Father Of Aerospace Education Guest Speaker

October 24, 2005 at 8:53 PM

       Dr. Mervin Strickler Jr. of Penfield, known as the “Father of Aerospace Education” and considered by many to be the senior authority on aviation education in the United States, will be the guest speaker for the DuBois Area Historical Society, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the E.D. Reitz Museum, 30 W. Long Ave., DuBois. The presentation is free and open to the public.

       Strickler’s presentation continues a historical society tradition of having a veteran speak in November, the month of Veteran’s Day. Strickler served as bombardier navigator instructor during World War II. His presentation will focus on his work following the end of the war with the Civil Air Patrol and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

       He originated and headed the U.S. Army Air Corps College of Aeronautics at Las Vegas Army Air Field in 1945. He went on to serve as director of aviation education programs for Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters.

       Strickler’s leadership through two key positions, director of Aviation Education of the Civil Air Patrol, and chief of FAA Aviation Education Programs, influenced administrators, teachers, and students at every grade level to successfully match sound educational principles with civilian, military, and government aviation career needs.

       He led FAA scientific and technical exchanges with the Soviet Union. He is a past president of the National Aerospace Education Council and has worked to see that the Civil Air Patrol’s aerospace education program remains viable.

       In 2000, Strickler was one of seven persons selected to receive the prestigious Elder Statesman of Aviation Award from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The award was established in 1954 to honor outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over the years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves. NAA is the National Aero Club of the United States and the nation’s oldest aviation organization, founded in 1905.

       He also received the Distinguished Service Medal for his years of service to the Civil Air Patrol, the highest honor that a Civil Air Patrol member can receive; and the NAA’s Brewer Trophy for Education

       Strickler earned a degree in geography, political science, and general science from Clarion University in 1947. He earned his doctorate in 1951 from Stanford in higher education and curriculum design, with an area of specialization in aviation education. His degree was the first to be granted in this field.

       This will be the final DuBois Area Historical Society meeting for 2005. Programs will resume in 2006 as follows: Feb. 18 – Joan Hockman, “History of Candy Making,” luncheon, site to be announced; March 14 – Dennis Bussell, representing Integrated World Arts Inc., “Dispelling Myths About Native Americans”; April 20 – Rev. Robert Henry, “Early American Pattern Glass,” to be held at the Falls Creek Presbyterian Church; May – Galen Kilmer, “DuBois Area High School Local History Projects.” All are free, at 7:30 p.m. in the E.D. Reitz Museum, 30 W. Long Ave., DuBois, unless otherwise indicated.

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