Scholarship Sponsors

Thank you to our Sponsors


As part of our commitment to considerably strengthen our scholarship program through additional funding, the Airmen's Association has been partnering with other community and industry actors to co-fund even more scholarships for Alaska's aviation students.

If you would like to honor the name of an individual or have your business recognized while supporting the aspirations of young aviation enthusiasts, the Alaska Airmen's Association will match your donation up to $1,250 .

For more information, please email



Our members are proud to support the growth of aviation as an industry and lifestyle. We partner with aviation legends to award multiple scholarships each year, designed with the next generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts in mind.

Alaskans have spoken up, and our community clearly places immense value on local aviation. This upcoming generation of aviation professionals and enthusiasts is eager to establish a foothold in the industry, and funds are flowing in from all corners of the state to support them.


These scholarships recur year after year thanks to incredibly generous donations from their benefactors.




Christian was a successful, young flight instructor who always looked to share his passion for aviation in Alaska's community. Christian was a natural teacher with a constant focus on 'safety first". Christian passed away in 2016, at age 20, when the aircraft he was a passenger in was brought down by a bird strike. Christian's dream to become a professional pilot will live on through the Alaska Airmen's Association's $5000 scholarship in his honor, aiding fellow Alaska residents in pursuing their piloting careers.
 In the spirit of Christian and to support the future of Alaska aviation, an anonymous donor has provided another $2500 towards this scholarship, allowing it to be a $5000 award.

This scholarship now awards the winning applicant $5000 towards their professional piloting studies!

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For would-be pilots looking towards aviation as a life goal and not necessarily a career, the Alaska Airmen partner with Joe Stancil Jr. to award a $3,000 private pilot scholarship. This scholarship is open to all Alaska residents who are in pursuit of their private pilot license and are planning to fly in Alaska.  This includes building hours in the cockpit toward their private pilot license. Proof of ground school participation via letter from instructor or course transcripts and CFI letters of recommendation will be required.

This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a Private Pilot Certificate


Bob Reeve Management Aviaition Scholarship


The original “Glacier Pilot”, Bob Reeve is an undisputed legend in Alaska for the creation and management of his Airline, Reeve Aleutian Airways. A company that served wild Alaskan villages and remote islands for over 70 years. He knew better than anyone the skill, patience and effort required to manage pilots. The Alaska Airmen award $3,000 every year in his honor to an individual seeking a career in Aviation Management, Dispatch or ATC.

This scholarship awards an applicant $3000 toward a career in aviation management (to include areas of operations, safety, & education), dispatch, or a career in the ATC field.




Major Bill J. Head (Ret.) flew both fixed wing and rotary wing during his twenty year career in the U.S. Army. After his retirement from the Army he continued his flying for both fun and, on and off, as a commercial pilot. He passed on a great love of aviation to his two sons, both of whom have pilot certificates. Bill was continually on a quest for knowledge in whatever field caught his fancy at the time, and it is in this vein that his family wishes to help someone follow their quest to fly, whether for fun or for occupation (or maybe both).

 "The person with the most gold when they die isn't the winner, it is the person with the most stories."

This scholarship was funded by Beluga Air and, with Alaska Airmen Association matching funds, will award an applicant $2,500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.

F. Atlee



Atlee Dodge is a well know name to every Alaskan Aviator. His knowledge of the inner workings of Alaskan Bush planes is unsurpassed and his improvements for all things Super Cub are felt and appreciated to this day. The Alaska Airmen are proud to continue on his journey of airplane advancements by providing $2,500 for a student looking toward Aircraft Maintenance as a career.

This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional career in aircraft maintenance.

John P.



To his friends at the Alaska Airmen’s Association John Culhane was known simply as “Jack”. We are honored to be awarding $2,500 dollars to a deserving aviator, in the memory of one of our own.  Jack contributed much of his time to the industry of aviation in Alaska, through his position as Director for the Alaska Airmen Association.  We are proud to carry on his legacy, by helping the Professional Piloting industry grow stronger every year with a scholarship for a career seeking pilot.

This scholarship awards an applicant $2500 toward the pursuit of a professional piloting career.

Bob Ellis



A war hero and pioneer aviator, Bob Ellis’s passion for aviation was equaled only by his commitment to Southeast Alaska. From making history in amphibious airplanes, to creating an airline that ultimately became what we know as Alaska Airlines, to becoming Ketchikan’s town mayor and two term Territorial Legislature Senator.  Bob’s enthusiasm for aviation in the Southeast is carried on by the Alaska Airmen by awarding a $500.00 scholarship to a Southeastern Alaska Resident.

This $500.00 scholarship is open to residents of Southeast Alaska who intend to pursue a career in the aviation industry.

