Amelia Earhart

Zonta International Fellowship Information

Amelia Earhart was an active member of the Zonta Club of Boston and New York during 1928-1937. July 24, 1997 marked the 100th anniversary of her birth in Atchison, Kansas.

The spirit of Amelia lives on through the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award program, founded in 1938 to support women pursuing graduate degrees in aerospace-related sciences and engineering. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship Awards Committee selected 35 Fellows for 1997-98 from the 124 qualified applications. The selected Fellows are sent to the Zonta International Board for approval. The number of Fellowships awarded is based on the contributions of Zontians.

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in 1932. She disappeared on July 2, 1937, while attempting to circle the globe.

Zonta International Amelia Earhart Day – January 11

“Slowly the prejudice against women is lessening, and it appears probable that before long they will compete on equal terms.” – Amelia Earhart, 1931

American Pilot Linda Finch flew out to Oakland, California on March 17, 1997, and replicated Earhart’s around-the-world flight attempt that ended 60 years ago when Earhart disappeared in the Pacific Ocean. Earhart was attempting to become the first pilot to circumnavigate the world at its widest point, the equator.

Finch was flying a plane nearly identical to Earhart’s, a Lockheed Electra 10-E which she restored and modified for World Flight 1997. Aviation enthusiast Finch dropped three wreaths over Howland Island in memory of Amelia Earhart. One wreath was from Zonta, one from the mayor of Atchison, Kansas, Earhart’s home town, and the third was from Finch to express her admiration of Earhart.

“Amelia Earhart believed in herself and her dream,” says Linda Finch. “If she had completed her around-the-world journey, history would focus on her skill, courage, and daring. World Flight 1997 is our way of sharing her message with the world.”

The trip took more than two months and was sponsored by engine builder, Pratt and Whitney.