Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Seal.png
Motto"Real Education. Above all."
EstablishedIn 1926 as Embry-Riddle Flying School.[1]
TypePrivate (Non-Profit)[2]
PresidentJohn P. Johnson
Academic staff2,983 (452 at residential campuses)[4]
Students34,532 (6,794 at residential campuses)[4]
LocationDaytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona, USA
ColorsBlue and Gold         
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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Seal.png
Motto"Real Education. Above all."
EstablishedIn 1926 as Embry-Riddle Flying School.[1]
TypePrivate (Non-Profit)[2]
PresidentJohn P. Johnson
Academic staff2,983 (452 at residential campuses)[4]
Students34,532 (6,794 at residential campuses)[4]
LocationDaytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona, USA
ColorsBlue and Gold         

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (also known as Embry-Riddle or ERAU) is a non-profit private university in the United States, with residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and a "Worldwide Campus" comprised of global learning locations as well as Web-based distance learning, the latter designed for working civilians and deployed military personnel.[5] Called "The Harvard of the Sky" by Time Magazine in 1979,[6] Embry–Riddle's foundations go back to the early years of flight, and the University now awards associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in various disciplines, including aviation, aerospace engineering, business, and science. For 2014, U.S. New & World Report awarded Embry-Riddle several high rankings, including #11 Best Regional (Southern) University (out of 122), as well as #1 Best College for Veterans in the same region.[7]

Early history[edit]

The seed that would become Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University was planted on December 17, 1925 (exactly 22 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight), when Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle formed an aircraft dealership named the Embry-Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. Embry was a wealthy aviation enthusiast who financed the venture and served as the company's president. In 1926 (the date shown on the university seal), the company opened the Embry-Riddle Flying School, which grew rapidly. On December 17, 1927, the company established Cincinnati's first regular airmail service, running to Chicago.[8] In 1929, the newly formed Embry-Riddle Aviation Corporation sold a controlling stake in itself to Aviation Corporation (AVCO), which phased out the Embry-Riddle Flying School in the fall of 1930.[9] Shortly after, AVCO became American Airways (the predecessor of American Airlines), and by 1932, the Embry-Riddle Company was gone.[10]

The Fritz Hotel in Miami, Florida. Embry-Riddle occupied the building prior to moving to Daytona Beach, Florida.

In 1939 Riddle contacted Embry with a view to getting back into training pilots, but Embry was not interested. Riddle, now living in Miami, Florida, found a partner in John G. McKay and his wife Isabel. Keeping the Embry-Riddle name, they re-established the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, partnering with the University of Miami to provide flight training under the Civilian Pilot Training Program, increasing the number of pilots immediately preceding World War II. The Embry-Riddle School of Aviation expanded rapidly, and soon moved to the former Fritz Hotel.[11]

Riddle and McKay also formed the Riddle Aeronautical Institute at Carlstrom Field, in early 1941 for the purpose of training pilots for the United States Army Air Corps (the U.S. Air Force did not yet exist). A separate division of Embry-Riddle provided technical training in maintenance and metal work. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Embry-Riddle and its various divisions expanded rapidly to train aviators during the war, and the Carlstrom Field facility trained pilots for the Royal Air Force, while nearby Dorr Field prepared pilots for advanced training with the U.S. Army Air Forces.[11]

Embry-Riddle quickly exhausted the market for flight training. In late 1943 Brazil’s Air Minister requested Embry-Riddle establish a flight school in São Paulo, Brazil, to provide Brazilian cadets with technical instruction. By early 1944, Escola Técnica de Aviação had been established and provided basic, aircraft, engines, and instrument departments. In 1944 McKay purchased Riddle's share of Embry-Riddle as Riddle chose to remain in Brazil.[11]

Development into a university[edit]

Following the end of World War II, the McKays continued the business of training pilots. After John McKay's death in 1951, his wife Isabel McKay led the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute. The school endured financial hardship, but continued to operate in Miami. Isabel McKay suffered a stroke in 1961, and in 1963 sold the school. That same year, Jack R. Hunt was named the first president of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute.[12] ERAI continued the training of pilots and mechanics in Miami until April 1965, when Hunt moved the campus to its current home in Daytona Beach, Florida.[1]

Embry-Riddle's move from Miami was carried out with money and trucks borrowed from a group of Volusia County civic leaders known as the Committee of 100.[13] The school was packed into trucks and moved nearly overnight. Known as "Operation Bootstrap", the move was accomplished with the help of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, which supplied the trucks.

