Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. Awards First Aviation Scholarship to Arizona State University Student
Scottsdale, Arizona - November 14, 2019 - Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. ("TB2"), a non-profit 501(C)(3) dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, honoring all military veterans and creating unique educational opportuinities in aviation for young students, today announced it awarded the first TB2 Aviation Scholarship to Arizona State University, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, student Megan Whittard.
The Scottsdale Airport, a vital part of Scottsdale, is a cornerstone of its development and progress. During World War II, the airfield, built for the sole purpose of training U.S. Army Air Corp pilots in 1942, was known as Thunderbird Field II. Thunderbird Field II graduated over 5,500 men and women pilots of who many saw military action in Europe and the Pacific. The field and school were deactivated on October 16, 1944, sold to Arizona State Teachers College (ASU), then to the Arizona Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, and finally to the City of Scottsdale in 1966.
Megan Whittard started her flight training in high school where she earned her private pilot certification. At ASU, Megan continued her flight training and earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology. She is continuing her education with the 4+1 program to earn her Masters in Aviation Management and Human Factors. Once she graduates with both degrees and totals enough hours, she is planning on working for a regional and then a major airline. With her Masters, she is set to enter into a flight operations management position, such as Chief Pilot.
Marc O’Brien, Program Chair of Aeronautical Management Technology, Chief Ground Instructor, and Senior Lecturer, ASU, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, said, “Megan was a student in several aviation classes I’ve taught at ASU. She is an exceptional scholar and a highly skilled pilot. Megan is truly a role model for women pursuing careers in aviation.”
Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of TB2, stated, “Megan is an outstanding example of what a student’s interest in aviation can accomplish. Along with her studies and keeping a 4.0 GPA, Megan also works as a Certified Flight Instructor teaching other new students how to fly while she builds her hours of flying time. We are extremely proud to present her with our first aviation scholarship and I, as a pilot myself, look forward to following her advancement within the aviation industry.”
Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of TB2’s Advisory Board and Scholarship Committee, commented, “It is a privilege leading the development of the TB2 – Arizona Aviation Scholarship Program and I appreciate the Board of Directors’ support of this important project. Over the past year, we have selected six colleges in our state, who offer aviation curriculum, to receive TB2 scholarship funds for specific scholarship recipients. The colleges screen and select the qualified candidates who meet TB2 criteria – which includes a separate component for veterans.”
Miller continued, “It was an honor to be Co-Presenter with Steve Ziomek, of our initial scholarship award to Megan Whittard at a ceremony held at Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Scottsdale Airport. TB2 is aggressively moving forward with its aviation industry student educational programs with schools and other various youth organizations. We are scheduled to present at least six aviation scholarships in the coming year 2020.”
To honor Megan Whittard as the first TB2 Aviation Scholarship recipient, TB2 hosted a luncheon, sponsored by The Amazing Flameless Candle, represented by Colin LaBerge, CEO, with keynote speaker, W. J. “Jim” Lane, City of Scottsdale Mayor. Other attendees included representatives of Arizona State University, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, TB2 board members, and other special guests.
About Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) aimed at preserving the history and culture of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, providing a tribute to veterans, creating unique educational opportunities for children, and scholarship opportunities for Arizona students studying all aspects of aviation. The Aviation Scholarship Program provides scholarships to veteran and non-veteran Arizona resident students who meet specific criteria and are attending Arizona State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Cochise College, Pima Community College and Yavapai College. TB2 has a permanent memorial at the entrance of the Scottsdale Airport, honoring the service men and women of the nation's five armed services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force, as well as POW-MIAs. For more information, please visit www.tbird2.org.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial Announces Appointment of Rudy R. Miller as Advisory Board Chairman
Scottsdale, Arizona - April 26, 2018 - Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. ("Tbird II"), a non-profit organization under IRS Section 501(C)(3) dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona and all military veterans, is pleased to announce Rudy R. Miller, CEO of The Miller Group of entities, has agreed to serve as Chairman of its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board's mission is to provide Tbird II strategic input and support. It is comprised of a dynamic group of accomplished individuals who are committed to providing business management, aviation, financial and non-profit organizational expertise to the organization.
Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of Tbird II, stated,"We are pleased to have Rudy accept the position as the first Chairman of our Advisory Board. His diverse corporate-business leadership experience, including serving as past President of successful non-profit organizations, coupled with his airline aviation background, as well as serving our country as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, will add significant value to Tbird II's future growth."
Ziomek continued, "Rudy has worked diligently on behalf of Tbird II for the past two years and has been a very strong supporter of the goals and objectives to preserve the history and culture of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the planned opening of the Tbird II Memorial which will provide tribute to all veterans and create educational opportunities for our children."
Rudy R. Miller commented, "I'm honored to accept the position as Chairman of Tbird II's Advisory Board. I would like to thank Chairman Steve Ziomek and the Board of Directors of Tbird II for their confidence in me as the leader of the Advisory Board. It's been exciting to have participated in this historical process to date. Tbird II currently plans to hang a WWII Stearman aircraft, as used in training the WWII military pilots, at the new Scottsdale Airport Business Center. The Stearman will be the centerpiece of the Tbird II Memorial wing currenly under construction. The City of Scottsdale estimates a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony sometime in mid-September, subject to construction issues. This is a tremendous achievement between the City of Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Airport and Tbird II."
Mr. Miller continued, "Along with the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors, I look forward to developing aviation scholarship programs for high schools, technical schools, community colleges, and university students. Plus, we will be offering educational programs to the public including tours of the Tbird II technology-interactive memorial which will focus on aviation, history, and veterans. We will be working throughout the state of Arizona and eventually on a national basis regarding this ongoing commitment to aviation and the youth of our great country."
About Rudy R. Miller
Miller is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Miller Capital Corporation, an affiliated company of The Miller Group, established in 1972. He has an accomplished track record as a serial entrepreneur, investor, public company Chief Executive Officer, board member of numerous public and private companies, as well as Founder and Chairman of an investment bank.
Mr. Miller's philanthropic endeavors include support for the non-profit arts community, various universities, athletic foundations, and veterans' projects. Also, in 2008, Mr. Miller instituted the annual Rudy R. Miller Business - Finance Scholarship in support of Arizona State University, in particular the W. P. Carey School of Business, and to encourage and recognize academic excellence in outstanding students.
For Rudy R. Miller's full bio, please click here
About Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.
Thunderbird Field II, now Scottsdale Airport, began as a basic training facility for World War II United States Army Corps pilots. From its inception in June, 1942 to its deactivation in October, 1944, Thunderbird Field II graduated more than 5,500 students, men and women, many of whom saw military action in Europe and the Pacific, who flew nearly 26,500,000 miles during training.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc., a non-profit organization 501(C)(3) providing a tribute to veterans and creating unique educational opportunities for children, will have a permanent memorial at the entrance of the Scottsdale Airport, honoring the service men and women of the nation's five armed services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force, as well as POW-MIAs. For more information, please visit www.tbird2.org.
Rotarians Learn About Scottsdale Airport's Military History
The history of Scottsdale Airport - and its early days as a World War II training facility for fighter pilots - was the topic of a special Veterans Day salute talk by the Rotary Club of Scottsdale.
Rudy R. Miller, Chairman, President and CEO of Miller Capital Corporation and The Miller Group - a dedicated supporter of the Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial Monument - introduced Steve Ziomek, Chairman of Thunderbird II Veterans Memorial, Inc. to Rotary Club of Scottsdale members and guests.
The capacity-filled luncheon meeting held at McCormick Ranch Golf Club's Pavilion was part of the club's annual program to honor vets.
Mr. Ziomek is former commissioner and chairman of the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission, current Scottsdale business owner, U.S. Civil Air Patrol commander, U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate and former Coast Guard rescue pilot.
