Chairman of the Board
Dear Fellow Alumni,
Measured by student success and our growing reputation, 2018 proved to be an excellent year for Embry-Riddle. Across all campuses, we are delivering more personal attention to students.
We are raising our visibility as a global leader in aviation and aerospace education. Through new research and partnerships, we are increasingly recognized as the definitive source for aerospace education and innovation.
As we look to a new year, I am happy to share strategic decisions from the Board that are leading to significant improvements, as well as some moments of progress and pride.
The Board of Trustees approved a Strategic Plan for 2018-23. Our Strategic Plan, developed with input from faculty, students and staff, is a blueprint for our future that focuses on five major themes to drive our success: Student Experience and Success, Global Strategy, Research and Innovation, Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, and Enrollment Management.
Gifts are transforming what we can do for students. A very generous gift from a Trustee and his family will advance a new vision for global leadership at the David B. O’Maley College of Business. An anonymous donation representing a lifetime gift of $10 million will support student success across the university. The Jay and Leila Adams Athletic Endowed Scholarship was established to honor the lifelong support of Trustee Emeritus Jay Adams and his family. In addition to these investments in our students, we have secured record gifts and pledges. Planned gifts and pledges ensure a steady flow of resources to students and programs for decades to come.
Your support ensures that we continue to help all Eagles soar. Please make a gift this year if you can. (Go to givingto.erau.edu/give2018).
Enrollment hit an all-time high. We continue to balance growth with long-term increases in student quality and sustainable financial practices, something many institutions of higher education have not been able to do. New residence halls will welcome incoming students at both residential campuses in the coming year.
We earn high academic ratings. Undergraduate engineering programs continue to earn superior rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Colleges. Daytona’s Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering puts Embry-Riddle in an elite class of doctoral-granting institutions. U.S. News & World Report ranks our Worldwide Campus in the Top 5 schools for online bachelor’s degrees. Military Times named Embry-Riddle among the “Best for Vets” for 2018 based on quality and service.
Our financial health remains strong. Last year, Embry-Riddle earned its highest external credit rating ever. We continue to build on this solid financial foundation. Our Fiscal Year 2018 results place us at an even higher indicative rating with strong operating cash flow. This enables us to make strategic investments in programs, facilities and people. We are optimistic that our growing efforts in philanthropy will allow us to make more significant investments that provide our students with opportunities and scholarships they may not otherwise have.
We are adding research assets. A planned Applied Aviation and Engineering Research Hangar will provide faculty and industry with a unique platform to develop and test technology.
We marked a milestone. We celebrated the 40th Anniversary of our Prescott Campus, which is now home to students from 38 countries and the nation’s first U.S. College of Security and Intelligence.
We became the first Trusted Operators. Embry-Riddle is the first school to receive comprehensive Trusted Operator Program certification for unmanned flight instruction from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
We deliver the skills industry needs. Overall, our placement rate for new graduates remains among the best in the nation. Accelerated hiring programs at Boeing, Delta and SkyWest target our students. We’ve teamed up with Airbus to deliver new educational programs at Flight Works in Mobile, Alabama. Professional education programs continue to help industry meet workforce demands. Collaborations with Microsoft, Northrop Grumman and Pratt &
Whitney are filling critical jobs, such as IT developers, aviation maintenance technicians and airworthiness engineers.
Students and faculty win national honors. Students earned the first Raytheon Women in Aviation Scholarships, a prestigious Goldwater Scholar award, three National Business Aviation Association scholarships, the 2018 Outstanding ROTC Cadet of the Year award, and the Golden Eagles Flight Team once again won the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Safety and Flight Elevation Conference competition. Three faculty members were named Fulbright Scholars.
We work smart. The Worldwide Campus was one of only three academic institutions to earn the IDG Communications 2018 CIO 100 award for excellence in information technology.
We dedicated a new Student Union. I remain profoundly humbled and honored that the Student Union on the Daytona Campus bears my name. I am grateful to my fellow Board members, and many others, for the vision and leadership that brought this iconic center for the intellectual and social life into being. It has been, and remains, my privilege to serve my alma mater.
At the dedication of the Student Union, a guest offered a ringing endorsement of our national value. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao declared, “Embry-Riddle will build the human infrastructure that is necessary to ensure that America remains a global aviation leader.”
That observation was more than a proud moment – it was a reminder that our global leadership in aviation and aerospace is an indispensable part of our country’s safety, security and prosperity. All Eagles can take great pride in that contribution.
Happy New Year! Let’s take Embry-Riddle even higher in the year ahead.
Honorary Doctorate ’13, MBA ’82, BS ’79
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chairman & CEO, ICI (Intervest Construction Inc.)