Kent State's New World-Class FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center Takes Flight
Kent State University’s new FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center provides a world-class training ground to help aviation students and future pilots soar to even greater achievements.
The sleek, modern learning center, made possible with gifts totaling $6.5 million from FedEx Corp., was unveiled during a grand-opening event Sept. 6. The celebration showcased bold new technologies and innovative teaching tools essential for world-class pilots of the future. The event finale featured a dramatic flyover by Kent State alumni and student flight instructors.
The new 17,800-square-foot center is the second building for the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, but the first located at the Kent State University Airport in Stow, Ohio. It provides students with a state-of-the-art learning facility that will allow the college to accommodate more students to meet the growing need for commercial pilots worldwide.
Kent State President Todd Diacon said the FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center will accelerate the university’s commitment to graduate aviation professionals able to lead and excel in the complex, rapidly growing global transportation sector.
“We applaud the generosity of FedEx, who understands that our success in training world-class aviation students ultimately contributes to their success as well,” Diacon said. “We are grateful that FedEx recognizes the value and impact our graduates have in the aeronautics industry and their reputation for industry preparedness and leadership.”
Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, also thanked FedEx for its support.
“Through this support, FedEx has made a long-term investment in our students,” Dean Bloebaum said. “The FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center empowers us to broaden our educational reach, expanding student access to a nationally distinctive education and innovative spirit we inspire in our students.”
The new facility will increase the program’s capacity to enroll students to meet the growing demand for pilots, which the Boeing Co.’s 2019 Pilot and Technician Outlook predicts will be more than 804,000 new pilots worldwide by 2038.* Enrollment in Kent State’s Aeronautics Program has increased by 55% since 2010, and this new space will allow the university to continue to expand its enrollment by providing needed space for program growth.
The new academic center houses classrooms, collaborative spaces, briefing rooms, flight simulator rooms, and faculty and staff offices. It will provide rooms for current and additional courses and, most importantly, will allow for growth in the program’s enrollment.
University guests toured the facility following the unveiling. The grand opening was part of two days of events highlighting Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering.
The day also included the Seventh Annual Dick Schwabe Golf Scramble, a student luncheon, tours of the new academic center and a dinner for alumni and friends.
On Sept. 7, the university hosted its annual Aeronautics & Engineering Expo at the Kent State University Airport. The family-friendly public featured virtual reality, robots, airplane rides, unmanned aerial vehicles, flight simulators and foundry demonstrations among the 40-plus experiences offered during the expo.
The FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center, as the first academic building at the airport, for the first time will bring the expo partially inside as flight simulator experiences, tours and speakers will take place in the new center.
For more information about Kent State's College of Aeronautics and Engineering, visit www.kent.edu/cae.