2000 - present
2019 AOPA's YOU CAN FLY PROGRAM
For fostering an appreciation of general
aviation flying by working to make it more accessible and affordable to all.”
More about YOU CAN FLY
2018 DONALD THOMAS
For his lifelong dedication to aerospace excellence, outreach, and education, as well as his passionate efforts in exciting
and inspiring our next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers by sharing his spaceflight adventures and knowledge.
More about Mr. Thomas
2017 PROFESSOR JOHN ANDERSON, JR.
For his sustained international leadership in aerospace engineering education demonstrated by his authorship of an array of
widely-read undergraduate and graduate textbooks with clear, engaging, and superior technical content and historical context.
More about Prof. Anderson
2016 SHIRLEY MCCALL
For dedicating 42 years to educating, leading, and inspiring students to pursue careers in aerospace through the formation
of the TransSTEM Academy.
More about Ms. McCall
2015 (No Award Was Given)
AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (AIA) AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ROCKETRY (NAR)
For advancing aerospace-oriented science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through their joint creation,
sponsorship, and dedicated sustainment of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).
More about TARC
For significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.
More about Mr. Irving
JOHN AND MARTHA KING
For their passion and dedication in making aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots worldwide by combining elegant technology
with clear, fun teaching featuring courseware that simplifies complex concepts for students.
More about Mr. and Mrs. King
THE ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS
For exemplary accomplishment and collaborative work with numerous aerospace organizations to assist students, teachers and
community leaders in understanding the science, skill and beauty of flight.
2010 (No Award Was Given)
DR. PEGGY CHABRIAN
A longtime aviation enthusiast and educator, Dr. Chabrian's passionate promotion of aerospace education and careers, nationally
and internationally, has touched the lives of thousands of young men and women. Many lives have been changed and careers have
been built from the scholarships, mentoring, and fellowship she has made possible through Women in Aviation, International.
Her determination and enthusiasm serve as a role model to all who have chosen aviation as a career.
The award was presented by Lindsey Brewer, University of Wyoming, for Mr. Jonathan Gaffney, NAA President, at the 22nd Annual
International Women in Aviation Conference, February 24-26, 2011, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada.
2008 UNIVERSITY AVIATION ASSOCIATION
For serving as the voice of collegiate aviation for 60 years in support of professional development, scholarship, industry
collaboration and promotion of aviation and aerospace careers.
2007 (No Award Was Given)
2006 MARY FEIK (b. 1924)
In recognition of over 65 years of personal and professional dedication to aviation education as a teacher, mentor, innovator,
pilot, engineer and leader to America’s youth.
Bio of Ms. Fiek
, courtesy Minter Field Air Museum.
2005 DOCENTS OF NASM (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
For 30 years of leadership and dedicated service in support of the educational programming and outreach of the world’s
most visited museum.
2004 DEBORAH GALLOWAY
For substantially enhancing and expanding aerospace education by developing government and NASA-sponsored programs, enthusiastically
supporting other organizations’ educational programs, inspiring countless numbers of the nation’s teachers and
2003 PHILLIP S. WOODRUFF
For exceptional service and dedication in the promotion of aerospace education on a national and international basis, and
for building coalitions and programs that support educational objectives.
2002 CIVIL AIR PATROL
For over 61 years of volunteer service during which the Civil Air Patrol inspired America’s youth to explore the wonders
of aviation and space flight and promoted aerospace education excellence in the United States.
2001 THE NINETY-NINES, INC.
For significant contributions of enduring value in the field of aviation and space education in the United States.
2000 NASA SPACELINK TEAM
In recognition of NASA's Spacelink Team's contributions to the educational community for over a decade of service of providing
electronic access to NASA aeronautics and space-related information and educational materials.
1999 RUSSELL W. WATSON
In recognition of 35 years of contributions made to the advancement of aviation education as a developer and leader of innovative
programs for national organizations, and as an unselfish mentor to teachers, students and numerous others by providing ideas
and encouragement for their success.
1998 GORDON B. HOFF
For his national leadership and tireless efforts towards the advancement of aviation education for children of all ages.
