06 Dec 2013

History of the College


This year, we are proud to be celebrating our 90th anniversary as a pioneer in aeronautics. It all began in 1928 when Spartan founder, oil magnate, W.G. Skelly surmised that air transportation would come of age and bring with it a need for skilled aircraft technicians and pilots – and he was right. As a result of his vision, the Spartan School of Aeronautics, with its learn-by-doing teaching philosophy, quickly became recognized as a leader in aviation education.

In the decades to follow, Spartan played a prominent role in aviation history. From the creation of the “Dawn Patrol” in the 1930’s, to providing training to the Army Air Corps and R.A.F. in the 40’s, under the direction of then Spartan President, J. Paul Getty, Spartan graduates have always embraced the spirit of flight.

Today, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has prepared more than 100,000 technicians and pilots for rewarding careers in the aeronautics industry. Expanding its operations in recent years, beyond Tulsa, to Denver, CO, Los Angeles, CA, and Inland Empire, CA has enabled Spartan College to continue to have a significant influence on aviation, worldwide.

The Spartan ‘Black Cat’ logo, which includes the number 13, and the slogan “Knowledge and Skill Overcome Superstition and Luck,” was the original insignia of the Spartan College Dawn Patrol. The spirit that led to the formation of the Dawn Patrol was most likely first evidenced by a group calling themselves the “Three Blind Mice.” The Dawn Patrol was promoted as an exclusive international body.  In the course of providing cross country and formation flying training, it also served to provide added glamour to attract students. The patrol’s founding is an integral part of Spartan College’s rich history, dating back to 1929.