Colonel James L. Graham, Jr. Memorial Aviation Scholarship


An announcement is expected in February 2020 for the winner of the scholarship. This scholarship accepts applications in late August to mid-December annually.  The Colonel James L. Graham, Jr. Memorial Aviation Scholarship, in the amount of $10,000 (ten thousand dollars), is for the purpose of helping a young person achieve their goal of obtaining a pilot’s certification. 

About Colonel James L. Graham

Jim was a native Virginian, born in Radford, Virginia in 1942.  He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1964, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science, and served the Air Force all over the world, including Vietnam, retiring in 1988.  He also earned a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern California.  He had a distinguished career working with NASA and the Space Station, which culminated at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization during the Reagan Administration.  

Although not being able to fly for the Air Force due to color blindness, he never gave up his dream, and after many years of waiting, he got his private pilot’s license in 1998.  He then purchased and owned a Tecnam Sierra with two good friends.  After spending a morning flying Young Eagles at a local airport, he said his dream was to make a difference in the life of a young person, trying to instill the same love and dedication and enthusiasm he felt about airplanes and flying.  Jim was a member of the AOPA and the local EAA chapter.  Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis in 2014 ended his flying career and that dream.

Jim’s wife, Ann, created the scholarship for applicants who show that same passion for flying and the ambition of obtaining a pilot’s certification, allowing them to pursue a career as a pilot.  The scholarship will be paid directly to a recognized flight school or institution in the name of the awardee.

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Virginia Aviation Business Association

1011 E Main Street

Suite 400

The Ironfronts Building

Richmond, VA 23219

(804) 525-1144