UNO has a new piece of hardware to show off in a campus trophy case. The Aviation Institute was presented with the most prestigious award for collegiate aviation.
The "Flying Mavs" received the Loening Trophy for superior aeronautical skills -- including academics, safety and community service. The team also secured the Aviation Progress Award as this year’s most improved.
"If I could establish an equivalent of this trophy it would be the Lombardi Trophy, the Stanley Cup -- it is a team trophy," said Peter Bro with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. "It is only awarded to one team. There is no second place."
"I'm personally proud of this team," said UNO Chancellor John Christensen, who also recognized the irony of the event Thursday afternoon considering he has an aversion to flying.
This sterling silver trophy was first awarded in 1929. At the time, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were judges.
SAFECON 2012, organized by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association, was hosted by Kansas State University in Salina from May 14th-19th.
This year, 28 teams and 300 students competed in this national event. According the NIFA website, the Loening Trophy was first awarded in 1929 and named after Grover Loening, aviation pioneer and the first aeronautical engineer for the Wright Brothers.
“Winning the Loening Trophy is a tremendous accomplishment for our program,” said Scott Vlasek, director of the Aviation Institute. “It takes into account everything our faculty, staff and students do. The academic achievements of our students, the financial and career support the local aviation community provides and the dedication of the faculty in the areas of teaching and research make us stand out.”