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NCAA Scholarship Foundation

The Foundation & Scholarships

Partner with the North Carolina Airports Association in awarding scholarships to NC resident students attending two-year and four-year colleges and universities with Aviation programs.

Over the past few years the Airports Association presented scholarships to honor Mr. Bruce Matthews, former Assistant Director of the North Carolina Division of Aviation to recognize his distinguished aviation career and dedication to the students of North Carolina State University. Scholarships were awarded to students who had demonstrated interest and/or experience in transportation engineering, airport planning and design.

The Airport Association recently established the North Carolina Airports Association Educational Foundation, Inc., a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose of the Educational Foundation is to provide scholarships to deserving NC resident students who pursue a post high school curriculum in aviation-airport management. We will accomplish this goal through public support from individuals, corporations and others.

The North Carolina Airports Association is pleased to announce the availability for scholarships for deserving students who either are or plan to enter an aviation-airport management field of study. Interested undergraduate and graduate college students should explore the links below to review the requirements and to complete their application. You will also need to submit an official transcript to: Emily Winberg, Association Business Manager, 592 Isle of Palms Road, Mooresville, NC 28117.  

Bruce Matthews Scholarship​

This NCAA Funded Scholarship is dedicated to Mr. Bruce Matthews. Matthews was a tireless supporter of aviation in North Carolina and the first permanent employee of the NCDOT Division of Aviation. Mr. Matthews is credited with leading the development of the state’s public airport system. His vision for assisting smaller airports with facility upgrades in order to accommodate larger aircraft has lifted North Carolina to new heights in aviation success.

NCAA Educational Foundation Scholarship

The North Carolina Airports Association has recently developed and incorporated The North Carolina Airports Association Educational Foundation, Inc. The Educational Foundation is a 501(c) (3) corporation. The Scholarship program has been expanded to include NC State as well as other Secondary and Technical Schools. The student must be enrolled in a post high school curriculum in aviation, airport management or related fields.

2023 Bruce Matthews Scholarship Recipient

Matthews Scholarship Recipient Sara Watkins
Sara Watkins
Sara Watkins is a Civil Engineering student attending North Carolina State University.  Sara currently holds a 3.5 GPA and is an Engineering Ambassador for the NCSU College of Engineering serving in many leadership capacities.  Sara is currently secretary for the NCSU WTS Chapter, a member of the NC State Marching Band playing trombone, and a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Sarah has a dream to land a civil engineering airport position and hopes that Airport Planning and Design is offered this upcoming school year so she can get a good foot in the door when applying for an internship next summer.  Congratulations to Sara on being selected as this year’s Bruce Matthews Scholarship Award Recipient.

2023 NCAA Scholarship Recipients

NCAA Scholarship Award Recipient Madelyn Knowles
Madelyn Knowles 
Madelyn Knowles is a junior at Elizabeth City State University pursuing an Aviation Science degree with a focus in Aviation Management and Flight Education.  Madelyn currently holds a 3.7 GPA.  Madelyn is a certified FAA Private Pilot and is currently working on her instrument rating.  She is vice president of the Northeastern North Carolina chapter of Women in Aviation Chapter and competes in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association.  Madelyn currently works at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport in a front desk and lineman position.  Madelyn’s goal after graduation is to pursue a career in military aviation and, preferably, to fly a rotor wing aircraft.  She would also like to find the opportunity to be an airport manager of a small FBO.  Congratulations to Madelyn on being selected as one of this year’s NCAA Scholarship Award Recipients.
NCAA Scholarship Award Recipient Keven Watson
Keven Watson 
Keven Watson is a junior attending Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College pursuing an Aviation Management degree as well as a Career Pilot Degree.  Prior to the pandemic, Keven was backpacking around the world for many years living in multiple countries.  While working on a cattle ranch in the Outback of Australia, he met a pilot who took him on many flights and that sparked his interest in aviation.  Keven states, “He helped me realize my dream and showed me how to accomplish it.”  When the pandemic happened, he flew home and joined the Army National Guard. Now a Private First Class, he is a 15B Military Occupational Specialty Powerplant Repairer specializing in propulsion systems for Blackhawk, Apache, and Chinook helicopters in the Delta Company 1-130th Attack Recon Battalion Aviation Regiment.  Keven holds a private pilot license from Cape Fear Aviation and is currently flying at WNC Aviation working towards his instrument certificate.  Keven’s expectations for his future in the field of transportation is to become an airline pilot and, if possible, fly in the military. Congratulations to Keven on being selected as one of this year’s NCAA Scholarship Award Recipients.
Angel – up to $500.00 Bronze – $501.00 to $1499.00 Silver – $1500.00 to $2499.00 Gold – $2500.00 to $4999.00 Platinum – $5000.00 to $7499.00 Presidential – $7500.00 to $10,000.00 Download the donation form here.
Yes, our corporate partners are very important for the continued success of the scholarship program. The corporate donation levels are: Angel – up to $500.00 Bronze – $501.00 to $1499.00 Silver – $1500.00 to $2499.00 Gold – $2500.00 to $4999.00 Platinum – $5000.00 to $7499.00 Presidential – $7500.00 to $10,000.00 Download the donation form here.

Typically, the application process opens in the Fall of the year with a deadline for submission of January 31.


Awards are generally announced by mid February with formal recognition taking place at the annual conference. One recipient may be selected for the Bruce Matthews Scholarship and up to two students may be chosen for a NCAA scholarship award.

The value of the NCAA scholarship is $1500. The value of the Bruce Matthews scholarship is $3000. Scholarships are non-renewable.

The two scholarships have slightly different requirements. The details are available through the following links:

Matthews Scholarship – Details and Eligibility

NCAA Aviation Scholarships – Details and Eligibility

NCAA Educational Foundation Brochure

Download the brochure for complete information about the Foundation.