As I review this past year and all of the activities that took place among our Alumni Networks, I am amazed, impressed and humbled by your accomplishments.
I am especially proud of Eagles Help, a monthlong event held in November that rallied alumni to support their communities. Our Eagle networks partnered with service groups or organized their own volunteer projects. The result: alumni built homes for Habitat for Humanity, donated and packaged Christmas gifts for needy children, visited veterans at local VA hospitals, and cleaned several beaches and parks. We hope to grow the Eagles Help initiative in 2016 to include even more Alumni Networks.
Time Flies. How many times have you heard that expression?
It is at graduation that I realize just how quickly four years can evolve, as I see the growth and maturity of our graduates. It is also a time that I am incredibly proud of what Embry-Riddle does for our students, the industries they go on to support, our nation and the world. When I witness the bright minds crossing the stage, and watch as our newest military officers are commissioned, I recall the oft-quoted Pope John Paul II, who said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”
The future starts now, and as I see the enthusiasm and dedication of our graduates, I am reminded of how fortunate we are as an institution to be a part of their lives.
To those who worry about our youth and the future of our country, I challenge you to spend a moment in an Embry-Riddle classroom and witness the projects, patriotism, drive and commitment that emanate from our students. These new Eagles are eager to make a difference, just as you were, and they join seasoned alumni who have made a name for Embry-Riddle in our industry—a name synonymous with excellence and the Embry-Riddle way.
As Embry-Riddle celebrates its 90th anniversary this year (1926–2016), I encourage all alumni to return to campus, reconnect and spend some time with our students and new graduates. What you’ll see in their eyes is the same spirit, drive and determination that you saw in the mirror when you became an Eagle.
Forever an Eagle!
Bill Thompson (’87, PC)