Nakagawa Scholarship

Scholarship Amount:

  •  Two  $10,000 scholarships are awarded annually to qualified graduating seniors attending Marina High School.

Due Date:

  • Friday, April 26, 2024.


This scholarship program is named for career naval officer Captain Gordon Ross Nakagawa, USN (ret), who is the recipient of two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, two Meritorious Service Medals, a Distinguished Marksman (Rifle) Medal, a Distinguished Pistol Medal, a POW Medal, and a variety of other awards. He also served on the board of Monterey Peninsula Unified School District for more than eight years. The scholarship honors Captain Nakagawa’s dedication to his country and community.

The Captain Gordon R. Nakagawa Scholarship is funded by TMF’s annual wreath drive, organized in collaboration with Wreaths Across America, during November and December.

Donations may be made directly to The Marina Foundation.
Please specify the Captain Gordon R. Nakagawa Scholarship.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:

  1. Students must have a minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) to apply.
  2. Students must be a graduating senior attending Marina High School.
  3. A completed application.
  4. A current transcript.
  5. A letter of recommendation from a Marina High School faculty or staff member.
  6. A type-written response (500 word minimum–600 word maximum) about either one of the following topics:
    • “How I Demonstrate Patriotism to the United States of America”
    • “How I Serve My Community”

 Each scholarship is granted based on verification of school enrollment, and gives higher preference to those students with exceptional community service.

The common application can be found HERE.

Applications are due by Friday, April 26, 2024.

Past Recipients

Tesha Nowak 2021

About Gordon R. Nakagawa, USN (Retired)

Captain Gordon Ross Nakagawa, USN (ret), was a career naval officer.  He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and the Naval Postgraduate School with an Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, where he also returned to teach in Operations Research. 

Captain Nakagawa’s distinguished career as a naval officer included flying 185 combat missions during four combat deployments to Vietnam.  In December 1972, his aircraft was struck by enemy fire, resulting in him being detained as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.  He later became Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu. He coordinated all major design competitions for Naval Aviation at Naval Air Systems Command, and in his final active duty assignment, was Chair for Tactical Analysis at Naval Postgraduate School Monterey.

During his service, Captain Nakagawa was awarded two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, two Meritorious Service Medals, Distinguished Marksman (Rifle) Medal, Distinguished Pistol Medal, POW Medal and various other campaign, service and individual awards.

He was elected to the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board serving 8 1/2 years, and is a Board member Emeritus of Leadership Monterey Peninsula.  He was granted a Leadership Recognition Award from the California Association of Leadership Programs.  He is a 2000 California State University Monterey Bay Distinguished Fellow, a 2004 Monterey County Veteran of the Year, and 2006 Marina Citizen of the Year.

Through all his endeavors, he always strived for greater understanding and excellence.  Two $10,000 scholarships are awarded with regard to his dedication to his country, community and higher education.  The Marina Foundation takes great pride in awarding the Gordon R. Nakagawa Scholarships.