Thursday, May 14, 2015
Haydu during her 2012
Pioneer Hall of Fame induction.
World War II veteran Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, WAI 42360, a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Vaughn College during its commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2015. The ceremony will be held in the William B. DeCota Hangar beginning at 10 a.m. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will deliver the commencement address to more than 150 graduates.
Bee was among the first women to fly military airplanes for the Army Air Force. As president of the WASP organization from 1975 to 1978, she led the fight in Congress to recognize the WASP as veterans more than three decades after the end of the war. The bill was signed into law by President Carter in 1977, and allowed the WASP access to Veterans Administration benefits.
In 2000, Bee was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and her original uniform is on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In 2012 she was inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, and in 2014 she received the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.
“Bernice Falk Haydu is an outstanding patriot and it is our pleasure to award her with an honorary doctor of science degree and recognize her service to this country,” said Sharon B. DeVivo, Vaughn College president. “She also spent her life devoted to aviation and blazed a path for women in this industry and we are thrilled to salute all of her achievements. WASP have assured that women pilots everywhere are recognized for their achievements and receive the acknowledgement they deserve.”

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