By Jasmine Gordon
Calhoun Air Center
LeTourneau University (LETU) student Whitney Brouwer, a senior flight science major from Raymond, Minn., was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the 2012 Air Race Classic champions Dianna Stanger and Victoria Holt, known as The Racing Aces.
On Friday, February 1, Stanger and Racing Aces representative Jasmine Gordon presented Brouwer with the $5,000 scholarship during a luncheon celebration at the Abbott Aviation Center. “There is nothing better than giving back — especially when it is so well deserved,” said Stanger.
Stanger and Holt won the 36th Air Race Championship in June 2012 following a four-day air race covering nearly 2,900 statute-miles across eight states and making nine stops. They decided to donate their $5,000 winning purse and sponsorship money to empower a female flight student to realize her own dream of flight. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that only 7 percent of all pilots are women, and that percentage has not increased in nearly a century.
Brouwer dedicates her time to working with the university flight team and at a local flight service center. She earned her private pilot’s certificate in August 2010 and has logged over 250 flight hours.
“Aviation is an exciting field, and I enjoy the different opportunities it presents,” said Brouwer. “I love to fly, and I’m also becoming certified as an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.”
Brouwer will use the scholarship to help pay her university expenses. LETU Flight Science Chair Lauren Bitikofer says Brouwer is a top student. “Whitney helps the aircraft mechanics with annual and 100-hour inspections by performing many tasks including: changing oil, cleaning spark plugs, and servicing wheels and brakes,” said Bitikofer. “In more than 35 years of observing and teaching students, I would place her within the top 2 percent of all students for potential, ability and personal integrity.”
“I really want to thank everyone at the luncheon celebration for recognizing Whitney and helping her achieve the goals she has in aviation,” said Bitikofer. “She will be an incredible asset to our industry.”
In addition to presenting Brouwer with a ceremonial check and certificate, the pilots toured the Abbot Aviation Center. The Abbott Aviation Center houses LeTourneau’s School of Aeronautical Science at the East Texas Regional Airport. “I was extremely impressed with the facility and the level of hands on experience the students receive,” said Stanger.