West Lafayette, Indiana – 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 flight paths 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 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 Associate of Science (ASc) Degree in aeronautical engineering technology and flight technology. He has subsequently lived and worked in the U.S. 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 Purdue’s 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,” said 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 in the 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 enrollment 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.
Krimson launched in 2015 to provide aviation services with integrity and excellence. Based at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, the team offers 24/7 support fulfilling a range of aviation services including ground handling, flight support, refueling, charter brokerage and aviation communications. Customers originate from around the world to take advantage of the local expertise in Ethiopia and across Africa.
Krimson offers full flight support, ground handling, charter brokerage and other aviation services within Ethiopia and East Africa to a range of aviation customers including commercial airlines, business aviation operators and trip planning companies.
Led by Dawit Lemma, a Swiss citizen of Ethiopian origins, the diverse team of aviation experts is committed to service excellence combined with care and discretion. Lemma, a qualified pilot, is also president of the AfBAA Ethiopian Chapter and has been integral to the Association’s development. Krimson is a member of the African Business Aviation Association, the European Business Aviation Association and America’s National Business Aviation Association.
About the Purdue Polytechnic Institute
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute, one of the 10 academic colleges at Purdue University, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in aviation, computing, construction management, engineering technology, technology leadership and technology education. In addition to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue Polytechnic offers select degree programs in nine Indiana communities.
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