1997 DR. FRANK G. MITCHELL
For lifetime service to aviation education as an aviation industry representative, educator, volunteer, and friend to teachers,
students, and numerous individual whose lives have been touched by the strength and belief that he has in making a difference
in our children’s futures.
1996 JACK K. BARKER
For more than 30 years of service and dedication to aerospace education so that the next generation of Americans will know
and appreciate the economic and social importance of aviation to the nation. His continuing, life long dedication to aviation
and space education has pioneered the development of aerospace education. His efforts have received national recognition and
impacted millions of school children nationwide.
1995 DR. THOMAS J. CONNOLLY
For 32 years of continuous outstanding classroom teaching, significant national leadership, and unique accomplishments in
aviation education at all levels. As Professor, Chair, and Dean of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University he has
played a key role in the development of the largest Professional Pilot College Degree program in the world
1994 RAYMOND J. JOHNSON
For nearly a half-century of leadership and innovation in aviation and aerospace education at all levels, kindergarten through
university. His pioneering leadership has been demonstrated at the local community level, as well as state, regional, national
and international levels. His work involved stimulating volunteers in Civil Air Patrol's programs as well as educators at
all grade levels and curricular areas. He is also recognized as an author and editor
1993 GARY W. KITELEY
For outstanding contributions of enduring value in the field of aviation and aerospace education in the United States and
internationally. Among many notable achievements, Mr. Kiteley has enhanced the quality of aviation education through the development
of airway science curriculum and the creation of the Council on Aviation Accreditation.
1992 DR. WALLACE R. MAPLES
For outstanding contributions of enduring value in the field of aviation and aerospace education in the United States and
internationally. Dr. Maples has provided leadership in aerospace education for teachers, managers, administrators, pilots,
and aviation maintenance personnel. His aviation education programs have served as models for many other colleges and universities
in the United States and overseas
1991 KENNETH L. TALLMAN
For over 40 years of creative leadership, personal accomplishments and professional contributions to aviation and space education.
As Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, as President of the Spartan School of Aeronautics and as President of Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University, he has been instrumental in developing and delivering aviation and space education to thousands of
today's aviation professionals.
1990 LOCKHART J. SMITH JR.
For his lifetime contribution of motivating, inspiring, and teaching aerospace sciences, aircraft design, construction, and
maintenance to two generations of students at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. He epitomizes the very best
of the many thousands of dedicated aerospace educators and leaders who motivate our young men and women to take up careers
in aviation. Without the dedication of educators like Lockhart Smith, the United States could not have achieved its position
of worldwide leadership in aviation and space.
1989 (No Award Was Given)
1988 DR. CURTIS M. GRAVES
For his many years of outstanding aviation/space educational leadership in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) education and governmental affairs programs. His efforts resulted in inspiring millions of young people and thousands
of educators and public officials.
Bio: Dr. Graves is Special Assistant for Governmental Affairs at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Former member of the
Texas House of Representatives and has held several management positions with NASA. BA from Texas Southern University and
was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Princeton University. Author of two books for elementary students called Famous Black Americans.
He is an honorary board member of Shades of Blue whose mission is helping students prepare for careers in aviation and aerospace.
1987 DR. JOHN D. ODEGARD (b. 1941, d. 1998)
For his distinguished and inspiring leadership in creating new educational opportunities for future aerospace professionals.
Moreover he has contributed immensely to the aviation training and motivation of young people and strengthening of the nation's
air transportation system
Bio of Mr. Odegard
, courtesy of University of North Dakota.
1986 DR. PAUL A. WHELAN
For his outstanding contributions and enduring commitment to aviation and space education in both the military and civilian
1985 CHARLES ALFRED (CHIEF) ANDERSON
For nearly six decades of aerospace education leadership; attracting, motivating and educating the youth of the nation; and
exemplifying the very spirit and purpose of the Frank G. Brewer Trophy.
1984 MARY JO KNOUFF
For outstanding contributions to the growth and development of aerospace education, across the entire spectrum, from the grass
roots to high government and industry levels.
1983 SENATOR BARRY M. GOLDWATER
For a lifetime of devotion, participation and extraordinary support of all elements involved in aerospace activities and education.
