Alumni Blog

Curtis "Doc" Swanson - WMU Aviation Hall of Honor Inductee

Posted by Matthew Bila on
"Doc" was born and raised in Illinois where he began looking to the skies and dreaming of flying an airplane. He started taking flying lessons at the age of fifteen and received his PPL at seventeen. "Doc" graduated from the University of Illinois, Institute of Aviation with an A&P Mechanics license, then entered WMU to complete his aviation education.

Clarence "Pappy" Vandeventer - WMU Aviation Hall of Honor Inductee

Posted by Matthew Bila on
When looking at the experiences, accolades, and impact of Clarence Newton (Pappy) VanDeventer, it is hard not to be wowed. The man was immersed in aviation, his influence reaching far beyond the boundaries of Western Michigan University. Summing up her father, Cheryl VanDeventer said it best, “Keep in mind, my father was first and foremost a teacher, who just happened to have a lifelong love of anything to do with airplanes.”

Western Michigan University College of Aviation - State of the College

Posted by Matthew Bila on

As the college kicks off a celebration of 75 years of aviation education, our diamond anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to update you on recent important events and the many facets that are helping to shape the future of our graduates.

Props, Planes, and Police - The Abe Herr Story

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Growing up in Corry, Pennsylvania, Abe Herr, a 2010 graduate of Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation, was surrounded by transportation. Although the little city, located in Erie County near the northwest border of New York, was better known as a railroad town, it also had an aviation connection.

Megan and Adam Turner - Passions United

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Aviation is a unique industry. On a macro level, the industry has united a world in ways never conceived. Through the magic of flight, the world has shrunk: cultures, countries, and customs brought together, separated only by the time required in flight. However, every so often, aviation can be viewed on the micro level when the fantasy world of flight brings together two individuals. Their passion for aviation is only rivaled by their passion for each other.

Taking Off with Tom Deckard - An Aviation Life Fulfilled

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Aviation gets into people’s blood. Talk to most aviation enthusiasts and they can pinpoint the time in their life when this happened: a gift of an airplane at an early age; the sight of a strange looking craft streaking across the sky; a first flight. Whatever the reason, these experiences change the individual forever. For some of these people, this enthusiasm for aviation turns to passion and begins a journey that has a lasting impact. Tom Deckard is one of these people.

Corporate Pilot Dan Homolek - Giving Back by Going Back

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Growing up in Woodhaven, MI, Dan Homolek is “not quite sure” how his interest in aviation began. “If you ask my parents, they’ll tell you I loved airplanes from the age of 2.” Searching through the cloudy memories, Dan remembers knowing by 7th grade he wanted to fly as a career. Not that the career was always his first choice.

HOH Induction Speech from Herm Linder - WMU Aviation Faculty

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Herman William Linder. Husband of his beloved Phoebe, and father of Becky, Todd, Julie, and myself. He loved with a passion...people, all things mechanical, and life itself. My brother shared with me, ‘The most important thing Dad taught me about being a mechanic and fixing things was ‘Always look where the light is the brightest first.’ That was our Dad. He was personable and fun; he exuded positive energy and had a great sense of humor; he was truly a character...a one of a kind.

Scott Austin, Director of Aircraft Maintenance - WMU

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Scott knew from a young age he wanted to be in the aviation industry. He grew up in Lawrence, Michigan where across the road from his home was a small grass strip. He would watch the small airplane fly in and out of the airstrip and it solidified his future in aviation.

2013 Women in Aviation Conference: Broncos Stampede into Nashville!

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Wow! What a week.  This year's Women in Aviation conference was the best Bronco attended event of the last fire years.  Over 20 current students galloped down to Tennessee to network, interview, and gain valuable exposure.

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