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Don and Carol Bedford were a team. Don had earned his Airframe and Power License and was well on the way to a degree in aeronautical engineering when he felt impelled to join the workforce at Lockheed Aircraft at the outbreak of WW II. Don later joined the Army Air Corps where he eventually joined the Aviation Cadet program. He was transitioning to fighters when the war ended. He returned to Lockheed where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Tony LeVere Howard Hughes and worked on the P-80 program. in 1947 Don took a job with Alaska Coastal Airlines in Juneau where he stayed through a series of mergers to retired from Alaska Airlines i n 1993. Carols was from the Chicago area where she attended business school. She traveled to Alaska on a whim took a job at Alaska Airlines where the two met. Don was one of the first authorized inspectors in Southeast Alaska, an area where he remained active throughout the rest of his life. He also flew and restored small aircraft. Carol supported Don in all his endeavors, kept up with the billing and paperwork and "tended the home fires."

Two $2500 scholarships will be awarded to two different applicants. One scholarship will be awarded to an applicant pursuing a career in aviation mechanics while the other will be awarded to a female applicant pursuing a career in the aviation field.




William George "Bill" Stroecker was the best known civic leader in Fairbanks over the 50-year period 1960-2010 when he passed at age 90. Born July 31, 1920 in Fairbanks, Stroecker never called anywhere else home and when he passed he left a legacy through the Bill Stroecker Foundation which is designed to benefit the community for another 50 years.

Having never called anywhere else home, Bill did leave Fairbanks in 1938 to attend New Mexico Military Institute. Then, near the end of World War II Bill was stationed at Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada as part of the Lend-Lease Program as he served time in the U.S. Army.
Following NMMI, Bill finished his education at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, graduating with a Business Administration Degree, specializing in Accounting. At that point he took a job at First National Bank as a bookkeeper and in 1967 succeeded his brother, Ed, as bank president.

Bill quickly became the face of Fairbanks from his post at Second and Cushman, eventually selling the bank in 1977 to Alaska Pacific Bank. Even then, Bill continued to serve as Vice President of Public Relations for the new owner and continued on in the same capacity with Key Bank who became the latest owner in 1985. Bill remained as VP for Public Relations until his passing in November, 2010.

2023 Scholarship Donors

These generous donors have kicked off our 2023 scholarship fundraising this year. We are grateful for their contribution to Alaska aviation and can't wait to share more as the fundraising continues!


We would like to offer a special thank you to the Saltchuk family of companies whose generous donation allowed us to fund four scholarship awards for 2023.

Barry Santana

Barry has funded two scholarships this year. Barry's contribution will provide a $2,500 Aircraft Mechanic Scholarship in honor of Voight Clum and a $2,500 Pilot Scholarship in honor of Jay Hammond, whose Cessna 185 Barry now flies.

Austin and Merry Engebretson

Austin and Merry donated $2,500 towards our scholarships this year. They've taken advantage of the Association Matching Funds to create two $2,500 scholarships, one for piloting and one for maintenance.

James Baum

James donated $2,500 towards two scholarships. We've matched his donation, stretching his funds. Through the Association Matching Funds James has created two $2,500 scholarships, one for piloting and one for maintenance.

Meadow Lakes Flying Dames

The Meadow Lakes Flying Dames scholarship was generously funded by an anonymous donor. These funds are intended to support a female pilot on her training journey.

Sutton Aircraft Salvage

A home-operated aircraft salvage yard located 4 miles north of Palmer specializing in Cessna parts.  Sutton Aircraft has helped fund our scholarship program for several years now and you can see them supporting the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in the Fly Market, as well! 

In Memory of Dr. George F. Gates

In 1964, Dr. Gates graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado pursuing engineering and pre-med.  After completing residency in orthopedics in San Antonio, Texas, he selected Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, where he also became a recreational "Bush Pilot." In 1978, George separated from the Air Force and relocated his family to a remote cabin for an Alaska "living off the grid" adventure.

His family and friends have chosen to memorialize his love of aviation in Alaska by supporting the dreams and education of a future aviation professional.  $2500 will be awarded in his name.  Thank you Dr. Gates and family!

2023 Co-Funded Scholarships

$2500 scholarship funded by donations from the Alaska Airmen Board of Directors

$2500 scholarship in memory of S.S. Phillips

$2500 scholarship in memory of Phil Block, Alaska Airlines Pilot, Retired

$2500 scholarship funded by the John H Nystrum Fund


Thank you to all of our donors!

Additional donations were received from members and the public totaling over $6000!  Every dollar donated goes straight into the hands of a deserving applicant so each one counts and we are so grateful for the support!