledgling stage, devoted to fostering maritime history curricula in classrooms around the world; instituting scholarships for middle-to-high-school-aged children intended to provide educational or training experiences related to specific nautical avocations, and forming partnerships with organizations that provide live-aboard experiences and share similar educational goals.