Southwest Airlines Grants Scholarships to Support Educational Opportunities for Students

Media Release

The 2023 Southwest Airlines Scholarship Program awarded 17 scholarships, pledging $290,000 to students over four years

DALLAS — Nov. 14, 2023—Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced the 2023 recipients of the Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King and the Southwest Airlines® Scholarships. The scholarships support students’ educational journeys nationwide, inspiring them to take flight through access to education. In the spirit of these scholarship programs, Southwest® pledged to provide $290,000 over four years to 17 award winners, and each student also received two round trip tickets on Southwest to help them stay connected to their loved ones during the year.

  • The Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King Scholarship,celebrating its 41st year, is an internal scholarship designed to pay tribute to the founders and namesakes of Southwest Airlines. It offers financial support to dependents of Southwest Employees furthering their education. 
  • The Southwest Airlines Scholarship, introduced in 2021, reflects a dedication to fostering a diverse talent pool within communities. As a scholarship available to external candidates across the country, it emphasizes the significance of creating equal opportunities and influencing future generations positively.  

“We’re proud to extend our scholarship support to 17 students this year while prioritizing access to education by recognizing its impact on an individual as they grow," said Laurie Barnett, Vice President Corporate Reputation at Southwest Airlines. "We look forward to continuing these opportunities and encouraging students to apply for these scholarships in the years ahead as we do our part to inspire future generations to let their dreams soar.”

The 2023 scholars attend universities across the country, +ncluding the University of Tennessee, Tuskegee University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Harvard College and more. Most of the awardees are just beginning their college adventures and have their eyes on an aviation career, working towards degrees ranging from aerospace engineering to aviation business administration.

The funds granted for both scholarships are sourced from the Southwest Airlines Foundation, managed by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and are available for students attending accredited vocational, community/junior college or undergraduate institutions. Through the Southwest Airlines Foundation, Southwest actively works to make a significant impact by investing in programs and initiatives that drive positive change, emphasizing fairness, prosperity and sustainability. For more about our corporate responsibility efforts, visit


Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline3. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 74,0004 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 126 million Customers carried in 2022. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years5 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a four-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting

  1. Based on U.S. Dept. Of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021     
  2. Fulltime-equivalent active Employees      
  3. 1973-2019 annual profitability    

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