Embry-Riddle Rebounds After Christmas Storm

Daytona Beach -– Students will return to classes on Jan. 16, and training aircraft are flying again at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus.

After a Christmas Day storm, the university delayed the start of the Spring 2007 semester by six days to prepare the campus for a normal start of the spring term.

“Fortunately, our students, faculty and staff had gone home for the holidays when the storm hit, so nobody was hurt,” said Tom Connolly, chancellor of Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus.

The campus’s training fleet and some administrative buildings were not so lucky.

A number of aircraft were destroyed or severely damaged by the storm. The aircraft maintenance hangar was leveled and the main administration office building was rendered unusable. Three other campus structures suffered minor damage.

As soon as the storm subsided, the university acted quickly to return to normalcy.

• Embry-Riddle has replaced all of the planes it lost with others of the same high quality required by its aeronautical science degree program. Flight training has resumed. “The enthusiastic assistance of our alumni, students, and Cessna Aircraft, as well as promotional help from many industry groups made the process much easier,” said Frank Ayers, director of flight training at Daytona Beach.

• Aircraft maintenance work has been moved to a nearby hangar at Daytona Beach International Airport. Ironically, the destroyed hangar had been slated to be replaced by the second phase of a College of Aviation complex that is on the drawing board.

• More than 120 employees have been relocated to other campus office spaces until the administration building is repaired or replaced. A few classes were moved to other buildings.

“We never doubted for a moment that we’d be able to return to our mission of providing the best education in aviation and aerospace,” said John P. Johnson, president of Embry-Riddle. “The best way to describe the spirit on campus is: onward and upward.”

Embry-Riddle, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates more than 32,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 centers in the United States and Europe, and through online learning.