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Scholars Recognized, Donors Appreciated

EKU Aviation scholarship recipients and their benefactors in the new hangar

In a special event, EKU Aviation brought together its very best students with donors and program benefactors.

Scholarships for the fall 2017 semester were announced at a reception on Wednesday, November 15th, at the Central Kentucky Regional Airport. As with most scholarship awards, students are aware of their benefactors - but do not always get to convey their thanks in person. Program Coordinator Dennis Sinnett wanted to make this year's awards announcement something special.

"We are very appreciative of all of the support from our donors over the years," said Sinnett. "We awarded four scholarships today and congratulate all five of our recipients. It was especially nice to hear from each of the namesake scholarships and their family members or representatives as they shared a special story."

Mike Eidson and Haley HaningThe Patricia Eidson Memorial Scholarship was presented by her brother, Mike Eidson, to Haley Jo Haning who is a Professional Flight senior from Shinnston, W.V. This scholarship is open to any female pursuing a career as a professional pilot. Applicants must have a private pilot's license, a minimum 3.0 GPA and have completed at least 60 credit hours. Mr. Eidson said that his sister, Patricia, came up through aviation the hard way starting as a private pilot and moving to Miami to fly charters over the ocean. She built up hours and became a 747 flight engineer, eventually doing very well as a co-pilot on a 737 flying for United.

 Jack Pattie, Douglas Newman, Mikel Jordan, Jim Jordan and Mark ColeThe Tag Veal Memorial Scholarship was presented by Jim Jordan, Jack Pattie and Mark Cole, all colleagues of Captain Tag during his years at WVLK. The two awards were presented to Professional Flight seniors Douglas Scott Newman, from McDowell, Ky., and to Mikel Ahje Jordan, from Louisville. The scholarship is open to any declared aviation student with a GPA of at least 3.0 who holds a private pilot's license.Captain Tag Veal was a legendary on-air traffic reporter for WVLK radio station and known as quite a character. His friends reaffirmed Captain Tag's big heart and generosity that not only made some better pilots, but made us all better people.

Jarrod Hastie and Tim RossThe Robert L. 'Bob' Erekson Scholarship in Aviation was presented on behalf of Dean Tom Erekson by department chair, Dr. Tim Ross. Recipient Jarrod Dale Hastie is an Aerospace Management senior from Richmond. Named for Dean Erekson's father, the scholarship is open to any declared student in the professional flight program. When he came to campus, the Dean established three scholarships. Since his brother was a pilot, he well understood the financial challenges for flight students. Dr. Erekson also recalled his personal struggles trying to get by as a student and hoped that this award would help Aviation students as they progress through the program.

Maggie Hettinger, Kristena Cook and Haley HaningThe Kentucky Bluegrass Ninety-Nines' International Organization of Women Pilots Woman Aviator of Excellence Award in the amount of $1,000.99 was presented by chapter representative Maggie Hettinger. Recipient Kristena Y. Cook is a Professional Flight senior from Louisville. The Ninety-Nines is an international organization founded in 1929 for mutual support, the advancement of aviation, and to share the history of women in aviation. Today's award is primarily to help with flight fee expenses. Haley Haning was a previous Nine-Nines' scholarship recipient for EKU.

Find out more about EKU Aviation scholarships and internships at

Published on November 20, 2017

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