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WMU going into Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame

April 10, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's College of Aviation will be inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame in a ceremony set for Saturday, April 19, at Kalamazoo's Air Zoo.

WMU's aviation college will be honored with the 2008 Spirit of Flight Award during an evening of celebration that will include a keynote address by astronaut Jack Lousma. The annual award is made for outstanding achievements made by aviation or space organizations. The University's aviation program is being honored for its more than 60-year history of striving to "establish and maintain state-of-the-art, world-class professional aviation programs that are among the best in the world."

In addition to WMU, five individuals will be honored during the event for their contributions to aviation. Other honorees include: Norman Appold, a World War II B-24 pilot and retired Lockheed executive; Richard Macon, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II; John Sager, a Naval officer in charge of flight testing who invented high-altitude oxygen masks and equipment; George Skurla, a retired Gruman Aircraft president who supervised the final assembly and pre-launch check for the Apollo Lunar Module; and artist Philip Handelman whose aviation photos have graced U.S. postage stamps and who initiated the legislative effort resulting in last year's award of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen.

WMU's College of Aviation has educated aviation professionals since 1939 and offers complete academic degree programs leading to a bachelor's degree in three areas--aviation flight science, aviation management and maintenance technology. The college enrolls some 800 students and is home to the Sky Broncos, a precision flight team that has been among the top three in national competition for 14 consecutive years.

The Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to recognize men and women who have made significant contributions to aviation. For information about this year's ceremony, call (269) 382-6555, Ext. 122.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400