Indiana, USA / 30 September 2021 – Dawit Lemma, founder and CEO of Krimson Aviation, the Addis Ababa-based flight support, charter, leasing, MRO solutions and aviation consultancy Krimson Aviation, today launched a $100,000 scholarship to fund a new endowment at the prestigious aviation institution, Purdue University. The Krimson Aviation Scholarship and the Krimson Business Opportunity Program (BOP) Scholarship will be awarded to students from minority groups under-represented in aviation, with the intention of opening new aviation flightpaths for talented individuals. The announcement highlights the need to increase diversity within the aviation industry and is designed to attract applications from women and ethnic minorities.
The first-of-a-kind cross-school grant will contribute to funds for one, or more, annual undergraduate scholarships for students enrolled in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT) in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and/or students enrolled in the Dr Cornell A. Bell BOP within the Krannert School of Management. The Purdue Department of Financial Aid is responsible for the aviation scholarship while the Krannert scholarship is decided by the Department of Financial Aid and Krannert BOP program. Each department is responsible for defining the selection process, identifying students that fulfil entry requirements and managing how funds will be allocated to students.
Ethiopia-born Dawit Lemma, founder, and CEO of Krimson Aviation, graduated in 2002 from Purdue University with an Association of Science (ASc) in Aeronautical Engineering and Flight Technology. He has subsequently lived and worked in the US and Switzerland, before launching Krimson Aviation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2016. Through these scholarships Lemma recognizes the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology’s place among the world’s leading aviation schools; and the importance of Krannert as a leading international business school that has closed the representation gap in business learning and talent. The scholarships are committed to enabling more diversity in these schools at a grass roots level. The move also reflects Krimson’s growing interest in North American business opportunities. To mark the momentous occasion Lemma will add the Ethiopian national flag to the international collection already representing aviation nations around the world in the Niswonger Aviation Technology Building.
“As an alumnus of this prestigious school I’m thrilled to be in a position to give back to the school that helped me achieve what I have so far. There is no doubt that there is still a significant lack of diversity within aviation, and I hope that by launching programs like this it not only assists students who show potential but also highlights the balance, inspiration, and success that a mixed workforce brings to aviation. I can’t wait to meet our first student,” commented Dawit Lemma. A passionate advocate for education and diversity, Lemma volunteers at the Lycée Guébré-Mariam in Addis Ababa to teach the le Brevet d'Initiation Aéronautique to high school students.
Commenting on the ground-breaking Krimson Scholarships, Mark Gaines, Chief Development Officer for Diversity and Inclusion, Purdue for Life Foundation, said: “It is very exciting to see a Purdue trained entrepreneur establish a scholarship that will allow and inspire others to walk the same path that he once travelled. In the same way that Krimson approaches the business of aviation, Dawit is approaching philanthropy at Purdue. He has recognized the need and is looking to fill it. In this case it is with a scholarship focused on recruiting more underrepresented students to a world-class university like Purdue in the areas of aviation and business.”
First student enrolment under the scholarship scheme is anticipated before the end of 2022. Once the scholarships are in place Krimson Aviation will also offer internship opportunities in support of the scholarship.