GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A contingent from the University of North Dakota (UND) Aerospace Foundation will travel to Southern California to donate $25,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s struggling aircraft mechanics school at an event Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
The donation will be used to award scholarships to low-income students preparing for jobs as airframe and power plant mechanics. Recently threatened for closure by budget cuts, the vocational school was saved by a large private donation, strong advocacy campaign and rent relief from Los Angeles World Airports.
“The University of North Dakota is home to one of the nation’s top collegiate flight training programs and we’re honored to show our support for one of the nation’s top aircraft mechanics schools,” said Larry Martin, board chairman for the non-profit UND Aerospace Foundation. “Aircraft maintenance is one of the most important jobs in aviation, and great pilots need skilled aircraft mechanics to protect the safety of both flight crew and passengers.”
Martin will present an oversized $25,000 check to school district officials at the Valley of the Stars Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony honoring leaders in education, business and community service. The aviation-themed event will also honor veteran pilot and UND board member Clay Lacy. The location is Clay Lacy Aviation’s Hangar 3 in Van Nuys. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with a red carpet reception, followed by award presentations.
The John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences (UND Aerospace), located at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, is ranked one of the nation’s top collegiate aviation programs. It offers the most technologically advanced flight training complex and largest aircraft fleet of any public university in the world. The aviation school began in 1968 with just two planes and 12 students. Today, it owns and operates a fleet of over 150 aircraft and flight training devices, and provides pilot training to nearly 1,500 students from 12 different countries amassing more than 120,000 flight hours per year. For more information: Aero.und.edu