Howard Hughes
Memorial Award

Howard Hughes Memorial Awards Banquet

Eren Ozmen, Chairwoman and Owner of Sierra Nevada Corporation, has been selected as the 45th annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award winner!

Congratulations Laurans ‘Larry’ A. Mendelson, Chairman/ CEO of HEICO and the James Webb Space Telescope Team!

September 6, 2023 was an evening of celebration when Mr. Mendelson was honored with the 44th Howard Hughes Memorial Award at the California Club.

Hundreds of attendees enjoyed a memorable evening recognizing Mr. Mendelson and his HEICO team members’ extraordinary contributions to aviation and defense. Aero Club President George Butts and Board Member Stephen Perry presented Mr. Mendelson with the Howard Hughes Memorial Award medallion minted from the Howard Hughes silver mine in Nevada.

The JWST NASA and Northrop Grumman Team received the inaugural Howard Hughes Memorial Discovery Award. Aero Club President George Butts and Space Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Grant presented trophies to Mike Menzel, NASA JWST Mission Systems Engineer and Robby Swoish, NGC JWST Operations and Maintenance Program Manager. The JWST Team was lauded for the telescope’s international collaboration and advancing aerospace discovery. 

Aero Club Scholarship Donors Henry and Paulette Matson and Gary Burdorf were recognized with scholarship winners Mary Cooper, Robert Suppelsa and Jammal Yarbrough.

ACSC has sponsored the annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award since 1978 honoring individuals with outstanding career achievements in the realms of aviation and space. The Club’s scholarship program assists passionate high school and college students pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace.

Hughes’ first cousin, William R. Lummis, established the award in 1978, and the Aero Club of Southern California presents the award annually. 

Recent recipients of the award include
SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, Richard “Dick” Rutan, and Harrison Ford.

About the Howard Hughes Memorial Medallion

The solid silver medallion, cast in silver from Hughes’ Nevada mines, depicts Hughes from the era when he was designing and flying his famed Flying Boat and setting world aviation records. 

The reverse side highlights other aspects of Hughes’ life – the Hughes drill bit, a film reel, a landing falcon, the state of Nevada, the earth encircled with stars for his around-the-world record, the first communications satellite, and the Flying Boat cresting the waves of Long Beach Harbor.

The medallion was designed and executed by sculptor Josef Princiotta.


About the Howard Hughes Memorial Trophy

The Howard Hughes Memorial trophy is a globe and vehicle sculpture with recipients’ names engraved on the base.

2021 Howard Hughes Memorial Trophy Presentation

Howard Hughes Memorial Award Recipients Include:

1978 – Jack Northrop 
1979 – Jimmy Doolittle
1980 – Pat Hyland
1981 – Bob Six
1982 – Kelly Johnson
1983 – Chuck Yeager
1984 – Ed Heineman
1985 – Barry Goldwater
1986 – Pete Conrad
1987 – Allen Paulsen
1988 – No Award Presented
1989 – Si Ramo
1990 – Jack Real
1991 – Ben Rich
1992 – Clifton Moore

1993 – Lee Atwood 
1994 – Harry Wetzel
1995 – Bobbi Trout
1996 – Tom Jones
1997 – Allen Puckett
1998 – Paul MacCready
1999 – John Brizendine
2000 – Willis Hawkins
2001 – Sam Iacobellis
2002 – Kent Kresa
2003 – Neil Armstrong
2004 – Frank Robinson
2005 – Burt Rutan
2006 – Eileen Collins
2007 – James Albaugh

2008 – Ron Sugar 
2009 – Bob Hoover
2010 – Fred Smith
2011 – Clay Lacy
2012 – Steven Udvar-Hazy
2013 – Dr. Edward Stone
2014 – Elon Musk
2015 – Jim Lovell
2016 – Wes Bush
2017 – Marillyn Hewson
2018 – Buzz Aldrin
2019 – Captain “Sully” Sullenberger
2021 – Richard “Dick” Rutan
2022 – Harrison Ford
2023 – Laurans ‘Larry’ A. Mendelson