Tuskegee Airmen Heart of Carolina » 2012 Fourth Annual HOCC Scholarship Banquet

The fourth annual HOCC Scholarship Banquet was held at the Radisson Governor’s Inn, Research Triangle, N.C. on September 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm.  The event was attended by twenty nine folk, consisting of the HOCC members, their guests, the student scholar from Gilford County Technical Community College (GCTCC) and his family and representatives from the college.

This year’s student recipient is Gorkem Baydar, a full time student at GCTCC.  He was originally born in Turkey and lived there for nine years. He moved to the United States with his family in 1995, and is currently a citizen of both nations. He has lived in the Piedmont Triad for over 12 years, and is currently enrolled in the Aviation Management/Pilot Technology program.  When he completes his degree and obtains a commercial rating, his plan is to start flying for a local Part 91 flight department. Once the necessary flight hours are acquired, he hopes to begin his airline career as a pilot with one of the regional airlines.  His ultimate goal is to fly international routes as a captain for one of the major airlines.

The speaker for this year’s banquet was Bill Wilkerson, retired US Airlines Captain, and member of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.  Bill started flight lessons at age 16 and earned his pilot’s license at 21, beginning 42 years of continuous flying experience. With Piedmont and U.S. Airways, his career included jobs as Line Pilot, Check Airman, Assistant Chief Pilot and Flight Manager. Aviation has been an integral part of his life.

The banquet was also the platform to introduce the new HOCC website, which had been under construction for some seven months.  This exciting new site contains the Tuskegee history, HOCC history, a photo section, and information about past and future events.

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