Pantelis Vassiliou (’86) recently established the Nancy and Tracy Doryland Aerospace Engineering Faculty Support Endowment at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus.
“This gift will help us maintain and improve a world-class undergraduate wind tunnel facility and enable our students and faculty to achieve even greater advances in aerospace education and undergraduate research,” says Mark Sensmeier, chair of the campus’s department of aerospace engineering.
An aerospace engineering graduate, Vassiliou has further offered to match any gift given by others to the endowment — up to a total of $50,000 a year over the next three years.
“Embry-Riddle, and especially the Prescott Campus, will always hold a very special place in my heart,” Vassiliou says. “A special part of those memories was Tracy Doryland and his dedication and work in establishing the aerospace engineering program there.”
Vassiliou’s gift followed the Feb. 20, 2018, rededication of the Nancy and Tracy Doryland Wind Tunnel, which kicked off National Engineers Week activities at the Prescott Campus.
The Dorylands were like surrogate parents for many Embry-Riddle students, providing guidance and stability to generations of aspiring engineers, says Peg Billson (’84), who attended the rededication ceremony.
“We had [students] over for dinner and all kinds of stuff, because that’s just what we felt we should do,” Tracy Doryland recalls. “It was a really small campus, very personal — and by the time they graduated, most of these kids were our friends. And still are.”
Vassiliou’s gift is unique in that it also allows other donors to double the impact of their contributions, says Steve Bobinsky, executive director of development. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to put our generosity to work to benefit future aerospace engineers at the Prescott Campus.”