Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 - August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon. He was an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was an officer in the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War. After the war, he earned his bachelor's degree at Purdue University and served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he logged over 900 flights. Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing, in July 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent two and a half hours exploring, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the Command Module. Along with his crewmates, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and in 2009 the Congressional Gold Medal.
A scholarship committee will consist of members of the Armstrong family, the Telluride Foundation Board of Directors, and school/educators/administrators. The committee will select students from a pool of applicants from five regional school districts, including students from the Telluride (Telluride and Mountain schools), Norwood, West End (Naturita, Nucla, and Paradox schools), Ridgway and Ouray school districts, and will award one four year scholarship annually based on essay, merit, and need.
Neil Armstrong was an 11 year homeowner in Telluride. An avid life-time skier and golfer, Armstrong discovered Telluride and purchased a home after being grounded in Phoenix during the commercial airline service suspension following the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. He and his wife, Carol, rented a car, drove to Telluride and embraced Telluride as their second home. He was also a Board Member of the Telluride Foundation.
"We are proud to honor Neil Armstrong. He was a man of enormous courage, integrity and humility, who was also a great friend and Telluride neighbor," said Mike Armstrong, Board Member of the Telluride Foundation. "This new scholarship is an excellent opportunity for local youth who are following Neil's example of study in engineering, sciences, math and technology and value his commitment to public service, exploration and learning. As Neil changed all of our lives as the first man to walk on the moon, we feel this scholarship will be life changing for young men and women."
Annual scholarships will be funded from the interest income generated from a permanent endowment. The permanent endowment has been established by 12 founding families with initial gifts and multi-year pledges. The Foundation is also seeking pledges and gifts from individual donors to help build on the endowment founders' gifts. For more information on the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund contact Paul Major at the Telluride Foundation at 970-728-8717 or go to: http://www.telluridefoundation.org/index.php?page=neil-armstrong-scholarship-fundThe Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, The Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit www.telluridefoundation.org.