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1968[14] and was renamed Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in 1970.[15]

Hunt headed a large expansion of Embry-Riddle, including the purchase of a second campus in Prescott, Arizona, in 1978.[16] Embry-Riddle purchased the former campus of Prescott College, which closed abruptly in 1974 from financial hardship.[17] Hunt served as president until his death on January 7, 1984.[18] Hunt was followed by Lt. General Kenneth L. Tallman, who, in his five years as president, formed Embry-Riddle's first graduate program. Tallman also added undergraduate degrees in Engineering Physics and Electrical Engineering.[15]

Embry-Riddle's third president was Steven M. Sliwa, who presided over the university from 1991 until 1998. Sliwa oversaw the largest expansion in Embry-Riddle's history, according to the ERAU website developing new majors and a capital expansion in excess of US$100 million.[1] This included the ICI Center (fieldhouse), Lehman Engineering and Technology Center, Capt. Willie Miller Instructional Center and Student Village on the Daytona Beach campus. Sliwa was followed by George H. Ebbs, who served as president until November 2005.

Ebbs expanded the university into several affiliate programs and was president during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Following the attacks, federal investigators thought that the school might have trained at least one of the aircraft hijackers, but after a short investigation it was found that ERAU had no involvement in the flight training of the terrorists. A former student who had the same name as one of the hijackers was found to have no connections to Al-Qaeda.[19][20][21]

During his tenure as president, Ebbs expanded Embry-Riddle into non-traditional university projects, such as Embry-Riddle's Commercial Airline Pilot Training program (CAPT program), which was sold in 2006.[22] Ebbs also entered the university into a five-year contract with The United States Air Force Academy for Embry-Riddle to provide flight training for its cadets in 2002.[23]

In 2006 John P. Johnson, previously University Provost and Interim President, became Embry-Riddle's fifth president.[24]


The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at both residential campuses as well as through Embry-Riddle Worldwide at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.[14] The engineering programs are fully recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).[25] Programs in Aviation Maintenance, Air Traffic Management, Applied Meteorology, Aeronautical Science, Aerospace & Occupational Safety, Flight Operations, and Airport Management are all accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).[26] The bachelor degree programs in Business Administration and the M.B.A. in Aviation program are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).[27] The programs in Aeronautics, Air Traffic Management, Applied Meteorology, and Aerospace Studies are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).[28]

Daytona Beach, Florida campus[edit]

The Wright Flyer statue is the centerpiece of the Daytona Beach campus. The Jack R. Hunt Memorial Library is visible in the background.

Embry-Riddle's largest residential campus (185-acre (0.75 km2)) and academic headquarters has been in Daytona Beach, Florida since the move from Miami in 1965. Built adjacent to the Daytona Beach International Airport, the campus is connected to an aircraft ramp owned by the university for flight training. The main campus consists of an aviation complex, academic quad and residence halls surrounding the student center and Jack R. Hunt Aviator Park. Athletic facilities and the ICI Center are at the east end of campus.

Total fall 2010 enrollment at the Daytona Beach campus was 5,089: 4,496 undergraduate and 593 graduate students.[4] Aeronautical science (flight training) and aerospace engineering are the two most popular degrees at the Daytona Beach campus. Daytona Beach's aerospace engineering degree program is the largest in the nation[citation needed].

Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus has one of the most extensive Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs in the United States and the nation's largest Air Force ROTC program.[29] The ROTC program frequently wins national competitions.[30][31][32] The engineering physics program at the Daytona Beach campus is currently the largest undergraduate engineering physics program in the country and the only one specializing in aerospace.[33]

The Daytona Beach campus sponsors 16 intercollegiate sports. The Eagles are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and compete in The Sun Conference. Embry-Riddle's athletics are directed by basketball head-coach Steve Ridder. On October 2, 2006, Ridder was named NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year.[34] Ridder led the school to its first national title in any sport in 2000, in basketball. In 2013, the men's tennis team won their first national title. In addition to the two team national titles, the eagles have many individual national champions. Since 2005, 4 women and 2 men have won individual national titles in track and field, as well as 3 men for tennis. Many of the individuals were 2 and 3 time repeat champions. Additionally, 1 women's and 2 men's tennis duos have won national doubles championships. In all, the eagle's have won 20 individual/doubles national titles from 2005 to 2013.[35]

Prescott, Arizona campus[edit]

Campus view

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott opened in 1978. The University's campus in Prescott, Arizona, is 100 miles north of Phoenix. The campus has an enrollment of about 1,850 students and covers 539 acres. The flight training center is at nearby Prescott Love Field Municipal Airport.

Facilities at the Prescott Campus include the Aerospace Experimentation and Fabrication Building, a wind tunnel lab with one supersonic and four subsonic wind tunnels, the aviation safety center with an accident investigation lab, library, the 48,000 sq ft. academic complex, the engineering and technology center, chapel, dining hall, student union and residence halls.

Total fall 2013 student enrollment at the Prescott campus was 1,800 students, including 51 graduate students.

The Prescott campus offers the only Global Security and Intelligence Studies program in the US.

