Students Gather For Embry-Riddle European Commencement

Students Gather For Embry-Riddle European Commencement

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Graduates, government and corporate partners, and university representatives were among those attending the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Europe Commencement Ceremony at The Aircraft at Burghof in Dreieich, Germany, Saturday, September 17. In this unique venue, the "airplane" theme is reflected throughout the interior design from aircraft seats to overhead bins to turbine casings. While the Commencement Ceremony was in session, through the bull's eye windows, attendees can view a video depicting the final approach into LAX at night.

More than 133 students received degrees through Embry-Riddle Worldwide Europe from July 2021 to June 2022, 25 of whom attended this annual celebration. A reception followed with Alumni and Career Services Information tables on hand. Each graduate received a personalized Alumni packet as well as information on how to enroll in the Alumni Network. Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees were awarded in Aeronautics, Aviation Maintenance, Safety Management, Emergency Services, Business Analytics, Logistics & Supply Management, Project Management, Technical Management, and Engineering Technology. Master’s degrees were awarded in Aeronautics, Aviation & Aerospace Sustainability, Occupational Safety Management, Airworthiness Engineering, Management Information Systems, Project Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Leadership, and Business Administration in Aviation.

Dr. John Watret, Worldwide Chancellor, officially opened the ceremony and Nancy Tran-Horne, Executive Director, welcomed the students, families and guests. Dr. Donna Roberts, Associate Dean for Faculty/College of Arts & Sciences (Mace Bearer), Dr. Robert Walton, Associate Professor/College of Business (Graduate Hooding) and CEO of Cardiff Airport, Mr. Spencer Birns, Commencement Speaker, completed the platform party. Ms. Meredi Jiloti, Director for Chancellor Operations Worldwide, served as the ceremony’s reader. 

 “Completing a degree as an adult learner while working full-time with a busy family is no small feat. For close to 50 years, Embry-Riddle has been graduating America’s men and women in uniform stationed in Europe,” said Tran-Horne. “Our resilient graduates now have relevant degrees and skills to take into the aviation/aerospace industry. Incredible opportunities await them. We thank all of our government and industry partners for their devotion to our alumni’s academic and professional success as well as the academic advisors who helped them along their academic journey.”

 Mr. Spencer Birns offered the graduates valuable advice on how to successfully apply for industry jobs by making themselves stand out now that they have earned their degree. He emphasized that preparation for each interview is key as well as communicating to their potential employer how well they would fit into their existing team. Before becoming the CEO of Cardiff Airport, Spencer started his career in aviation working for Jetset, a leading flight sales “warehouse” where he learned about the consolidation of air transportation ticketing and pricing strategies in order to maximize and drive volume of sales. This was followed by 9 years with leading UK tour operator, My Travel Group. In 2003, he joined Manchester Airport in the UK, with the remit of helping the airport forge stronger relationships with tour operators. After being headhunted by Cardiff Airport in 2006, he moved to Wales to take up the role leading the Air Service Development activities. In 2010, he assumed additional responsibilities for all the commercial activities for the company and was elevated to the Board as Commercial Director in 2013. Under his stewardship, the airport experienced 60% growth in that period to 2019. Spencer has also been a serving company Director on the Board of the UK’s Airport Operators Association since August 2020. 

Worldwide Chancellor Dr. John Watret summarized the day’s events, stating: “Graduates traveled from all over Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and even Anchorage to attend today’s commencement, underscoring our global presence and appeal. Our numerous annual commencement ceremonies around the world give faculty, staff, and families an opportunity to celebrate an elite milestone: the earning of an Embry-Riddle degree. Our graduates are poised to lead in aviation and aerospace, one of the world’s fastest growing sectors. Many already lead in the US military. We are here to support and bear witness to their successes and ensure that future generations possess the meaningful skills demanded by industry. This is what makes Embry-Riddle great.” 

About ERAU’s Overseas U.S. Military Operations 

ERAU has had the privilege of serving overseas U.S. military students since the opening of our first European military location in 1973 with the Tri-Services Contract. Campus locations are scattered across Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, & the United Kingdom. Locations include Aviano AB, NATO AB Geilenkirchen, USAG Bavaria (Grafenwoehr/Vilesck/Hohenfels), USAG Ansbach (Katterbach/Illesheim), Incirlik AB, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, Ramstein AB, NAVSTA Rota, NAS Sigonella, Spangdahlem AB, and USAG Wiesbaden, while providing support for students located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC – Sembach Kaserne, USAG Baumholder, Kleber Kaserne, & USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Landstuhl), USAG Stuttgart, Vicenza (Caserma Ederle), Naples, RAF Croughton, RAF Molesworth, Moron AB, and Poland (Poznan/Powidz). The team will be celebrating 50 years in Europe next year.

European Military Campus Operations Website: Europe Military Campuses Website

ERAU began offering aviation undergraduate and graduate certificates and degree programs, EagleVision Classroom (EVC) courses, and on-site advising/support services, to members of the U.S. military stationed at overseas Pacific locations in US Forces Japan (USFJ) and US Forces Korea (USFK) in 2015 under a Department of Defense Education contract (recently replaced with an Education Services Agreement (ESA). ERAU PACOM’s flagship campus locations, Kadena AFB in Okinawa and Camp Humphreys in South Korea, opened their doors in August of 2015. Since then, ERAU PACOM has expanded to include nine campus locations throughout Japan and South Korea (Camp Humphreys, Kadena AFB, MCAS Futenma, MCAS Iwakuni, Misawa AFB, NAF Atsugi, Osan AFB, Yokosuka NB, and Yokota AFB) and continues to grow. We also support students located in Guam, Daegu/Kunsan, Camp Foster, Camp Schwab, Torii Station, Camp Fuji, and Camp Zama.

Website: PACOM Military Campuses Website

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