Indiana State University trustee Cynthia Powers and her husband Mamon have donated $150,000 in honor of alumnus and Tuskegee Airman Quentin P. Smith Sr. ISU says the gift establishes the Quentin P. Smith Sr., Endowed Aviation Scholarship.
ISU’s board also approved the naming of the Quentin P. Smith Sr. Observation Deck at the ISU Flight Academy at the Terre Haute Regional Airport.
Smith was a First Lieutenant among the 101 Black officers arrested for challenging segregation at Freeman Field in Seymour during World War II. He received ISU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. Smith passed away in 2013.
“It is our goal to exemplify the lessons we learned from the life and legacy of Quentin Smith Sr., and continue to ‘pay it forward,’” said Cynthia Powers. “Hopefully, this will inspire others to join us and further endow this scholarship or create others so that here at ISU we can provide not just one but many scholarship funds for students in our Aviation Technology program.”
Smith studied social studies education at ISU and graduated in 1940. He was a pilot and flight instructor during World War II.
“Like my father, who didn’t initially embrace being a pilot, I hope that students who benefit from the endowment will recognize that aviation can be an honorable and beneficial career pursuit whether it is in the military or industry,” said Quentin Smith Jr.
After serving in the military, Smith spent 50 years as a guidance counselor and administrator in the Gary Community School Corp. He also served on the Gary City Council and was president of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority board.