Pilot Pinning Ceremony

We are excited to share the second annual Pilot Pinning Ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, September 7, 2023 in the new Aeronautics and Engineering Building Expansion.

The second annual Pilot Pinning Ceremony and Dinner, hosted by the Colleran Family, will be held on  Thursday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m. This event will recognize students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot.

At this event, students will receive their first set of wings to symbolize successfully earning their Private Pilot certificate from Kent State University. New this year, students who have received Certified Flight Instructor certifications will be honored with an additional set of wings to commemorate this transition from student to mentor.  Eligible students and instructors will have:

  • Private Pilot earned or at least one course completed at Kent State University;
  • Certified Flight Instructor earned at Kent State University;
  • or both.

Students eligible to receive a pin RSVP (guests use Register Now button below).

This event is also special to College of Aeronautics and Engineering alumni who present students with their pins. Last year, approximately 110 students participated in the inaugural event with more than 25 alumni representing classes from 1970-2020.

This year, the event will be held in the new Henry and Louise Timken Atrium in the Aeronautics and Engineering Building (1400 Lefton Esplanade, Kent, OH 44242).

Dinner and table sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals or organizations that would like to support our students. Dinner sponsor will receive four (4) dinner tickets, recognition on signage and in the event program and will be  mentioned during formal remarks. Table sponsors will receive two (2) dinner tickets, recognition on signage and in the event program.

Proceeds from this event will benefit student pilots in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

Register Now


The Inaugural Pilot Pinning Ceremony: Event Recap

The Inaugural Pilot Pinning Ceremony took place on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 11:00 AM as part of the Aeronautics & Engineering Expo hosted at the Kent State Airport (1G3).   

Approximately 110 students pursuing a B.S., Aeronautics, Professional Pilot concentration participated in this ceremony and earned their first set of wings, symbolizing their successful completion in earning their private pilot certificate from Kent State University. 

Students were pinned by over 25 alumni of the program from a span of graduation years, ranging from the 1970s - 2020. 


pinning ceremony Alex and Elliott

Students who earned their Private Pilot Certificate at Kent State University or have completed their first flight course at Kent State University were invited to participate in the ceremonial pinning of wings. Private pilots will received 2 sets of wings from an alumni professional pilot from Kent State University. The wings differ in size and include a larger set to be worn at formal events and gatherings and a smaller lapel set to be worn in business casual settings. 

Our industry partners were proud to honor this accomplishment and attended this ceremony. Leaders and talent recruiters were in attendance and talked with students about their career goals and the opportunities that exist within their companies and organizations. 

Students recognized at this ceremony:

  • Received custom-designed metal Kent State wings and secondary lapel pin;
  • Created connections with KSU alumni pilots and industry partners; 
  • Celebrated their achievements with family, friends, and support systems, who were also invited (and always encouraged!) to attend. 

Private Pilot Pinning Ceremony attendees were invited to stay and enjoy the A&E Expo for the entire day (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). 


Inaugural Ceremony Details

Welcome and Introduction

Christina L. Bloebaum, Ph.D., Dean and Professor
College of Aeronautics and Engineering, Kent State University

Keynote Address

Captain William F. Colleran, ’04
A320/321 Captain, Line Check Airmen, JetBlue

Presentation of Pins

Ceremonial Readers

Christina L. Bloebaum, Ph.D.
Maureen McFarland, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
College of Aeronautics and Engineering, Kent State University