Earlier this year, I had lunch with some visiting alumni at Embry-Riddle’s new dining experience at the Daytona Beach Campus: Boundless. Branded as an all-you-care-to-eat restaurant, this mini-mall of elevated food stations offers a smorgasbord of tasty offerings — and limitless servings — all for one price. After ordering a salad from one of the dining stations, I was handed a carefully-crafted custom bowl of leafy greens, fruit, nuts and cheese, and greeted with a friendly, “Thank you, have an aeronautical day!”
While our vocabulary doesn’t define us, it can certainly add flavor and meaning to our encounters with others. The salad artist at Boundless must recognize this truth. Like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae (which I avoided this time), or the sprig of mint afloat in an iced beverage, she joyfully seasons each transaction with a unique-to-Embry-Riddle garnish.
She’s not alone. As I cross the country and travel abroad meeting with alumni — now close to 140,000 strong — I find a similar aviation-minded and purely Embry-Riddle spirit.
Our alumni share a collective drive to achieve, to lead, to innovate, to design-test-build, to rise to great heights — 30,000 feet … and beyond. And, to make a difference for others — especially their fellow Embry-Riddle Eagles.
Everywhere I go (physically and virtually), I see Eagles helping Eagles. From offering resume advice and mentoring, to sharing business leads, doing beach and park clean-ups, running 5 and 10Ks for charity, helping build homes for the needy, leading club sports for our students, and volunteering for university and community boards and committees.
It’s the Embry-Riddle way. It’s not only our passion for aviation and aerospace that we share. It’s the way we treat our co-workers, family, friends and neighbors. We see the difference we can make in the world with the skills and aptitudes we’ve developed through our lifelong love of learning and in our professions, and we choose to apply these skills to help others. We give of our talent, time and treasure. It’s just who we are. It’s part of our vocabulary.
I’m proud to be an Embry-Riddle Eagle, and I’m proud of all of you. In the words of my friend at Boundless, “Thank you, and have an aeronautical day.”
Forever an Eagle
Bill Thompson (’87)