Naval Academy Pioneer to Speak to the Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills

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Date Published:  November 12, 2014

Sharon Disher, one of the first women to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, will be the keynote speaker on Nov. 20 at a fundraising event for the Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills.

Disher, author of “First Class,” helped bring an end to a 131-year all-male tradition at Annapolis when she entered the academy in 1976 with 80 other women.

Her presentations and writings provide both an entertaining and shocking account of the four-year effort by those women to join the academy’s elite fraternity and their journey to becoming commissioned naval officers.

“It is an honor to have Sharon Disher come to our club to speak to the public on this topic,” said Caroline Eddy, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. “With Nov. 11 being Veteran’s Day, it is going to be a wonderful opportunity for us to honor the members of our military with such an outstanding speaker and celebration.”

The fundraiser will begin at 6 p.m. at the Southern Pines Recreation Center and includes dinner. There will a donation request at the end of dinner.

Disher will speak about the challenges of integrating women into the military. From the tough times of plebe summer to the triumph of graduation, she will talk about how women searched for ways to survive the mental and physical hurdles they had to overcome.

Unflinchingly frank, Disher will freely discuss the prejudice and abuse women encountered that often went unpunished or unreported. A loyal Navy supporter, nevertheless, Disher will provide a balanced account of life behind the academy’ storied walls for that first group of teenaged women who charted the way for future female midshipmen.

Disher, who owns Annapolis Redesigns, is also founder and director of Y.E.S. – Young Engineers and Scientists of Maryland, an after school engineering and science program for underserved elementary school children in Annapolis, Md.She is married to Tim Disher, a retired naval submariner.

Their three children are all graduates of the Naval Academy, making the Dishers the first family whose members all attended the Naval Academy.

For reservations and additional details about the fundraiser, contact the Boys & Girls Club at (910) 692-0777.  NOTE:  You may make a single reservation or reserve a table for 8 people.