Embry-Riddle's two Air Force ROTC detachments form the largest university-based Air Force commissioning source in the nation. Embry-Riddle's AFROTC detachments also produce more commissioned officers, more pilots and other rated officers for the Air Force than any other institution in the nation except the Air Force Academy. Army ROTC also operates a large detachment on the Prescott Campus.[36]

The Prescott campus is home to the Golden Eagles Flight Team, which competes in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. Prescott's Golden Eagles Flight Team has won the regional championship each year for the past 27 years and are the NIFA National Champions for the years 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2013.[37]

Worldwide campus[edit]

Embry-Riddle Worldwide campus was established in 1970 and is now a global network of more than 150 learning locations in the United States, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia,[5] including on more than 90 military bases.[38] Embry-Riddle Worldwide also provides a virtual "online campus," and U.S. News & World Report ranked Embry-Riddle #5 Best Online Bachelor's Programs (out of almost 300).[7] Facilities with aviation functions are available for students not able to attend a residential campus. Programs of study are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level (as well as certificate and non-degree), including the rare Master of Business Administration in Aviation (MBA-A),[39] ranked #70 Best Online MBA Program (out of about 250).[7] In the 2009-2010 school year 27,261 students, many serving with the U. S. Armed Forces, were enrolled in the Embry-Riddle Worldwide.[4] As of 2014, the Worldwide campus was headed by Chancellor John R. Watret, Ph.D.[40]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Embry-Riddle - The Embry-Riddle Story". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Archived from the original on June 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  2. ^ "Fast Facts About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "2014 Best Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Enrollment, ERAU-News, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Embry-Riddle's Campuses". ERAU Web site. ERAU. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Education: Learning to Fix It or Fly It - Embry-Riddle: The Harvard of the Sky". Time Magazine. July 2, 1979. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  7. ^ a b c "2014 Best Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Early Years". ERAU. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  9. ^ Craft, Stephen. "EMBRY-RIDDLE AND AMERICAN AVIATION". ERAU Web site. ERAU. pp. 23–24. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Craft, Stephen. "EMBRY-RIDDLE AND AMERICAN AVIATION". ERAU Web site. ERAU. p. 24. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Embry-Riddle Reborn". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  12. ^ Douglas, Rebecca (April 9, 2007). "The McKay Factor" (PDF). LIFT Magazine (ERAU). Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  13. ^ "Embry-Riddle to dedicate Jack R. Hunt Aviator Park" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. January 23, 2003. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  14. ^ a b "Commission on Colleges". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  15. ^ a b Linville, Ray P. (January/March 1999). "Embry-Riddle offers aviation and aerospace education". Logistics Spectrum (Huntsville) 33 (1): 32 (2 pages). 
  16. ^ "The Embry-Riddle Story". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  17. ^ "Yavapai Heritage Roundup". Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  18. ^ Associated Press (January 9, 1984). "Jack Hunt Dies at 65; Flew Atlantic in Blimp". New York Times. 
  19. ^ Viglucci, Andres; Garcia, Manny (September 15, 2001). "Hijack plotters used S. Florida as a cradle for conspiracy". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2001-10-19. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  20. ^ Ebbs, George (October 8, 2001). "Open letter from President George Ebbs". The Avion Newspaper. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  21. ^ "Reflections of Sept. 11". The Avion Newspaper. September 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  22. ^ "CAPT History". Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  23. ^ "Embry-Riddle Wins Contract to Train Air Force Pilots" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. August 13, 2002. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  24. ^ Harper, Mark (August 9, 2006). "ERAU selects own for president". Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  25. ^ "Accredited Program Details". Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Accredited Programs". AABI Web site. Aviation Accreditation Board International. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Accredited Programs". ACBSP Web site. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  28. ^ "Accredited Programs". FAA Web site. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "AFA Association Honors Embry-Riddle President" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. July 1, 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  30. ^ "Air Force ROTC Detachment Named Best in Nation" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. August 9, 1999. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  31. ^ "Daytona Beach Air Force ROTC Detachment Named Top Unit in Nation" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. October 30, 2002. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  32. ^ "Air Force ROTC Programs Thrive at Embry-Riddle's Residential Campuses" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. June 29, 2001. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  33. ^ "Engineering Physics Program". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  34. ^ "ERAU's Ridder named NAIA Athletics Director of the Year" (Press release). Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. October 3, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  35. ^ http://erauathletics.com/sports/2012/6/11/erau_nationalchampions.aspx?tab=nationalchampions
  36. ^ "Embry-Riddle Did You Know?". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  37. ^ "Golden Eagles Flight Team". Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  38. ^ "About Worldwide". ERAU Web site. ERAU. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "Aviation M.B.A.'s Take Off". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Worldwide Welcome". ERAU Web site. ERAU. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°11′19″N 81°02′55″W / 29.18857°N 81.04871°W / 29.18857; -81.04871