The ERA of U: 90 Years of Embry-Riddle

It’s your time to reminisce! Help Embry-Riddle celebrate its 90th anniversary (1926-2016) by sharing your memories at alumni.erau.edu/erau90. Read some of our early submissions here.

Big Man on Campus

During my three years at Embry-Riddle Prescott, it was not uncommon to see John Paul Riddle strolling the campus, often in white tennis shorts, shoes and a preppy sweater. He was still playing tennis in his early 80s. One day he stopped me outside the library and said, “I want to know what they’re teaching you around here, so answer these questions: Do you know who Lincoln Beachey was?” I replied, “Yes sir, he was the first pilot to master the loop.” Seemingly impressed, he continued, “Do you know who Barney Oldfield was?” I responded, “Yes sir, he was a race car driver who raced his car against Beachey in an airplane.” John Paul smiled, shook my hand, and said, “You’re getting a good education here,” and he headed to the courts.

D. Michael Ehl (’83, PC)

Buck Up Bucko

I remember hearing the high-pitched scream of Professor Bolton driving his “jet powered” car around campus. I remember the Clark Gable look-alike that said jets were a passing fancy, but recipes would be around forever. I remember Pop Alonso getting on the [Beechcraft] D-18, bucking up, undoing his pants belt and buckle and then saying, “OK, Bucko, are we going to do this or what?” And most of all, I remember all of my fraternity brothers at Alpha Eta Rho that are all industry leaders and have been my brothers for all these years.

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Tom Berg (’70, DB)

The Olympiad

Resident vs. Resident

I was a freshman residential adviser (RA) for Hall 3 (2011-2012) and for Hall 4 (2012-2013). At the end of freshman orientation we hold an event called “The Olympiad,” which pits freshman halls against each other in field games in a battle for supremacy and awesomeness. Myself, and the other RAs came up with the tradition of face painting the residents and creating chants and battle cries, which still continues today. The 2011-2012 mascot for Hall 3 was the Bacon Shark, and the 2012-2013 mascot for Hall 4 was the Bacon Badger. Both halls came in first place for their respective years.

Lorenzo “Enzo” Vito Galicia (‘15, PC)

Skyfest Salute

Although I’m listed as a Worldwide Campus graduate, I spent seven semesters at the Daytona Beach Campus, and in my heart I’m a Daytona Beach graduate. The memory I want to share took place at the spring 1986 Skyfest air show. On the last day of the show, Embry-Riddle was celebrating its 60th anniversary with a picnic on the University Center grounds. There were fewer buildings on campus then, and the view of the airport was unobstructed. Many students, faculty and staff had gathered to watch the military aircraft depart, most of which had requested and received permission to do maximum performance takeoffs. The best part was the takeoff performed by two AV-8 Harriers. The two aircraft departed normally, but then they circled the airfield and made a low pass down the center of the runway. They slowed as they came abeam the school … and stopped! Holding their position above the runway, they pivoted toward the school and dipped their noses in a bow to the school, then they turned back down the runway centerline and roared off in horizontal flight. Perhaps the AV-8s aren’t as fast as the F-15s or F-16s that departed DAB that day, but what they did brought us all to our feet shouting at the top of our lungs. We could have received no better tribute. Happy 90th Anniversary, Embry-Riddle. And thanks for the opportunities you have given all of us.

Jeffrey Miller (’86, WW)

Brigitte Lakah and John Paul Riddle
Brigitte Lakah and John Paul Riddle

Fond Memories

The best years of my life were 1982-1986.

Brigitte Lakah (’87, DB)