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Phillip Guy Richardson Memorial Scholarship

The Phillip Guy Richardson Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior of Napoleon High School. The award recognizes exceptional high school and college achievement in academics, citizenship and extracurricular activity.


Phillip Guy Richardson was a 1953 graduate of Napoleon High School.  Phillip had a solid 3.0 or better GPA.  He excelled in all sports... basketball, football, baseball, and track.  He was a team player whose leadership was an inspiration to his teammates.  In school, he was everyone's friend and was voted class president as a freshman, sophomore, and senior.

A career in aviation was Phillip's dream.  He got his pilot's license and owned his own aircraft while still in high school.  He graduated from Western Michigan University in January 1959 with a degree in aeronautics and was commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy.  He completed Navy flight training mid-1959 and began his military career as a Navy pilot.

In January 1966, Phillip was test flying a recently overhauled aircraft.  During the flight the jet's engine failed.  His commanding officer ordered him to eject, but at the time he was over a densely populated metropolitan area.  He realized that if he ejected, the plane crash would likely injure and kill scores of people on the ground.  He responded to the order by saying, "No, I cannot let that happen.  I will maintain control as long as possible to get this plane away from the populated area."  Drawing on all his aviation skills and physical strength he was able to maneuver the doomed aircraft on a flight path back to the air base.  He crashed 1000 feet short of the runway.

Phillip Guy Richardson was laid to rest with full military honors at Napoleon Cemetery on January 29,1966 ... on what would have been his 31st birthday.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Napoleon High School senior or prior recipient 

  • Exemplary citizenship 

  • Participation in school activities and/or sports 

  • Leadership and outside activities including work experience 

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher   

Scholarship Criteria: Applicants may be interviewed by a committee of community members

Renewable: Yes, up to 3 times


Scholarship Award:  up to $2,000. The first year a student receives this scholarship, Napoleon Community Schools

awards an additional $1,000. 

Scholarship use: Tuition and fees

Philip Guy Richardson

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