He has had a profound individual as well as professional impact on aerospace education during his many years as a pilot and
a United States Senator.
1982 JOHN V. SORENSON
For his ability to combine superior qualities as organizer, administrator, educator and orator, together with his practical
wartime experience as a fighter pilot has enabled him to accomplish outstanding improvements in many aeronautical organizations,
including the Civil Air Patrol, the National Congress on Aerospace Education and the World Aerospace Education Organization.
His devotion to constantly learning more about aeronautics and sharing his knowledge with others, nationally and internationally,
has provided outstanding improvements in aerospace education.
1981 EDWARD W. STIMPSON
For over a decade of outstanding leadership in aviation education. He has personally been involved in instigating and promoting
programs for teachers, students, pilots and the general public. His efforts have been felt in high schools, colleges, flight
schools and aviation safety seminars, and have involved motion pictures, slide presentations, radio, television and national
1980 FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DR. JEROME P. KEUPER, President and Founder, Florida Institute of
For outstanding contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States. Florida Institute of Technology
is unique as it is the only university in the United States offering both aviation and space science programs and is the only
independent technological university in the United States.
1979 PAUL H. POBEREZNY
For outstanding promotion of aviation education for the young for over a quarter of a century; for the motivational impact
his aviation programs have had on thousands of young Americans; for his initiating "Project Schoolflight," the program of
building an aircraft in the schools; for inspiring air minded youth to work with hand and mind toward a common goal, the completion
of an airplane
1978 MICHAEL COLLINS, Under Secretary of The Smithsonian Institution and the team of people he assembled
while serving as Director of The National Air And Space Museum
He was elected for having put into place a vibrant and exciting education apparatus available to every citizen reminding Americans
of their proud heritage of aviation and space accomplishments, and inspiring young people to help contribute new advancements
in aeronautics and astronautics.
1977 THE HONORABLE DON H. CLAUSEN
For outstanding leadership and performance in a number of activities in furthering aviation and space education, including
chairmanship of the California Task Force on Aerospace Aviation Education. He also authored federal legislation establishing
a civil aviation information distribution program designed to provide state and local school administrators and college university
officials with information materials and expertise on various aspects of civil aviation.
1976 DR. J. WESLEY CRUM
For his dedication, enthusiasm and contributions to aviation and space education over the past 20 years, and specifically
for his sensitive responses and creative leadership which has become a standard for all to respect and emulate.
1975 DR. LESLIE L. THOMASON
For his dedication in the development of creative and imaginative aviation education programs in government, industry and
the academic community which have impacted and enlightened millions of people throughout the world about air transportation.
1974 DR. WAYNE R. MATSON
For his outstanding contributions to the field of aerospace education over the years serving as educator, author, lecturer,
pilot and consultant; working for the educational community as well as government and industry in the furtherance of aerospace
education; and most recently for creating, launching and serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Directory and The Journal of Aerospace
1973 DR. FREDERICK B. TUTTLE
For three decades of outstanding contributions to air age education and training in the Civil Aeronautics Administration,
the field of higher education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and through the National Aerospace Education
Association. Hundreds of thousands of elementary and secondary school pupils and teachers have benefited from his innovative
leadership in aviation and space education.
1972 DR. WAYNE O. REED
As one of the nation's foremost exponents in aerospace education on both the state and national level, he has been instrumental
in introducing millions of young people into an understanding of the air age.
1971 PROFESSOR HAROLD S. WOOD
For his unselfish dedication to the cause of youth aviation and education as a teacher at Parks College for nearly a quarter
of a century and, specifically, for his leadership and exemplary efforts in founding and nurturing the National Intercollegiate
Flying Association and Alpha Eta Rho.
1970 DR. WALTER ZAHAREVITZ
For his unflagging endeavors in developing and introducing aviation and space concepts to the youth of the nation. His demonstrated
ability in managing the National Aerospace Education Council, his writing and creative abilities and his continuing contributions
to education throughout his distinguished career as an aerospace education leader.
