Spouses, dependent children, and grandchildren of blinded veterans are eligible for the annual Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship and Thomas H. Miller Scholarship to assist them with their higher education tuition. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit through an application process that is evaluated by a committee. Gruber and Miller scholarships are for one year only but recipients can re-apply and receive the award up to four times. The blinded veteran family member is not required to be a BVA member for the spouse, child, or grandchild to receive a scholarship. Qualifications for both programs are the same except for an added emphasis on music and fine arts for the Miller award.

The complete application package, including instructions and a press release, can be downloaded below.

Kathern F. Gruber and Thomas H. Miller scholarship application for the academic year 2019-20 is now available. All submissions are due by Friday, April 19, 2019. The Scholarship Committee usually meets to make decisions in early June. For additional assistance or information, please contact the Scholarship Coordinator HERE.


BVA presents several awards during our National Convention in August. These awards include:

The Irving Diener Award, which is presented to the veteran who contributes in an outstanding way to the BVA as an organization rather than for personal achievement in rehabilitation and in the field of employment.

The Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award, awarded annually to the veteran with service-connected blindness who has proven himself/herself outstanding in his/her field of employment and in his/her adjustment to daily living.

The David L. Schnair Award, honoring and recognizing outstanding contributions of volunteers. The award may be given to a BVA volunteer office, a member, or an Auxiliary member, working in a BVA Volunteer Office who has provided at least one year of consistent and outstanding service as a BVA volunteer.

Complete descriptions of each award, lists of past honorees, and instructions on how to nominate someone can be found on the respective pages of each award. Nominations are generally due in mid-April of each year. The complete award application package, including instructions and nomination forms, can be viewed below.

Veterans Awards List

  • The 2017 Maas Award winner was Kennan “Ken” Horn of the Oklahoma Regional group
  • The 2017 Irving Diener Award went to Leonard Pope of the New Jersey Regional group
  • The Schnair Award went to Dennis O’ Connell, New York Regional group. 
  • 2014 Irving Diener Award- Charles Register, Santa Ana, CA
  • 2014 Schnair Award-Charles Davis, Houston, TX
  • 2015 Irving Diener Award-Ruth Klein, Sandy, UT
  • 2015 Schnair Award-Ronald White, Laurelton, NY
  • 2016 Irving Deiner Award-Ruben Sanchez-Burgos, Vega Alta, PR
  • 2016 Schnair Award- Betty Charlesworth, Tulsa, OK
  • John Linder from Honolulu, Hawaii received BVA’s highest honor for 2018, the Melvin J. Maas Award for Professional Achievement.
  • The Irving Diener Award, which recognizes individual contribution to a BVA regional group or the national organization, went to  Floyd Everett of the Georgia Regional Group. The Irving Diener Award is the second most prestigious award which BVA presents. The award seeks to honor those who have made an outstanding commitment to their BVA regional group and the organization as a whole rather than for his/her personal achievement in rehabilitation or employment. 
  • Anthony Ricci, from N. Provident, Rhode Island, received the David L. Schair Award for outstanding services as a BVA volunteer.