President's Corner

Zonta celebrates spirit of famed aviator and Zontian Amelia Earhart

11 January 2017

Zonta celebrates spirit of famed aviator and Zontian Amelia Earhart

Legendary pilot Amelia Earhart is one of Zonta International’s most famous former members. Each year during the month of January, Zonta celebrates her spirit and impact.

On 11 January 1935, Earhart embarked on a 2,408-mile trip to Oakland, California, from Honolulu. The next day, she became first person to fly across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This trip also made her the first person to fly to the United States mainland from Hawaii.

To commemorate these remarkable achievements, Zonta celebrates 11 January as Amelia Earhart Day. This day, we remember her contributions to the aerospace industry, as well as the empowerment of women in science.

More than 80 years after Earhart’s historic flight over the Pacific Ocean, women are still far outnumbered in the workforce in physics, computer sciences and engineering, making up just about 30 percent of the world’s scientists. Currently, less than 10 percent of space scientists are women.

Zonta International’s Amelia Earhart (AE) Fellowship is awarded annually to 35 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or engineering. This is one of Zonta Internationals  activities to carry out its mission that women shall have access to all resources and be represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.  

I encourage all clubs to commemorate Amelia Earhart Month by planning related programs and fundraisers for the Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund.

Watch and share the below video on Facebook and Twitter. Learn about Amelia’s vision and how valid it still is today. Create opportunities for women in today’s aerospace industries through a donation to the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund!




Susanne von Bassewitz is the 2018-2020 President of Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation.

»Read her biography.