Auburn to hold aviation management festivities homecoming weekend

AUBURN – A full weekend of activities will begin on Thursday for the annual aviation management reunion in the Auburn University College of Business.

Jack Pelton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cessna Aircraft Company, will address students and faculty at a public forum on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in room 125 of the Lowder Business Building. Pelton is the 2009 Aviation Management Advisory Board Distinguished Visitor.

“The Distinguished Visitor Program allows our students and faculty to have the opportunity to interact with prominent executives in the aviation industry,” said Joe Hanna, chair of the Department of Aviation and Supply Chain Management. “Attracting the CEO of a top aircraft manufacturer to campus provides our students the unique opportunity to supplement their academic preparation with practical knowledge of the aviation industry. We are extremely appreciative of the Aviation Management Advisory Board for their support and assistance in allowing us to host Mr. Pelton.”

A native of California, Pelton has more than three decades of aviation experience. He joined Cessna in 2000 and was named president and chief executive officer in 2003 and chairman in 2005. Prior to joining Cessna, Pelton served as senior vice president of engineering and programs at Fairchild Dornier in Germany and was responsible for the 728JET aircraft family. He also spent 20 years at Boeing, formerly Douglas Aircraft, where he held executive positions.

On Friday, the Aviation Management Advisory Board will hold its fall meeting and will welcome three new members to the group: Ben Boston, Chick-fil-A, Aviation; Steve Inabinet, executive vice president and manager, Commerce Overseas Corp.; and Art Morris, director, Dothan Regional Airport.

Reunion plans continue on Saturday with a tailgate event held in front of the Nichols ROTC Building beginning three hours prior to kickoff. Students, faculty, alumni and the public visit the reunion and bid on silent auction items including airline tickets from American Airlines and other prizes. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be sold and all funds raised will be used to support student scholarships and the aviation program.

The College of Business at Auburn University is accredited at the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest standard of achievement for business schools. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15 percent of business schools worldwide meet the standards of AACSB International accreditation. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.

(Submitted by Dina Kanellos.)

Contact: Dianne Townsend, (334) 844-2342 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (