Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 41 Issue 11 • July 21-27, 2011
now in our 41th season

Admirable Admirals & Astute Students

When Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin first visited Nantucket in 1826, he had no idea that his legacy would be ceremoniously honored here in July of 2011. The British descendant of Tristram Coffin was visiting relatives when he became interested in helping Nantucket’s youth.  He founded The Coffin School on Broad Street not long after determining that the best aid to offer any young person was excellent education and career preparation.  Almost 200 years later, the Admiral’s conclusion still rings true.

This past July 6, the hard work and educational achievement of Nantucket High School sophomore Jackie Trudel was recognized.  He was awarded the very first Admirals’ Scholarship, a $70,000 award to cover two years’ tuition at the college preparatory, military style Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Through a detailed selection process, Trudel was chosen out of a pool of applicants.  Helping present the scholarship was General Charles Duke, lunar module commander of Apollo 16 and Farragut alumnus whose aspirations literally landed him on the Moon.

Nantucket resident Ed DeSeta may not be a General or Admiral, but he and his son Alex were both exceptional achievers at Farragut.  In fact, they remain the only father and son to attain the highest elected rank, Battalion Commander, during their time at the school.  As you might imagine, both Farragut and Nantucket are places close to the DeSetas’ hearts.  When Ed first learned the story of Admiral Coffin, he was inspired to also put his efforts toward career preparation for Nantucket’s youth.  He knew that Farragut had given him and his son exactly the quality of real-world preparation that Admiral Coffin envisioned for Nantucket’s youth.  With the help of some fellow Farragut alumni, the Admirals’ Scholarship was born.

The Admirals’ vine grows longer still, winding over to the Nantucket shoreline, circa 1870.  Following Admiral Farragut’s death, his remains were being transported via Navy cruiser to New York.  Unfortunately, the ship ran aground off Great Point, and it was necessary to send the Admiral’s casket by road to the port of Nantucket for transport to Hyannis, and finally, to New York. Admiral Farragut didn’t even know he spent time on Nantucket!

The Farragut road didn’t end there, and it doesn’t end today either. The next step in the scholarship program is fundraising.  In order to continue to offer bright futures to the young people of Nantucket, DeSeta and his colleagues are actively engaged in garnering funds, with the ultimate goal of an endowment.  To learn more about the Scholarship and all its possibilities, contact Ed DeSeta at 508-228-8686 or by email:


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