Republic Airways commits $100,000 to scholarships for diverse aviation students
Republic Airways has pledged $100,000 in support of student scholarships and the Be So BOLD fundraising campaign. The gift will create two scholarships at ISU: $50,000 will fund the Willa B. Brown Scholarship and $50,000 will fund the Esteban Hotesse Scholarship. These scholarships will be available for aviation students in the 2023-24 academic year.
The Republic Airways Willa B. Brown and Esteban Hotesse scholarships will be awarded to aviation students with a 2.5 GPA or higher who come from historically marginalized communities. The scholarship in honor of Willa Beatrice Brown will support African American women in aviation and the Esteban Hotesse scholarship will be awarded to a Hispanic student in aviation.
“It’s not often we get the opportunity to impact the future by highlighting the past,” said the Senior Manager of Educational Programs at Republic Airways, Darrell Morton, Jr. “With the establishment of two scholarships at Indiana State University, Republic Airways is able to provide support for students from historically marginalized backgrounds pursuing degrees in aviation.”
These two scholarships support Indiana State University’s and Republic Airways’ commitment to highlighting pioneers in aviation who have strong ties to the state of Indiana. “The Willa B. Brown and Esteban Hotesse scholarships recognize two individuals who contributed significantly to advancing diversity and inclusion in the field of aviation,” Morton said. “Republic Airways is proud to honor their legacies while helping to create the next generation of aviators.”
Willa B. Brown was a 1931 ISU graduate. She was the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States, the first African American woman to run for United States Congress, the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol, and the first woman in the country to have both a pilot’s license and an aircraft mechanic’s license.
Esteban Hotesse was the only Dominican-born member of the Tuskegee Airmen and was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He died in a training flight over southern Indiana in 1945.
Corporate partners, such as Republic Airways, build a pipeline of employment for Indiana State students while currently investing in their education. “Republic Airways is boldly giving back to Indiana State students who come from underrepresented communities with the creation of these scholarships,” said Vice President of the Division of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation Andrea Angel. “By building a relationship with our future aviators now, the opportunity is created for Sycamore pilots to start their careers at Republic Airways and keep making strides in the industry.”