Women in Aviation International has announced that the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has selected Dr. Peggy Chabrian, founder of Women in Aviation International, as the recipient of the 2020 Cliff Henderson Trophy. 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. His work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development.
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.” A deserving nominee is put forth annually by the President of the National Aeronautic Association to NAA’s Executive Committee for confirmation by majority vote. Previous recipients of the Cliff Henderson Trophy include Colonel Joseph Kittinger, Marion Blakey, The United States Air Force Academy, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle, Senator Barry M. Goldwater, Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson, Scott Crossfield, and the 2019 recipient –The Ninety Nines.
Dr. Peggy Chabrian is being recognized for the creation of WAI, which began in 1990 when she gathered 150 people for the first Women in Aviation conference at Embry Riddle’s Prescott, Arizona campus. Four years later, with the growing success of the annual conference, the aviation industry began to recognize and accept the need for the focus and energy offered by her vision. In December 1994, 16 founding board members, with Peggy as Founding President, established WAI as it is today. Presently, WAI’s diverse membership of more than 14,000 includes representation from virtually every corner of the world’s aviation community and the annual conference has grown to over 4,500 attendees and 175 exhibitors. WAI has awarded more than $12 million in scholarships at its conference since 1995.
A longtime aviation enthusiast and professional aviation educator, Peggy is a commercial pilot with over 2,300 hours in airplanes, seaplanes, and helicopters. She has held several top positions in aviation education including Academic Dean and Associate Vice President of Parks College; Dean of Academic Support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Prescott, Arizona campus; Director of the Center of Excellence for Aviation/Space Education and faculty member at ERAU’s Daytona Beach campus; and chair of the aviation department at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Peggy was the second woman to hold the position of dean of an engineering school in the United States. The recipient of numerous aviation and education awards, Peggy has received the FAA Administrator’s Award for Excellence in Aviation Education and the Civic Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She has been inducted into the Crown Circle of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education and received the Estridge Award from the University Aviation Association in recognition of a lifetime of dedicated service to aviation education. In 2009, Peggy was awarded the NAA Brewer Trophy for her contributions to aerospace education and in 2016 she was named an NAA Distinguished Statesman of Aviation.
“If ever anyone has embodied the criteria for the Cliff Henderson Trophy it is Peggy Chabrian,” said NAA President Greg Principato. “She is a visionary leader whose skill and energy have forever changed aviation for the better. Her work will truly inspire future aviators for generations to come. It is our honor to present the Henderson Trophy to Peggy Chabrian.”
“I am extremely honored to be awarded the Cliff Henderson Trophy for 2020,” said Peggy. “It is humbling to join the list of many great leaders in aviation who have been previously recognized. I appreciate the efforts of NAA over the years to support and enhance the aviation industry. And I would like to thank the many individuals who have supported me throughout my aviation journey.”
NAA will present the Henderson Trophy to Dr. Peggy Chabrian on March 6, 2020, at the 31st Annual International Women in Aviation Conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. For more information, please visit www.naa.aero.