BSA names its National Alumnus of the Year for 2018

Scouting Alumni and Friends has named Joseph Weingarten of Fishers, Ind., its 2018 National Alumnus of the Year.

The award is presented each year to one worthy alumnus who has made significant contributions to our country through his or her career, avocation, community service and service to the BSA’s alumni program.

Weingarten’s accomplishments in Scouting have been exceptional. He’s a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He has volunteered at five National Jamborees and two World Scout Jamborees. And his efforts with Scouting Alumni and Friends (formerly the Scouting Alumni Association) have helped the BSA reconnect more than 50 million living alumni to Scouting.

And his career accomplishments? They’re not too shabby either. He’s an author, an entrepreneur and an internationally renowned aerospace engineer with 11 patents.

Weingarten, who will receive his award this May at the BSA’s annual meeting, joins an impressive list of National Alumnus of the Year Award recipients.

Who has received this award in the past?

The National Alumnus of the Year Award has been presented every year since 2011. Award recipients are:

  • 2011: Jack Coughlinchampion of the BSA’s first nationwide Eagle Scout search.
  • 2012: Glenn Adamshelped identify tens of thousands of lost alumni and started the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award.
  • 2013: David Briscoeserved on numerous committees in a half-century of service to Scouting.
  • 2014: Rick Braggadeeply involved in creating the BSA’s alumni program and author of the alumni program syllabus used at the Philmont Training Center.
  • 2015: Ed Peaseserved as president of Philmont Staff Association, helping membership triple. 
  • 2016: Ray Capp, helped alumni re-engage with Scouting during the celebration of the Order of the Arrow’s 100th anniversary.
  • 2017: Dr. Robert M. Gates, the former Secretary of Defense who served as BSA National President and president of the National Eagle Scout Association.

For a list of regional- and council-level recipients, go here.

Two Regional Alumnus of the Year Awards presented

Western Region: William Larson of Seattle, Wash.

Larson is the president of Larson Financial Group serving the Greater Seattle area. With his skills as a financial advisor, Larson created the Major General Howard S. McGee and Bessie McGee Eagle Scout Scholarship for the Chief Seattle Council. Each year, that scholarship funds two $3,500 scholarships to deserving Eagle Scouts.

Larson is an innovator in Scouting Alumni and Friends. He borrowed the concept of Ted Talks and applied it to Scouting, creating AlTalks (Alumni Talks) for the Western Region. AlTalks provides volunteers help and ideas that further the aims of Scouting. Recently, AlTalks has expanded to the nation, reminding Scouters across America that there are more than 50 million living alumni.

Southern Region: James Lynch of San Antonio, Texas

Col. Lynch is a retired officer and pilot with the United States Air Force. Among his commendations and distinctions, Col. Lynch provided leadership for the $1.6 billion B-1 bomber program.

He places a great deal of emphasis on volunteerism. He not only serves the youth of San Antonio, but youth across the South and the nation. He is currently the Regional Vice President of Scouting Alumni and Friends, where he manages efforts to expand the volunteer base for Scouting and reconnecting the more than 50 million living Scouting alumni to the Scouting program.

How can I nominate someone for an Alumnus of the Year Award?

Scouting Alumni and Friends accepts nominations for the National Alumnus of the Year Award, Regional Alumnus of the Year Award and Council Alumnus of the Year Award each year until Dec. 31.

Learn more in this post.