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Arthur Godfrey scholarships recognize aviators, communicatorsArthur Godfrey scholarships recognize aviators, communicators

The winner of an aviation scholarship founded to honor radio and television broadcaster and pilot Arthur M. Godfrey will be awarded $5,000 during the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, April 10 through 15, said Joseph Gleason, executive director of the Arthur M. Godfrey Aviation Foundation.

McKinney High School students learn about aviation concepts during class in a hangar at McKinney National Airport in McKinney, Texas, Nov. 8. Photo by David Tulis.

The scholarship is aimed at young people seeking a career involving any type of relationship with general aviation, added Gleason. It will be presented in the name of Eastern Air Lines captain Ron Correard, who died in 2016.

Godfrey learned his initial broadcasting skills during a stint with the U.S. Navy as a radio operator and honed them further when he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a popular on-air radio and television personality from the 1930s to the 1970s because of his folksy style. He died in 1982.

In a nod to the longtime CBS TV fixture, applicants must make a meaningful video that “shares the message of general aviation” and captures the hearts and minds of students ages 10 to 18, Gleason told AOPA.

The award is open to a variety of aviation pursuits, said Gleason. “They can be a flight school student, or a private pilot looking for a higher rating, be interested in air traffic control, or pursue an aviation maintenance career. But, keep in mind, the video should be geared toward young people so we can put it into school systems and talk about how students can enter aviation” themselves.

The Godfrey foundation is entering its third year, noted Gleason. It secured funding for two consecutive scholarships from members of Correard’s family and friends—which include a tight-knit group of former Eastern employees living in aviation-rich south Florida.

The tie-in to Godfrey and Eastern began when a 12-year-old Correard saw the larger-than-life personality sharing a Lockheed Constellation cockpit with notable aviator Eddie Rickenbacker. The World War I ace was the air carrier’s president and general manager, and a strong voice for aviation during its Golden Years. That moment cemented a desire for Correard to pursue aviation, and Eastern played a dominant role in Correard’s life until the airline disbanded in 1991, Gleason said.

Correard was aware of the financial challenge facing flight students, Gleason explained. When Correard learned to fly, the young aviator struggled to pay for training. At one point he flew lobsters “from Boston to New York and various other places so he could raise funds for his continued flight training,” said Gleason.

Correard logged 28 years with the Miami-based airline and another 12 as a flight inspector with the FAA. When he died, the Correard family requested donations to the Arthur M. Godfrey Foundation in lieu of flowers.

AOPA’s You Can Fly initiatives also recognize the importance of building the pilot community through programs that include scholarships, high school learning curriculum, flying clubs, Rusty Pilots seminars, and other pilot-support mechanisms. AOPA opened a variety of 2018 flight training scholarships Feb. 1, and applications are being accepted through May 2.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Financial, Scholarship

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