September 16, 2011

Aviation alumni to gather next week in Wheeling

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Important updates and achievements of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation programs are on tap next week when alumni gather in Wheeling.

The annual SIUC Aviation Alumni Gathering is set for 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23, in the Priester Aviation hangars at the Palwaukee/Chicago Executive Airport, 1061 S. Wolf Road in Wheeling.  The event is free.  Parking will be available on the west side of the airport.

Chancellor Rita Cheng will also speak during the event, which gives SIUC aviation alumni a chance to meet and remain connected with the University. The event is for any graduate of any of the aviation programs from over the years, including the aviation management, aviation flight, aviation technologies and masters of public administration in aviation administration. All of the programs are in the University’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

This is the sixth annual alumni event.

A primary focus of the evening will be to celebrate the aviation program successes over the past year, “along with a look to the future of the aviation programs as we move into the Transportation Education Center in 2012,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

“With the victory at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association nationals by the Flying Salukis, to the third-place collegiate division finish in the Women’s Air Race Classic … to the upsurge in new enrollment in Aviation Technologies and Aviation Flight, SIUC aviation has a lot of momentum right now,” NewMyer said.

The Transportation Education Center, located at Southern Illinois Airport, will house the aviation and automotive programs.  Work on the 200,000-square-foot facility has an anticipated fall 2012 completion date, and is 55 percent complete, NewMyer said.

The registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 19, to ensure adequate food is available.  Late registration, however, is also welcome.  To register, contact Lori Robertson at SIUC at 618/453-8898, or by email at

More information on the alumni gathering, and the aviation programs, is available at