During his talk, Mr. Ziomek noted that many of our nation's brave veterans are honored with a military memorial featuring a Boeing-Stearman PT-17 and artifacts at the Scottsdale Airport, formerly Thunderbird Field II.
The Scottsdale Airport Thunderbird Field II Plaza has been about 75 years in the making as a park-like plaza to showcase the field's history and contribution to World War II.
The PT-17 aircraft is similar to those flown during the field's World War II flight training days.
Mr. Ziomek stated the Scottsdale Airport began on June 22, 1942, as Thunderbird Field II, a basic training facility for World War II Army Air Corps pilots.
Since its inception, Thunderbird II graduated more than 5,500 students (of which 15-20 percent were women), many of whom saw military action in Europe and the Pacific.
In addition, Thunderbird II pilots flew nearly 26,500,000 miles, more than 3,000 times around the world at the equator. Two years, three months and 24 days later, the training facility was deactivated on October 16, 1944.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. is a non-profit orgainzation 501 (C)(3) aimed at preserving the history and culture of aviation in Scottsdale, providing a tribute to veterans and an educational opportuity for our children.
The organization is comprised of individuals from many different backgrounds who share a common passion for aviation, history and military heritage. For more information about the memorial, visit www.tbird2.org.
1941 WWII Plane Flies Cross-Country to Become Centerpiece
of Thunderbird Field II Veteran's Memorial at Scottsdale Airport's
Future Aviation Business Center
A 1941 Stearman PT17 biplane was flown 1,110 miles from Arkansas to Arizona, between 500 - 1,500 feet in altitude, at an average ground speed of 56.63 mph to the Scottsdale Airport for its future home at the Thunderbird Field II Plaza and Memorial at the new Scottsdale Aviation Business Center. The future memorial will serve as a tribute and memorial to all veterans and... watch video for more.
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.
Thunderbird Field II (now Scottsdale Airport "SDL") was built in 1942 for the purpose of training WWII Army Air Corp pilots. Thunderbird II graduated over 5,500 students who collectively flew nearly 26,500,000 miles. A memorial has been built at SDL and dedicated to honor the service men and women of the nation's five armed services. Service plaques for the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard and Air Force, as well as POWs and MIAs, are displayed. The centerpiece is a 1940s Boeing Stearman PT-17 Biplane, the very aircraft used for training at Thunderbird Field II during WWII.
University of California, Irvine
SAE International® - UCI Anteater Racing
University of California, Irvine ("UCI") is ranked ninth among the nation's best public universities according to the annual U.S. News & World Report. UCI continues to receive national and global recognition for its excellence in academics and cutting-edge research. Miller Capital Corporation recently donated to the senior design engineering program, Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UCI. The Program designs, builds and competes with vehicles in Collegiate Design Series competitions hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International®). This program gives engineering students the chance to get hands-on engineering experience in the design process, manufacturing techniques and teamwork skills.
West Point Parents Club of Arizona
Business sponsor at the All Academies Shoot Out hosted by West Point Parents Club of Arizona, a non-profit organization designed to support the dedicated Arizona US Military Academy Cadets & Midshipman.
Women's Museum of California
Film Sponsor for the Women's Film Festival presented by the Women's Museum of California, a non-profit organization seeking to reclaim contributions and achievements of women throughout history while inspiring women today.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Miller Sponsorship for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Desert Mountain State Chapter, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for leukemia and lymphoma and its allied cancers.
Grounding Point Dance Company
Miller Corporate Award recipient from Grounding Point Dance Company, a non-profit multidisciplinary performing company with a mission to showcase artistic and the entertaining dance forms through outreach residencies, dance for the camera projects and multimedia stage performances.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Exceptional Service Award for service to the people of Arizona during recovery operations following damages from severe thunderstorms and flooding.
- Presented by Federal Emergency Management Agency and Arizona Department of Emergency Management