Hesston College homecoming to feature aviation alumni

Aviation professionals will present at a symposium about their careers and the latest updates in aviation business, safety, airlines, mission and air traffic control during A Hesston College Homecoming: A View from Everywhere Sept. 23 to 25.

The public is invited to the symposium on the Hesston College campus from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. and from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

All Hesston alumni and friends are invited to the weekend celebration. Special class reunions will be for years ending in 1 and 6.

“We have a full and exciting weekend planned for all alumni and friends of the college,” said Dallas Stutzman, director of Alumni and Church Relations. “We are very pleased to bring such an outstanding group of aviation alumni back to resource the campus and community.”

Keynote speakers for the weekend include Roger Yoder, a 1979 graduate of Hesston College and captain for American Airlines, who will be featured at the alumni and friends banquet Sept. 24. Ben Savanick will speak to the Hesston College community, alumni and friends in chapel at 11 a.m. Sept. 23. Savanick is a 1997 Hesston College graduate and captain for Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Chapel is open to the public.

The symposium will kick off with former Hesston College President Laban Peachey and former aviation directors Dave Forrer, Jacob Friesen and Wendell Sauder telling the story of the 1970 founding of the Aviation Department. Other Friday presentations include “Professionalism and Careers” by Scott Schmucker, first officer for Continental Airlines; and “Focusing Priorities” by Mark Bowman, first officer for Republic Airlines.

Saturday’s symposium presentations from 8:30 to 10 a.m. include “Personal Flight Integrity” by Jerry Eichelberger, supervisor of operations for the FAA; “Structure Changing Situations” by Lonnie Bartel, captain for United Airlines; and “Following a Personal Calling” by Steve Bontrager, director of operations for AirServ in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. participants can join informal round table discussions about airline pilots, corporate and charter pilots, mission and service, aviation and business professionals and general aviation and agricultural applicators. Moderators for the round table discussions will be John Stauffer, captain for US Airways; Curt Epp, pilot for Cessna Aircraft Company; Mike Baker, principal operations inspector for the FAA; and Mark Miller, flight instructor at Well’s Aircraft.

In addition to the special aviation symposium, A Hesston College Homecoming will include children’s activities; a Partner Appreciation Luncheon; an alumni and friends luncheon; campus community worship service with Hesston Mennonite Church featuring pilots and pastors John Murray of Hesston Mennonite Church and Rocky Miller of Bay Shore Mennonite Church (Sarasota, Fla.); Hesston College volleyball matches and men’s and women’s soccer games; men’s and women’s cross country meet at Harvey County East Lake; alumni vs. varsity baseball and softball games; an Aviation Department Open House at the Hesston College hangar at the Newton City-County Airport; the Golden Gables Luncheon for persons celebrating 50-year and greater anniversaries; a Tailgate Barbecue Picnic and Family Festival; Erb Hall Renovation Celebration and coffeehouse; the traditional complimentary coffee and cinnamon roll breakfast and more.

Call the Department of Alumni and Church Relations with questions at 866-437-7866 or go to www.hesston.edu for a complete schedule and registration. For those wishing to attend only the Sept. 24 Alumni Banquet, they may do so without paying the registration fee. Reservations are required for the banquet.