The Henderson Trophy, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, was established in 1960 to honor the creator and managing director of the world-renowned National Air Races from 1928-1939. Clifford Henderson’s work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development, according to NAA officials.
The trophy is awarded to “…a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership, or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.”
Previous recipients include Lieutenant General James Doolittle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Senator Barry Goldwater, The United States Air Force Academy, Tom Poberezny, Martha King, Scott Crossfield, The Ninety-Nines, and the 2021 recipient The Tuskegee Airmen.
The NGPA is the largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) aviation professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. Founded in 1990, it is dedicated to building, supporting, and uniting the LGBTQ aviation community. Through education, social events, and outreach, the association advances aviation safety, fosters equal treatment of the LGBTQ aviation community through advocacy and outreach, and encourages LGBTQ individuals to pursue careers in aviation.
Another way that the NGPA fulfills its mission is by providing scholarships for Private Pilot Certificate training, Airline Transport Pilot certification, college degrees, and advanced technical programs. To date, the NGPA has awarded more than $750,000 in scholarships.
“The Henderson Trophy has gone to so many who have worked to make aviation better, from James Doolittle to Scott Crossfield to Martha King, the Ninety-Nines, and the Tuskegee Airmen,” said NAA President Greg Principato. “So many have advanced not just the technology of flight, but also the idea that aviation’s opportunity should be fully available to all. The work of NGPA over so many years to build, support and unite the LGBTQ aviation community is in that proud tradition. Aviation is best when all can contribute to its advancement, and we are proud to recognize the work of the NGPA with the 2022 NAA Henderson Trophy.”
“To be honored amongst such outstanding individuals and organizations is truly humbling for all of us here at NGPA,” said Brian Gambino, NGPA’s president. “Our organization has been fueled by the selfless work of countless volunteers over NGPA’s 32-year history. This recognition by the NAA is further proof that inclusivity in aviation and aerospace is vital to the continued advancement of our industry.”