Westminster Celebrates Delivery of New Custom Cessna Skyhawk as Part of the 2016 Top Hawk Program

Feb 23, 2016

Feb. 22, 2016 New plane named for beloved aviation student who passed away SALT LAKE CITY - Sporting custom purple and gold racing stripes and Westminster's logo, the newest addition to the Aviation Department's aircraft fleet was unveiled to the public February 19 at the new flight operations center. The custom-branded Cessna Skyhawk 172 was awarded to the college by Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., as part of the 2016 Top Hawk program. Westminster is one of only four colleges and universities selected nationwide to receive the custom aircraft, which will be used to support flight training, recruiting efforts and promotional activities throughout the year. "Westminster is excited to partner with Textron Aviation through the Top Hawk program," said John Schaefer, chair of Westminster's Aviation Department. "This is a great opportunity to showcase our flight program and help attract more young people to get involved in aviation over the next year. The Top Hawk is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, which will improve our students' readiness for employment in the industry when they graduate." More than 100 Westminster faculty, staff, students and community members attended the delivery ceremony, which included the announcement of the official name of the plane that was selected through a campus-wide naming contest."The new plane will be named Monty after one of our aviation students who passed away last year," Schaefer added. "His name was Luke Hammer and he came from Montpelier, Vermont, so his nickname was 'Monty.'" In addition to Westminster, Kent State University, LeTourneau University and Purdue University were also selected for the program. "Textron Aviation is excited to partner with these four leading aviation universities, building on the success from last year's launch of Top Hawk," said Doug May, vice president of Piston Aircraft. "These universities are renowned for their innovative aviation programs and commitment to general aviation. They will be leveraging the world-leading flight trainer, the Cessna Skyhawk, to continue training the next generation of pilots." In addition to the aircraft, a top student from each of the four universities will be chosen for a Textron Aviation summer internship. These students will receive valuable exposure beyond flight training to include real-world experience from various corporate departments such as sales, marketing, flight operations, integrated supply chain and engineering. For more information about Westminster's aviation programs, visit www.westminstercollege.edu/aviation.

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Arikka Von

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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