Spouses, dependent children, and grandchildren of blinded veterans are eligible for the annual Kathern F. Gruber Scholarships 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 or child 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 Scholarship Coordinator, at 202-371-8880, Ext. 330 or email



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 downloaded below.
Irving Diener Award Nomination Letter 2017
(Microsoft Word Document)
MAAS Award Nomination Letter 2017
(Microsoft Word Document)
MAAS Award Cover Letter 2017
(Microsoft Word Document)
David L Schnair Nomination Letter 2017
(Microsoft Word Document)