Frank Ireland Scholarship

Frank Ernest Ireland was born January 1, 1949 and died June 15, 2022 in Houston, TX. He grew up in Libertyville and graduated from FHS in 1967. After graduation, Frank enlisted in the United States Army. He served for two years, rising to the rank of Sergeant and receiving a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War before his honorable discharge in 1970. After returning to civilian life, he attended Indian Hills Community College and Pasadena City College (Pasadena, California). Following college Frank moved to Houston, Texas, becoming a Mission Control Specialist for NASA’s Johnson Space Center. After retiring from NASA in 2005, his interest in computer engineering led him to pursue a career as a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) pilot and technician for Oceaneering International.

During Frank's time as an ROV pilot, he worked on Deepwater Horizon, a British Petroleum (BP) oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. On April 20, 2010, he was on the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded and sank, resulting in the death of 11 people. This tragedy was not only significant in Frank's life, but it received worldwide attention and resulted in the 2016 film Deepwater Horizon.

Growing up in Libertyville, Iowa, Frank enjoyed being outdoors. In his youth, he spent time hunting, trapping, fishing, and playing baseball. Frank developed a special love for motorcycles in high school and would regularly attend national motorcycle races. He also participated in local dirt-track races where his passion for motorcycle racing eventually led him to the first-place finish in the 175 CC Class Midwest Short Track Championship in 1970. Frank also enjoyed documenting his many travels through photography, often sending extraordinary pictures of his experiences to friends and family back in Iowa. In retirement, Frank enjoyed ocean fishing with friends, collecting rare coins, and connecting with family on social media.

Frank greatly valued education; the type obtained in a classroom and the type that comes through life experiences. He never stopped learning and worked hard to ensure that his family had the resources necessary to pursue various postsecondary educational opportunities.

The criteria shall be computer technology/engineering field, or related trade. Special emphasis will be given to applicants who come from a family with a military service background and is based on financial need. It will apply to graduating FHS seniors and only for the Freshman term.