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Patrons of Exploration
​We have lost a friend, advisor and pioneer in the world of underwater exploration. Don Walsh passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday November 12th, 2023, he was 92 years young. Having recently returned from a trip through the NW passage, he lived a life filled with adventure and exploration and will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences to his beloved wife Joan and son Kelly. We thank him for his friendship and support and will miss him dearly.

Don Walsh -  went to sea with the Navy a half century ago. Enlisting as an Airman in 1948, he retired as a Captain in 1975. After graduation from Annapolis he served in submarines, including command of USS Bashaw in the late 1960s. Don served fifteen years in submarines with many WWII submariners. His naval service included both Korean and Vietnam wars. 

In addition to submarines, Walsh was designated the Navy’s first deep submersible pilot when he had command of the Bathyscaph Trieste from 1958-1962. In 1960 he and Jacques Piccard piloted Trieste to the deepest place in the world ocean…seven miles down in the Marianas Trench. For the past 40 years he has remained active in the design, construction and operation of deep submersibles. Walsh has also worked at the North and South Poles and has made 30 expeditions to the Arctic and 20 to the Antarctic. From November 2002 to February 2003 he made a 70-day circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent on a Russian icebreaker.  

He has a B.S. from the US Naval Academy; M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M University; and an M.A. in political science from San Diego State University. After Navy retirement 1975, Dr. Walsh became dean of marine programs and professor of ocean engineering at the University of Southern California. Leaving USC after 10 years he started International Maritime Inc. a consulting practice that he still heads. Walsh served for six years as a Director of The Explorers Club, which elected him as an Honorary Life Member and Honorary President. He is a recipient of the Club’s Lowell Thomas Medal and its highest award, The Explorers Medal. He lives on his ranch in Dora Oregon, population 10. 

Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in Business Administration. He participates at both national and state levels in the political arena and he devotes considerable time to professional and civic organizations including the Shipbuilders Council of America and the National Ocean Industries Association. He also served on the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Bring New Orleans Back Commission (both of which were involved in the rebuilding of New Orleans and Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita).

Boysie is also very involved with the United States Coast Guard Foundation, The National World War II Museum, Offshore Marine Services Association, Business Council of New Orleans, The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana; World President’s Organization and Chief Executive Officer's Organization, United Way, and the Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. He has served as a delegate to Louisiana’s Constitutional Convention in 1973 and served on the Louisiana Board of Regents and the University of Louisiana System Board. He is also Chairman of the Nicholls State University Foundation.

Bollinger, a native of Lockport, Louisiana, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette

William (Bill) Keitel - Bill retired from Qualcomm in 2013 as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer responsible for leading the finance, accounting, reporting, tax, treasury, investor relations and information systems organizations. He joined Qualcomm in 1996 serving in senior finance roles until his appointment to Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In each of the 9 years 2004 to 2012, Institutional Investor Magazine named Bill to their list of “America’s Best CFOs” following their annual Wall Street analyst survey. From 1983 to 1996, Bill held senior finance and manufacturing responsibilities with Nortel. Prior to Nortel, Bill was with PepsiCo in financial planning positions. Bill is currently a board member of Turtle Beach Corporation and Pacific Ridge School. Bill has a MBA degree from Arizona State University and a BA degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison. Bill and his wife, Jill McSweeney, live in Rancho Santa Fe and have three daughters. His two uncles are entombed in lost WWII submarines. Donald Charles Sullivan was aboard the USS R12 (SS-89) when she was lost on June 12, 1943 and on the Edward Francis Sullivan, Jr. was aboard the USS GRAYLING (SS-209) which was lost between 9 and 12 September 1943 either in Lingayen Gulf or along the approaches to Manila.