This issue of Lift celebrates Embry-Riddle alumni who are translating resilience into action. From seizing new market opportunities for business jet fractional ownership to retooling a critical supply chain to raising standards of excellence at the intersection of safety, quality and customer service, Eagles move our industry forward.
Although the past year brought delays and detours, our insight, experience and sheer love of flight and exploration remained as motivating as ever. I like to believe we share a little historical DNA as a part of Embry-Riddle. Resourcefulness is the core of our legacy. And how we advance, even when the route seems indirect, can bring unexpected gains.
Embry-Riddle’s founder, John Paul Riddle, faced setbacks that feel familiar to us a century later. In 1918, he caught influenza. Although he made a full recovery, the pandemic and struggling economy sidelined his goal of becoming a pilot with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Rather than abandon his dream, Riddle focused on aviation maintenance, until a spot in the Army flight program opened. At 25, he opened a flight school of his own that grew into an aviation business. Based on this early experience, he insisted his pilots complete extensive maintenance training, convinced it would make them safer operators. His conviction paid off when the company’s reputation for safety led to its success in securing CAM-24, one of the first U.S. air mail routes. The government contract stabilized the fledgling company, allowing it to expand to cargo service, photogrammetry and even aviation-based tourism.
Each of us, in our own way, carries forward Riddle’s combination of daring and pragmatism. As you will see from the achievements featured in this issue, our graduates continue to embody creativity and productivity even in the face of unexpected challenges.
These success stories are a source of pride. We can’t say it too much: Thank you for serving as ambassadors of inspiration. Thank you, too, for the generous financial support that funds scholarship, research and futures. Embry-Riddle graduates have always shown the industry what excellence looks like and your support will continue that tradition.
Onward. Upward. Beyond,
P. Barry Butler, Ph.D.