Julius J. Alexander, Jr. has been presented the University Aviation Association’s President’s Award.
Alexander was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. As a young man he attended Tuskegee University and began taking flying lessons between his first and second year of college while working full time to earn money to continue school. He made his first solo flight in a Piper J-3 Cub on Jan. 22, 1956.
After graduation he began teaching in the Atlanta public schools and was selected one of three teachers to teach a new aviation course. With this assignment Alexander became a pioneer in high school aviation education in Atlanta. On Saturdays, he provided flying lessons for his students who sold candy bars to raise money to pay for the rental of a Cessna 150.
Alexander was the first civilian African American flight instructor to train students at Atlanta’s Fulton County Airport (Brown Field). Additionally, he led a team that designed Aviation Career Education (ACE), which is widely in use today throughout the U.S.
The recipient of numerous awards, Alexander was elected to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2010 and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Hall of Fame in 2013. In January 2014, he was presented with the Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Center Pinnacle Award.
He has logged over 11,000 hours and has taught 177 pilots. Sixteen of his former students are now flying with major airlines, including his son.