Fostering professionalism in aviation,
the GMAA-Batchelor Aviation Scholarship Fund (formerly the
GMAA/Grover Loening Scholarship Fund) awards scholarships
to qualified aviation students pursuing a career in the South
Florida Aviation industry. Scholarships are awarded on the
basis of academic and aviation achievement, leadership and
financial need. 10-12
scholarships in amounts up to $6,000 are awarded each year
to qualified qualified South Florida college students majoring
in aviation and aviation-related programs.
The GMAA-Batchelor Aviation Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Formerly the GMAA/Grover
Loening Scholarship Fund, the Fund’s name was changed
in 2004 to honor the endowment and substantial impact made
to the South Florida aviation industry and community by the
late George Batchelor. Thanks to a significant contribution
made by Batchelor in 1994 and by the Batchelor Family and
Foundation in 2003, the Fund has awarded over $350,000 in
Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma
in 1920, George E. Batchelor was a renowned aviation pioneer
and philanthropist in South Florida. He was a pilot for 65
years, learning to fly at the young age of 16. In his 20s
Batchelor helped design the P-51, which was manufactured by
North American Aviation during World War II, a war in which
he served his country as a decorated aviation officer, transport
and bomber pilot.
George started Arrow Air
in California shortly after the war, operating from a tiny
hut at Lomita Air Strip. He soon purchased his first aircraft,
a DC-3 in 1947, which he flew solo back to California from
Hawaii and then sold for a profit. These events began his
career as one of America’s greatest aircraft-trading
entrepreneurs. He subsequently moved to Miami in 1964, and
reinvested his profits, thus establishing Batch Air, one of
the leading aircraft maintenance facilities in Miami. Around
the same time George formed International Air leases (IAL),
which became one of the most famous aircraft trading names
in the aviation industry. After selling Batch Air in 1987
and IAL in 1999, Mr. Batchelor established Aerospace Finance
Corp. and its affiliated companies, actively presiding over
his businesses until the last few months of his life.
In 1990 Mr. Batchelor
founded his private foundation, The Batchelor Foundation,
to provide charitable gifts to aid the welfare of children
and the natural environment. In addition to supporting aviation
scholarships, the Foundation has benefited the University
of Miami, the Community Partnership for the Homeless, Miami
Children’s Hospital, Miami Metro Zoo, and Audubon.
Mr. Batchelor passed away
in July 2002.
Fundraising ActivitiesEach year the GMAA, in conjunction
with its Batchelor
Aviation Scholarship Fund, hosts the Annual
Wright Brothers Memorial Awards Presentation and Golf Tournament.
The Annual Awards honor individuals for their substantial contribution
to the aviation industry and community.
more information on scholarships, email firstname.lastname@example.org