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November 03, 2001

Wright State University taps Zoe Dell Nutter as first recipient of Spirit of Innovation Award

Expanding horizons for women aviators, pursuing artistic excellence on the stage, leading the way in philanthropic and civic endeavors: the life of Zoe Dell Nutter is characterized by breaking new ground and seeking new opportunities.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, Wright State University honored Nutter for her visionary and courageous spirit by presenting her with its first Spirit of Innovation Award. She was presented the award Saturday evening at a gala ceremony to kick off the university's first-ever campaign, Tomorrow Takes Flight, the Campaign for Wright State University.

"The award was created to honor those who have mirrored the innovative spirit of the Dayton area and of Wright State," said Kim Goldenberg, president, Wright State University. "Zoe Dell Nutter has made significant contributions to several professional fields, as well as philanthropic and civic contributions that have had local, regional and national impact. Her many contributions embody a spirit of innovation that serves as an inspiration to the entire community."

Logging more than 2,000 hours as a commercial multi-engine instrument pilot, Nutter served as an officer in the Civil Air Patrol where she flew search and rescue missions. She also directed the promotion of the Small Aircraft Division of the Elano Corporation, owned by her late husband, Ervin J. Nutter, and was one of the company's pilots. Nutter served 12 years on the Board of Trustees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 1988 was the first woman ever to be elected president. She is a member of the San Francisco Aeronautical Society and the 99's, the International Organization of Licensed Women Pilots, and a recipient of the Aviation Trail's Trail Blazer Award.

A dancer by profession, Nutter first attained recognition as the official hostess of the 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. She traveled more than 100,000 miles by air to publicize the fair and to promote travel on commercial airlines. For many years, she also appeared with the San Francisco Ballet. Nutter was the official representative from the State of California to the Brussels World Fair in 1958, and a "Flying Ambassadress" to the Century 21 Exposition at Seattle in 1961 and the New York's World Fair in 1964.

For her outstanding civic accomplishments, Nutter was honored by Governor George Voinovich in 1999 with the Governor's Award and was included in Who's Who in America from 1993 to 1998. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., the Advisory Board of the Treasure Island Museum in San Francisco and is a charter member of the Friends of the First Ladies of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Biography of Zoe Dell Nutter http://www.wright.edu/news_events/news/nutter_biography.html Separator

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