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Continuing Their Support Into the Future

Captain Steve ’73 and Linda Ingram

Linda and Captain Steve Ingram

Linda and Captain Steve Ingram

The son of an enlisted sailor whose career and eventual commissioning took his family all over the world, Captain Steve Ingram ’73, USN (Ret.), began considering the Naval Academy at a young age. “I knew I was on my own financially when it came to college, so when the Academy accepted me, it was a no-brainer,” he said.

Once in Annapolis, the Academy’s rigorous academic program made a strong impression. “My class was the first required to have a major, and I was Double E (electrical engineering). In my second class year, Dr. Pete Wiggins, Ralph Santoro and some other professors began talking to me about nuclear engineering. That’s how I got to go to grad school at Georgia Tech immediately after graduation.”

Ingram had already set his sights on the submarine community. “Both growing up and on my summer cruises at the Academy, the submarine officers I met were bright, hardworking and didn’t take themselves too seriously,” he said. “That’s who I wanted to be when I grew up.”

Ingram spent 23 years in submarines—two attack, two missile. “I wanted to try the business world while I still had a shot.”

He started out at Perot Systems, an information technology company founded by the late H. Ross Perot ’53 in the 1980s. “The guy who hired me was a ’72 grad,” Ingram said. “That’s the thing about the USNA alumni network. You’re connected.”

It was about that time that Ingram and his wife, Linda, began making regular contributions to the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. “There’s no snappy answer—it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Ingram said. “The Academy has been a significant part of my life, and I’ve made friends for life. We want to help sustain the Academy and improve it.”

Ingram spent the last 10 years of his professional life as a senior vice president of a Silicon Valley-based smart grid company. More recently, as the couple approached retirement, they needed to update their wills.

“There are several things we contribute to annually that we figured why not make sure we continue to support after we’re gone,” he said. They included a bequest to the Naval Academy Foundation and are now recognized as members of the Robert Means Thompson Society. The Ingrams took an additional step and documented their estate gift so it could be counted now, both in Called To Serve, Daring to Lead: the Naval Academy Campaign and in Steve Ingram’s 50th reunion class gift.

While the Ingrams remain most inspired by the Academy’s academic program, they target their support to the unrestricted Naval Academy Fund. “We really like that Academy faculty are still there primarily to teach, not just conduct research and write papers,” he said. “But there are definitely those closer to the front lines at the Academy who are in a better position to judge how to use our support.”

To learn more about ways you, like the Ingrams, can extend your support of the Naval Academy Foundation into the future, contact Patti Bender at 410-295-4187 or plannedgiving@usna.com.

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