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History President Vivian Small hosted a reception

The Authority has high hopes that

in Earhart’s honor at her home located

experience gained during the coming

across from campus on Mentor Avenue.

school year will furnish encouragement

“The lure of flight is the lure of beauty,” Earhart said in her address, describing her emotions as she saw a sunrise over the ocean on a recent flight. “Airplane travel is simply the most modern and most beautiful mode of transportation

for widespread entrance of women into aviation.” Forty Lake Erie students applied for the program, but only 10 were selected to participate. For each of these women,

developed by man.” Barbara (Morris) Redmond ’40 described Earhart’s appearance on campus. “Miss Earhart was here, shy and beautiful. She spoke, and we hung on every word,” Redmond said. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific on

At the end of 1939, ten Lake Erie College students held pilot licenses. A plane built expressly for the use of these students was named “The Suzanne Grant” in honor of Suzanne (Grant) Hawgood ‘37, the first Lake Erie student to obtain her student pilot’s license. Jean (Fulton) Knowles ’40 was one of the students who earned her student pilot’s license. Knowles remembers her solo flight (made in a Piper J-3 Cub on March 4, 1940) vividly and describes it as follows: “I loved it, being alone

July 2, 1937, after taking off from New Guinea on a flight around the world. Her remains have never been found, but the inspiration she provided to aviators around the world remains strong even today. the CAA paid $290 for flying instruction In 1939, Lake Erie College was one of

and an additional $20 for related

two women’s colleges chosen by the

courses given by the College. To qualify,

Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) to

the student had to be at least 18 and

participate in a civilian pilot training program. The other college was Mills College in California. The training program was intended to

not over 25 and pass a rigid physical examination that cost $6. She also had to obtain her parents’ approval, have an insurance policy at a cost of at least $14

create a reservoir of experienced pilots

and pass a psychological test. (Cleveland

for a national emergency. Robert H.

Plain Dealer, March 24, 1940)

Hinckley, chairman of the CAA, predicted that the United States would be able to put 70,000 licensed pilots in the air by the end of 1941.

Redmond was one of the students who was interested in the CAA program, and she was disappointed that her parents didn’t approve. “I had no doubt that my

“The inclusion of women in this

father would think it was a wonderful

vocational training program must be

opportunity – after all, I was his favorite

considered this year to be entirely

daughter,” Redmond said. “But the

experimental,” Hinckley said. “Little

answer was a resounding ‘no!’ I should

of no data exists on the adaptability

keep my feet on the ground and study. I

of women to group training as pilots,

couldn’t believe it.”

although individual women fliers have in many cases made distinguished records. 14


| FA L L ‘ 1 1

in a plane up in the sky. Canvas and sticks with wheels and a lot of faith!


Marjory Willoughby ’42 was at Lost Nation Airport to see Knowles make her solo flight. “I really got a thrill out of being on hand to see my good friend, Jean Fulton, a senior when I was a sophomore, take her solo flight successfully,” Willoughby said. A scrawled sign in the small waiting room of the airport explained the extra payment the students who soloed successfully had to make. “Bank Night is every solo day,” the sign said. “Each civilian pilot training student is to provide candy bars for all members of class and instructors after first solo flight.” The students undoubtedly loved being witnesses to these special flights.

Fall 2011 Magazine  

Lake Erie College Magazine, Fall 2011 issue

Fall 2011 Magazine  

Lake Erie College Magazine, Fall 2011 issue