The Spirit of Columbus® Award 2023 Honoree, Dr. Frederic Bertley!
Every year on the anniversary of Jerrie Mock's historic flight around the world in her single-engine Cessna named Spirit of Columbus, the Foundation recognizes members of our community who, like Jerrie, exhibit bravery, boldness, and determination through their efforts and accomplishments.
Dr. Frederic Bertley was selected as The Spirit of Columbus® Award honoree for 2023 in recognition of his commitment to central Ohio in the areas of science literacy, education equity, and the workforce pipeline.
As President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Dr. Bertley's boundless creativity, unwavering resolve, and generous acts of service inspire youth and families throughout central Ohio to dream BIG. His leadership encourages young learners to be curious about STEM and has elevated COSI to national recognition.
In April 2023, we welcomed community leaders to The Columbus Foundation to surprise Dr. Bertley with The Spirit of Columbus® Award. Watch Dr. Frederic Bertley's inherent leadership and captivating spirit in action as he explains his passion for science, education equity, and community building.
“Like Jerrie Mock, Dr. Bertley exemplifies community spirit, innovation, and leadership in action. His boundless creativity, unwavering resolve, and generous acts of service have inspired youth and families in our community and beyond to dream big about the future.”
Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation
Previous Spirit of Columbus Award Honorees
Jerrie Mock and the Spirit of Columbus
More than 50 years ago, Jerrie Mock became the first woman to fly around the globe solo. On March 19, 1964, Jerrie, then a Bexley resident and mother of three, climbed into her single-engine Cessna, “Spirit of Columbus,” and took off from Port Columbus International Airport.
Mock’s historic journey lasted 29 days as she flew more than 23,000 miles. Stops included Bermuda, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia where she was met with applause when the men realized she was unaccompanied.
Mock landed safely back at Port Columbus on April 17, 1964. President Lyndon Johnson presented Mock with the Federal Aviation Agency's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service on May 4, 1964.
Originally published in 1970, Mock detailed her flight and stories from around the world in her book, Three-Eight Charlie.
On April 17, 2014, fellow aviators, historians, community leaders, and friends gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary, when a life-size bronze statue of Jerrie holding a globe, created by Columbus artist Renate Burgyan Fackler, was unveiled at Port Columbus International Airport.