May 13, 2008

Golf scramble will support aviation scholarships

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's nationally recognized aviation programs are hosting a golf scramble in June to supplement scholarship opportunities for students.

The inaugural Aviation Scholarship Golf Scramble is Monday, June 16, at the Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills.

The golf scramble fundraising idea came from SIUC aviation alumni, including Doug Fitz, a captain with Northwest Airlines, and Steve Brainerd, a captain with American Airlines, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the SIUC Department of Aviation Management and Flight. They worked with Charles Priester, chairman and CEO of Wheeling-based Priester Aviation, in arranging the details for the scramble.

Golf scramble proceeds will go toward scholarships benefiting students in SIUC's aviation flight, aviation management, and aviation technologies' programs. In October, 12 students received more than $30,000 in scholarships during the annual fall banquet. The aviation programs are part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

There are currently 110 students in the aviation technologies program, 180 students in aviation flight, and 120 students in aviation management.

The goal is to supplement existing scholarships and potentially create new scholarships, NewMyer said. Organizers hope to raise between $10,000 and $20,000.

"It provides a great opportunity for alumni and friends of the aviation programs to gather for a fun event and at the same time, assist current and future aviation students in their educational pursuits," said John D. Cotter, an assistant professor and interim chair of aviation technologies.

The programs are among the most cost-effective in the state when factoring in overall costs, NewMyer said. The average educational cost per student is $20,000 per year, along with another $39,000 over four years solely for aviation flight students, he said.

SIUC offers a more comprehensive choice than other universities, including the University of Illinois, which no longer offers an aviation technology degree, NewMyer said.

The aviation program is also home to two aviation career days that annually collaborate with large airlines -- United and American Airlines, along with an annual corporate aviation/general aviation career day. The program is the only one nationally that NewMyer knows of that places this emphasis on career days, which are also important recruiting tools.

Golf scramble costs are $145 per golfer and $550 for a team of four. The cost includes lunch, dinner, golf, a golf cart, and a T-shirt. Event sponsorships from $1,000 to $3,000 are available, and hole sponsorships are available for $200 apiece. A dinner-only option for non-golfers is available at $50 per person.

The entry deadline is Monday, June 9. For more information on registration or sponsorships, contact NewMyer at 618/453-8898 or Additional event information is also available at