Phil Boyer (right) presents a $20,000
scholarship check to Embry-Riddle Aviation
University President Dr. George Ebbs.
Matt Collier, AOPA President Phil Boyer,
Ryan Cherico, Mark Wanersdorfer, Matt Keefe
AOPA on Monday evening presented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a check for $20,000 for the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship fund. Each year, AOPA contributes a percentage of the AOPA membership dues of every Embry-Riddle alumni to its scholarship for ERAU's up-and-coming pilots. Some 4,300 Embry-Riddle graduates, most pursuing professional flying careers, hold AOPA membership.
AOPA President Phil Boyer made the presentation during a Pilot Town Meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida, home of one of the university's two residential campuses. Boyer also gave some "right-seat" time in AOPA's CitationJet to four selected students, allowing each to log a takeoff or landing.
Dr. George Ebbs, president of Embry-Riddle, accepted the scholarship donation on behalf of the university. Some 250 ERAU students and local aviators attended Monday's Pilot Town Meeting.
AOPA established the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship in 1997 and to date has given some $90,000 to the fund. The university applies the contributions to an endowed scholarship to help aviation students.
The fund is part of a landmark alliance between the world's largest aviation organization and the leading aviation university in the United States. With two residential campuses in Prescott, Arizona, as well as Daytona Beach, and more than 100 teaching facilities across the country, Embry-Riddle has the largest aeronautical science degree program in the United States.
ERAU students are offered special learning opportunities, including for a select handful, a chance to fly with Boyer and take the controls of N4GA, the AOPA CitationJet. This is the tenth year in a row that Boyer has gone flying with ERAU students.
This year, he flew with Ryan Cherico, Mark Wanersdorfer, Matt Keefe, and Matt Collier to Jacksonville, Florida's Cecil Field (VQQ), where each of the four got to log turbine time, including a takeoff or landing. The students were chosen by ERAU faculty for their academic excellence and active participation on campus.
Cherico is a 4.0 student and chairman of the Aeronautical Science Student Advisory Board. He holds commercial multiengine land-instrument, CFI, AGI, and IGI ratings.
Collier is pursuing a dual major in Aeronautical Science and Aerospace Engineering. He is the president of the Student Government Association and serves as a full-voting member of the school's Board of Trustees.
Keefe has been awarded the Frank Moxley, Jr. scholarship by ERAU. He holds a commercial multiengine land-instrument rating. Keefe is on track to graduate a year early.
Wanersdorfer has been an AOPA member since 1998, long before he began attending ERAU. He is a dispatcher on the ERAU flight line and serves on the Student Advisory Board.
AOPA also conducts other on-campus programs, including Air Safety Foundation safety seminars. And Embry-riddle students are eligible for internships at AOPA and at the Air Safety Foundation in Frederick, Maryland.
AOPA membership provides ERAU students with real-world resources that complement their academic training and pursuit of aviation careers.