1969 James H. Straubel
For outstanding contributions to the growth and development of aerospace education in the United States and abroad--as a stimulant,
catalyst and innovator--during more than two decades, both as Executive Director of the Air Force Association and of the Aerospace
1968 Joseph T. Geuting, Jr.
For more than 20 years of dedicated involvement in numerous national aerospace education programs, and particularly for his
influential and innovative leadership in General Aviation through encouraging industry's active participation in aerospace
education to enrich the school curricula and give to the youth of our nation a deeper understanding of the meaning of flight
and its impact upon their lives.
1967 Dr. Roland H. Spaulding
For forty years of continuous, outstanding, and pioneering contributions in aerospace education to the youth of the nation,
as a classroom teacher and as an educational administrator; for his dynamic and inspiring teaching of thousands of students
and teachers; for his efforts in organizing and directing aerospace education workshops for teachers; for his active participation
and unstinted service as a member and as an officer of numerous aerospace organizations and committees, many of which he is
a charter member; and for his leadership and perseverance, resulting in significant achievements in fostering the inclusion
of aviation and space concepts in educational systems throughout the nation.
1966 Dr. Mervin K. Strickler, Jr.
For his continuous and enthusiastic contributions to the education of youth as to the place of aviation in their lives today
and its promises and challenges for tomorrow; for his energetic, imaginative and innovative programs as Special Assistant
for Aviation Education, Office of General Aviation Affairs of the Federal Aviation Agency, which have brought the educational
community in closer contact with aviation; for the inspiration and encouragement he has given to thousands of teachers and
students; for his past leadership of the national program of aviation education of the Civil Air Patrol; and for his long
years of service as a charter member and officer of the National Aerospace Education Council.
1965 Mrs. Jane N. Marshall
For her contributions to enlarged aerospace horizons for those who teach our nation's youth. Through her creative writing
in educator-oriented aerospace publications, her development of timely bibliographies and teaching aids, and her leadership
in the organization and administration of aerospace education work shops for teachers, she has contributed significantly to
fuller understanding of the impact of flight upon all Americans.
1964 Gill Robb Wilson
For his writing, his speaking and his devoted public service, which has brought the message of aerospace to the minds and
hearts of the American young people. He has translated the knowledge and skills of the flyer into the language that is both
meaningful and inspirational to the millions of young people who have heard him speak and read his prose and poetry. His entire
career has been one of education, in the fullest and finest sense.
1963 Marilyn Link
For her distinguished and outstanding meritorious service to the Air Youth of America in aerospace education, and for her
work towards the stimulation, guidance, encouragement and inspiration of young minds to make some truly great accomplishments
in aviation and aviation safety. Her personal participation in programs for the Link Foundation and aerospace education have
encompassed 18 colleges and universities from Massachusetts to the State of Washington, and from Michigan to Texas. The programs
have embraced fellowships, scholarships, workshops, seminars and conferences.
As of Feb. 2010 Ms. Link is Trustee and Director Emeritus - Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Special Advisor - Florida
Institute of Technology and resides in Vero Beach, Fla.
View presentation photo from 6/27/1964. Location: Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC.
The Link Foundation
1962 Dr. Merlyn Mclaughlin
For distinguished and unselfish service to aviation education over a period of years as a writer and lecturer, a pioneer aviation
teacher and administrator, a Civil Air Patrol leader, and an officer of the United States Air Force.
1961 James V. Bernardo
For developing a plan of national space mobile demonstration units to supplement high school science programs; personally
organizing and teaching 32 aviation education workshops in 21 United States colleges prior to joining NASA; and authoring
the book “Aviation in the Modern World," which covered both aviation and space exploration.
1960 George N. Gardner, Pan American World Airways, Inc.
As Education Director of Pan American Airways, for his singular contribution to aviation education through the publication
of materials tailored specifically to classroom use, through educational travel, and through the development and administration
of an original and highly educational model aviation event.
1959 Dr. Paul E. Garber, Head Curator and Historian, National Air Museum
For 38 years of outstanding service to youth and their education in aviation by planning, providing, and displaying education
exhibits in the National Air Museum.
1958 Dr. Evan Evans
For outstanding service to aviation education as the Executive Director of the National Aerospace Education Council, and as
a teacher and school administrator with a national reputation in aviation education.
