Furthering the EAA Mission Through Scholarships

Mike Murdock, EAA 692846, became an EAA member in 2002 and has never looked back. He is passionate about EAA and attends AirVenture every year with his flight instructor and now best friend, Mike Martin.

In 2013, after the sale of his company, he created the
Tinker Murdock Family Fund to support two yearly flight training scholarships.
Mike was impressed by EAA’s awareness of the pilot shortage. His intention of
the scholarship was to, “Help others get bit by the same bug I did … and to
learn how to fly,” Mike said. “EAA stays close to grassroots aviation — I
wanted to further its mission.”

Today, the stories he hears from scholarship recipients
are what fuel his passion for continuing to provide scholarships. “I love to
help kids coming from all walks of life and seeking support to get initial
training or that next rating,” Mike said.

At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, the EAA Aviation
Foundation team arranged a meeting between Mike and Jackson Bellard, the most
recent recipient of his scholarship. “Jackson was so enthusiastic and
inspiring,” Mike said. “It is refreshing to meet a young man so motivated to
fly, and his can-do attitude was impressive.”

Jackson began his flying journey with funds from the
Tinker Murdock Family Scholarship. He completed his first solo on January 3 of
this year and hopes to complete his checkride later this spring. Jackson had
nothing but great things to say about his meeting with Mike.

“The two things that I admired most about Mike were the
friendship that he has with his flight instructor and his entrepreneurial
spirit,” Jackson said. Similar to Mike, Jackson has also bonded with his flight
instructor, Levi Mellows. “I respect and admire him so much for his knowledge.”

Due to the success of the flight scholarships, Mike has
recently started a nonprofit in Huntsville, Alabama, called Huntsville STEAM
Works. It is an educational nonprofit focused on science, technology,
engineering, art, and math topics. One of the first pathways that they created
will offer private pilot ground school for high school students.

“I just want to continue to do whatever I can to
further aviation,” Mike said.

If you would like to learn more about EAA Aviation
Foundation scholarship programs or would like to establish a named scholarship
within the foundation, please contact Robin Kasel at 920-426-6507 or

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