Celebrating Flight Achievements: The College of Aeronautics and Engineering Pilot Pinning Ceremony

2023 College of Aeronautics and Engineering Pilot Pinning Ceremony

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University hosted the second annual Pilot Pinning Ceremony.

An aeronautics student receives thier pilot pin

Held in the new Henry and Louise Timken atrium of the Aeronautics and Engineering Building expansion, the event showcased students, alumni, and industry representatives, all unified by a common passion – the love of flying.

This year, approximately 60 students from the B.S. Professional Pilot program celebrated their achievements as 30 distinguished alumni, representing a wide span of graduation years from 1982 to 2022, honored them by awarding their first set of wings. This gesture not only marked the students' academic progression but also symbolized the continuous legacy of aviation excellence at Kent State University.

Our valued industry partners were present to connect with our students and discuss career opportunities within the aviation landscape. Adding to the occasion this year was a celebratory dinner and a new pin recognition for those who have achieved the Certified Flight Instructor certificate at Kent State University.

This was also the first year that Dean Christina L. Bloebaum, Ph.D. recognized individuals with the “Dean’s wings” who, while not pilots themselves or students in the Professional Pilot program, contributed significantly to the program. This recognition was given to the entire Aviation Maintenance staff, consisting of Josh Eyring, Chuck Doyle, Chris Brinker, Sarah Johnson, and Seth Brown, as well as FedEx Aeronautics and Academic Center support staff members Sheila Lyons and Michael Gershe. Eyring, Director of Aircraft Maintenance, accepted the wings on behalf of the maintenance staff. Andrew Morrison, Director of Philanthropy and Liz Porter, Director of Marketing, Communications and Outreach were also recipients of the Dean’s wings.

Brian Neff poses with a newly pinned pilot

Hosted by the Colleran Family, the inception of the Pilot Pinning Ceremony began in the academic year 2022-2023. This event was not just about tradition, it was about recognizing hard work and dedication. At its core, the Pilot Pinning Ceremony serves more than one purpose for the College of Aeronautics and Engineering:

  • Branding Excellence: It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the university, drawing attention to our renowned aviation programs.
  • Building Bridges: It acts as a magnet to attract future students while solidifying our relationship with current students, and alumni of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.
  • Fostering Community: It nurtures a sense of community and belonging among the students, setting the foundation for a supportive network they can always rely on.
  • Engaging & Reinforcing Values: The event boosts engagement across students, faculty, staff, and alumni, reminding everyone of our shared values and the sense of collective pride.

The Pilot Pinning Ceremony is a testament to our commitment to excellence, our honor to history, and our vision for the future. We look forward to future celebrations of student achievements in the Professional Pilot program and continuing this wonderful tradition.

POSTED: Friday, September 22, 2023 03:23 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 01:43 PM