By tradition, the ship sponsor is a female civilian who is invited to “sponsor” a vessel, presumably to bestow good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard. In the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard, the sponsor is technically considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew and is expected to give a part of her personality to the ship, as well as advocate for its continued service and well-being.
Mrs. Robyn Modly
As the wife of a native Clevelander, Robyn Modly has embraced the city as her own. She believes the people of Cleveland are among the kindest, most genuine, and loyal people in the world. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be the sponsor of a ship bearing the name of this great city. In her effort to support the ship’s crew through the years, she knows she will continually represent the sincere, generous and devoted character of the residents of Cleveland and its surrounding areas.
Robyn has met with Navy and Marine families around the world, bringing an attentive eye and ear to identify the unique needs of military families and advocate for solutions as the wife of the 33rd Under Secretary of the Navy. She has raised attention for improved medical care at a remote Romanian location; dialogued with educators about improving child care centers in several Fleet Concentration Areas; studied family transition strategies employed to bring families on and off a base; and has spent hours with grieving Navy families after the loss of their loved ones. Robyn has made connections with Marines and Sailors throughout Europe, Northern Africa and in the United States. She is looking forward to building a strong and consistent bond with the families and crew of the USS Cleveland.
Robyn’s professional experience was primarily in the mental health field. She has broad experience and expertise in counseling people with issues related to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD). She has run multiple adult support groups where she addressed needs related to work and marriage. She has also helped families manage life at home and school, particularly those families with children who had learning challenges. She served on the Board of the Anne Arundel County, Maryland chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults with ADD) and was a certified instructor with CHADD International. For several years, she taught a course on “Parenting ADD Through the Life Span” that focused on understanding the brain and implementing life skills.
Robyn graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, combining courses from the Robins School of Business and the Department of Journalism. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Colorado and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Robyn has certificates in Wine Studies from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, CA. She is the recipient of the Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Robyn and Tom have four children, three grandchildren, and a golden retriever.