WICHITA — For the second year in a row, the Wichita Aero Club awarded its Edward W. Stimpson scholarship to a Kansas State University-Salina student, Elias Peterson of Lindsborg, Kansas.
Peterson follows fellow Wildcat Bert Hutchinson of Wichita, who received the award last year.
Peterson was presented with a giant facsimile of a check for $2,000. He is a junior, working towards a bachelor of science degree in Professional Pilot at K-State Salina. A licensed pilot, he holds an Instrument rating and is working on his Commercial Pilot’s license. He’s also an Eagle Scout and former senior class president at Smoky Valley High School.
“I can’t express how much this scholarship means to me,” he said. “Ever since I stepped into my grandfather’s airplane at the age of 4 I have wanted to fly. This scholarship will help me realize that dream and relieve the pressure of student debt, too. It will also permit me to spend more time working towards my eventual degree and pilot ratings so that someday I can fly for Federal Express, instead of just working as a package handler for them. I work from 4:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. right now.”
The scholarship honors the memory of Ed Stimpson, the late president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and ICAO Ambassador. It is currently awarded annually to a student who seeks to make a significant contribution to the aviation industry upon completion of his or her education.
The scholarship presentation was held at the 19th Hole Reception following the WAC Golf Classic. The check was presented by members of the Wichita Aero Club Board of Directors, including John O’Leary, vice president of engineering for Airbus Americas Engineering and Chairman of the Wichita Aero Club’s Education Committee, and Patrick Tuttle, president of ADR, Inc. and WAC Chairman of the Board.
“It’s no coincidence that a K-State Salina student is again the recipient of this award, “ explained O’Leary. “Their aviation program is among the nation’s best and both Elias and last year’s winner, Bert Hutchinson, are outstanding students and exceptional young men. We’re extremely pleased to present them with the Ed Stimpson scholarship. It was created specifically to stimulate interest in and support of aviation-related curricula at learning institutions and to provide some help in defraying a portion of the recipients’ expense. Our intent is to increase the amount of the awards as we grow the Scholarship Fund through contributions and proceeds from our fund-raising events, including our annual golf tournament and Gala.”
The Wichita Aero Club was established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.
For more information: www.wichitaaeroclub.org.