A feather featured prominently in the design of our 2018 commencement programs.
Feathers seem delicate — but a feather is both light and strong. Bald eagles have about 7,000 feathers in layers that channel airflow and insulate them. The shape and spread of an eagle’s primary feathers control lift and direction in flight. Tail feathers stabilize movement.
Eagles fly smart. They climb high in a thermal then glide down to catch the next updraft. When they soar through a thermal in a home flock, they are described as a kettle of eagles. Our 2018 graduates now soar with a kettle of Eagles.
We also move forward with great friends and supporters. We recently honored former Congressman John Mica with the Sky King Award, in gratitude for his service to Embry-Riddle. The award itself is a smaller replica of the bronze eagle sculpture that stands in the lobby of the Jim W. Henderson Administration and Welcome Center at the Daytona Beach Campus.
I remind new graduates that they benefit, by association, from your success. Your achievements enhance our reputation. In appreciation, we are working to increase your return on investment in an Embry-Riddle education. As we enrich student experience with research and entrepreneurship, our graduates become more sought after and your alma mater is more respected.
Our board recently approved a strategic plan that set objectives to increase our enrollment; support student success; expand globally; and promote research-driven education and entrepreneurship. The plan identifies steps to grow our culture of philanthropy, but our goals go beyond encouraging giving. We want to build lifelong relationships by recognizing your contributions, offering career development resources and cultivating volunteerism that invites alumni to join forces with faculty and students.
What we will do matters. So does who we are. I am reaffirming our identity through a simple statement of our values, mission and vision:
Our Values: We embrace collaboration and teamwork, ethical and responsible behavior, and a culture of research and discovery that mirrors the professions we serve.
Our Mission: We teach the science, practice and business necessary to prepare students for productive careers in aviation, aerospace and other technologically driven industries.
Our Vision: We will be a global source for innovation and excellence in aerospace education and research.
As alumni, you continue to inspire us by how high you fly.
P. Barry Butler, Ph.D.
President, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University