Reveling in Our History

As we commemorate 90 years of innovation (1926–2016), we at Embry-Riddle are taking the time to revel in our unique history, but also focus on the continued advancement of the university. We are hard at work planning for our future—a future that will not be complete without you.

Throughout the spring, I’ve been laying the groundwork for a new strategic plan to fuel our next decade of growth, one that will take Embry-Riddle to its 100th anniversary, and beyond. I have been listening to students, faculty and staff voice their opinions regarding needed improvements, key opportunities and desired outcomes for the university. It is thanks to their input and your involvement that we will chart a continued course for success.

Our long and prestigious history was built on a bold vision, a tolerance for risk and the courage to respond readily to opportunity. Today, our founders’ enterprising spirit can be seen in our students and alumni, as they push the boundaries of education, research and technology to transform their respective industries.

Take, for example, the primary topic of this issue of Lift: aviation cybersecurity. Embry-Riddle is known for developing leaders—and cybersecurity is no exception. To compile the cover feature, our writers interviewed 26 subject matter experts who represent only a fraction of the growing number of Embry-Riddle alumni and faculty researching and designing solutions to our world’s cybersecurity challenges.

By all accounts, we are going to need them, and more. The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is increasing exponentially with a talent shortage of 1.5 million projected by 2020. Always at the forefront of evolving trends, Embry-Riddle is doing its part to fill this need with a variety of degree programs tailored to prepare the cybersecurity heroes of tomorrow.

This type of adaptability and innovation is a common theme throughout Embry-Riddle’s history. I invite you to see just how much your university has changed to address industry needs. Visit your campus (or one near you) to meet the newest slate of visionaries and witness the campus’ physical transformation.

Better still, enjoy the Wings Out West/OctoberWest Alumni Homecoming Weekend and AOPA Regional Fly-In festivities in Prescott, Ariz., Sept. 29-Oct. 1, or take part in our 90th Anniversary Finale: The Wings & Waves Air Show/Alumni Homecoming Weekend in Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 6-9. I promise they will be memorable experiences.

Embry-Riddle is truly a university on the move. The time is now to capitalize on our strong legacy so that we may support future generations of Eagles. I invite you to be an active part of that future by sharing your ideas with me.


John R. Watret, Ph.D., FRAeS
Interim President