Col. Charles E. McGee Scholarship for Columbia College student veterans

Colonel Charles McGee

Col. Charles McGee '78, U.S. Air Force (retired) and a Tuskegee Airman, served as a technical consultant for the George Lucas World War II movie “Red Tails,” released nationwide Jan. 20. The movie focuses on the exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen

McGee first appears at 3:58, though the entire mini-documentary
is worth your time.
Watch the movie trailer.

The Airmen were a select group of black World War II fighter pilots who broke stereotypes. They were the first black men to fly in combat when blacks were generally thought fit only for menial chores; their fighters escorted American bombers over the hostile skies of Europe.

View an oral history of McGee, filmed in the historic St. Clair Parlor of Columbia College in 2008.

In his extraordinarily long career, McGee also commanded a fighter squadron in the Philippines, a reconnaissance squadron at now-defunct Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base just south of Kansas City and completed 409 missions (an Air Force record at the time of his retirement) and 1,151 combat hours in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the highest three-war total in Air Force history. In 2007, President George Bush awarded McGee and the surviving Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the nation's highest civilian award and in 2011, McGee was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Read the full McGee bio.

To honor his legacy and further veterans or their dependents’ education, the college and McGee established the Col. Charles E. McGee Scholarship, an annual $1,000 award to an undergraduate or graduate Columbia College student classified as a veteran or dependent of a veteran.

The scholarship is now open to applicants.

An essay of up to 500 words describing the applicant's personal circumstances and how education is, has or is expected to make a difference in their lives must accompany the application. Applications must be received by March 3.

For an application or more information, go to


Cookie Lover said...

Makes me proud to teach at Columbia College!

Cookie Lover said...

My husband and I saw this movie last night. It was a Saturday matinee in Wichita, KS and people were clapping at the end. I can't remember the last time people actually clapped in a movie theatre!

Anonymous said...

My son and I took him and two of his school friends. I thought that George Lucas did an amazing job. Most importantly I loved seeing the sense of pride on my son's face!