Zonta International was the only non-flying organization that Amelia joined in her short, intense life. She had been a member of the Zonta Club of New York, USA, since 1930 when she disappeared on 2 July 1937 while attempting to be the first pilot to circle the world by air at the equator. The following year, Zonta International vowed to honor her memory with a scholarship for women graduate students in engineering. There were very few women pursuing advanced postgraduate degrees in that field, and the women of Zonta in 1938 wanted to encourage women to think big and participate in this exciting new field.
To quote Amelia Earhart: “Women should do for themselves what men have already done – occasionally what men have not done – thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. Some such consideration was a contributing reason for my wanting to do what I so much wanted to do.”