1957 Edwin A. Link (1904-1981)
Whose inventive genius has resulted in the development of simulators and other devices which directly contributed to the education
of hundreds of thousands of aviators and whose unselfish dedication to aviation education resulted in his establishing and
liberally endowing the Link Foundation which will provide, for years to come, financial support for students and research
in the field of aviation education and training.
View presentation photo from 12/15/1957.
View trophy photo from the 1960s.
1956 Ray O. Mertes
For distinguished and unselfish service to the youth of America through his leadership in the field of aviation as a school
administrator, lecturer, author and director of the School and College Services of United Airlines.
1955 Willis C. Brown
For services rendered in seeking, through group action, to interest more youths in some phase of aviation through classroom
and experience-type programs.
1954 Dr. John H. Furbay, Director, Air World Education, Trans World Airlines
For his outstanding contribution to the development of air youth in the field of education and training through his effective
and inspirational series of talks to teachers about the responsibilities of citizenship in the air age.
1953 Dr. Leslie A. Bryan, Director, Institute of Aviation, University of Illinois
Dr. Bryan, author of numerous books and articles on many aviation subjects, specifically developed a program for students
and the faculty of the University of Illinois, which has supervised the training of over 7,000 without a single injury.
1952 Civil Air Patrol
In recognition of the thousands of volunteer Civil Air Patrol members who have unselfishly devoted their time and effort in
the development of the CAP Cadet and Teaching Training Program.
1951 Dr. Harold E. Mehrens, Supervisor of the Aviation Education Program, Civil Aeronautics Administration
Dr. Mehrens conducted ground school courses of the CAA's Civil Pilot Training Program and prepared instructional material
in navigation and meteorology, and qualified for all seven of the ground school ratings. He served with CAA's foreign national
program, authored numerous magazine articles and books including "Adventures in Aviation Education."
1950 Senior Lt. John H. Burton, USN
For inspiring and effective leadership in planning and carrying out the 1950 air youth education and model airplane programs
of the U.S. Navy.
1949 Mrs. Elsie W. Adams, Supervisory Teacher, Denver Public Schools
For her practical and effective application of aviation to the processes of education. Her efforts made the Denver school
system one of the most advanced in the nation in aviation education work. She wrote numerous articles and outlines for instruction
on aviation education for leading education journals.
1948 Philip S. Hopkins, President, Board Of Education, Binghampton, New York
For almost a dozen Air Age Education activities. He created and promoted the idea of an Air Age Center in each school to contain
visual aids, wall charts, pictures, maps, magazines, etc., which could be used by teachers. Mr. Hopkins traveled to over 13,000
teachers on aviation subjects. His trainer, similar to a small plane, led to the development of the "School Link" now used
in many schools throughout the nation.
1947 Dr. Nickolaus L. Englehardt, Jr., Air Age Education Research
For his active participation in the field of Air Age Education in building up valuable aviation teaching aids, plus his 1947
teaching development, "Flying Classrooms."
1946 Dr. Frank E. Sorenson, Associate Professor of Education, University Of Nebraska
Dr. Sorenson's work was recognized in determining just what knowledge teachers must have to effectively instruct pupils for
air-minded youth. He prepared such books as, "Elements of Pre-Flight Aeronautics" and "Now We Fly." He was frequently a consultant
to NAA on aviation matters.
1945 Dr. Huber W. Hurt, Director Of Development And Research, Boy Scouts Of America
For his outstanding contribution to the education of American youth, through his work in the Air Scouting movement. He organized
a system of incentive awards for the study of aviation by members of the Boy Scouts. He authored the Scout Hand book, "The
Yearbook of Aviation for Young Men."
1944 Dr. Edgar Fuller, Assistant Director, Aviation Education Program of the Civil Aeronautics Administration
For the outstanding contribution of Air Youth, in his work as Assistant Director of Aviation Education, Civil Aeronautics
Administration. Dr. Fuller worked in each of the 48 states for organization of various phases of aviation education in elementary
and secondary schools, as well as colleges.
1943 Civil Aeronautics Administration
For the Civilian Pilot Training Program, making it possible for 250,000 youths, 15 to 18 years of age, to exploit their interest
in aviation, by availing themselves of aviation education on a nation wide basis in high schools.