Lt. Charles Darwin Dees Endowed Memorial Fund

Established in 2003 by members of the Class of 1953 who were the first graduates of the university to receive commissions as second lieutenants through the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) Program at North Carolina A&T State University. The fund was established in memory of First Lt. Charles Darwin Dees.

Lt. Dees was the son of the late Arthur Simuel and Eva Mae Murphy Dees, the husband of Doris Scipio Dees and the father of Doris Deborah Dees-Gladden and Charles Darwin Dees Jr. Lt. Dees received elementary and high school education at Chadbourn Negro High School, where he graduated in 1949. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from North Carolina A&T,  formerly North Carolina A&T College, in 1953.

Lt. Dees was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in September 1953. A member of the Class of 1953, he was co-pilot aboard a KC-97G refueling tanker aircraft of the 509th Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command (SAG) which had taken off from Walker Air Force Base in New Mexico the morning of Oct. 27, 1957. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed into Gray Mountain in Arizona.

Lt. Charles Darwin Dees became the first graduate of the NC A&T AFROTC Program to be killed in the service of his country. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Lt. Charles Darwin Dees Endowed Memorial Fund

The Charles D. Dees Award will be given to a junior or senior AFROTC cadet who has demonstrated the same high ideas and dedication to duty as Lt. Dees. The recipient will be chosen by the AFROTC staff and will be presented as the Annual AFROTC Awards Banquet.

Pledge Form for the Lt. Charles Darwin Dees Endowed Memorial Fund