Aviation Day at Averett Continues to Make a Lasting Impression on Prospective and Current Students

Posted on March 20th, 2018 by Danielle Staub

By Ashley Bowman
Special to the Office of Marketing and Communications

More than a dozen aviation alumni gathered to speak with prospective and current aviation students for this year’s Aviation Day at Averett University.

Averett’s Chief Flight Instructor Travis Williams really wanted to convey to the future pilots that the possibilities are endless.

“Job opportunities are everywhere. There has been a pay increase due to the shortage of pilots. Our graduates and those currently in the program truly couldn’t have picked a better time to fly,” Williams said.

Jeff Gilliam ’89, first officer with American Airlines, mentioned that air travel is at an all-time high in the United States, and there is no projection of a decrease anytime soon.

“If you want to put forth the effort, you’re at a great time in the aviation field,” Gilliam said.

Each of the alumni at the afternoon session spoke about taking chances as they arise. The aviation field is ever-changing and the opportunities are endless, and they say even though pilots spend a lot of time away from their families, it is a one-of-a-kind career.

“No matter what airplane you are in, it is the best office view in the world,” said Jeff Newton, recruiter pilot for American Airlines.

Throughout the day, prospective and current students were able to speak with alumni on a more personal level, learning from their experiences all around the country. At the end of the day there was also a tour of the George J. Falk Fight Operations Center and a cookout for continued conversation. Williams noted the importance of events like Aviation Day, not only for prospective students, but for alumni, as well.

“Our industry is small. Events like these allow for network connections with seasoned and newer graduates,” Williams said.

There are currently more than 80 students enrolled in the aviation program at Averett University. The University recently entered into pilot cadet partnerships with Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines – both regional airlines under the American Airlines umbrella – guaranteeing qualified students a pathway for employment immediately upon graduation.