As I reflect on the activities and events held since the last issue of Lift magazine, I am reminded of this quote by Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
In the past fiscal year, your Alumni Relations Office, which is now appropriately renamed the Office of Alumni Engagement, facilitated more than 150 events. When you add them up, they amount to One exceptional year — because of the thousands of Eagles who joined, organized, participated or were involved with your alma mater.
In the past six months, we have participated in graduation celebrations where Eagles came together for a photograph to “Lift Off” as One commencement class united for the future.
I have proudly observed the Golden Eagles Flight Team represent One incredible legacy of championships by winning its third consecutive national title, and celebrating as One the 12 earlier championships won by previous Embry-Riddle teams during a February reunion.
I have sadly observed a memorial where One fallen Eagle, was mourned by more than One thousand Eagles standing together, while his father talked about the shortened life of his only son.
I have witnessed the transformation during commissioning from cadet to officer or ensign, where ROTC graduates become One of our newest military leaders.
I have also seen the frustration of a student, who needed One more point to get an “A” to sustain a perfect 4.00. He told me he wished that he had studied for One more hour and missed One less class.
All of us Eagles have a strong memory that involves at least One class, professor, college friend, campus building, test, check ride, kiss, hug or hand that helped shape who we are today.
In addition, we all have One name that brings us together.
We are One Eagle family. While our campuses may have been different, our goals and passions are similar, and we are now greater by the sum of One.
As I think of each of you and our collective Eagle Nation, I hope that you will accept our invitation to return to the One place that helped mold your lives.
Alumni from all of our campuses (Florida, Arizona, Worldwide/Online, Asia and Miami) will come home this October for OctoberWest/Wings Out West at the Prescott Campus and/or for Alumni Homecoming Weekend at the Daytona Beach Campus. Please join them. And, remember, be proud: We are Eagles and we are One.
Forever an Eagle,
Bill Thompson (’87)