P.O.W., Top Gun Veteran delivers keynote
Graduates accept positions with SkyWest Airlines and more
California Aeronautical University will hold its graduation ceremony to honor its graduating class of 2022 on Saturday, June 11, 2022. The commencement ceremony will take place at the University located on Meadows Field Airport at 10 am.
The class of 2022 will receive their diploma in the University’s aviation degree programs, including Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, Associate of Science in Aviation Studies, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration, and Master of Aviation Science. CAU will also honor the first graduating class of its Aviation Maintenance Technology program.
Captain J. Charles Plumb, former jet fighter pilot, and combat veteran will address the graduating class as the guest speaker. A Naval Aviator who helped develop the Navy Fighter Weapons School, more commonly known today as “TOP GUN,” Captain Plumb flew 74 successful missions over North Vietnam and survived 2,103 days as a Prisoner of War. For his incredible years of service, he was awarded the military honors of Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and the P.O.W. Medal. Captain Plumb now shares his message of transformation through adversity with audiences around the country.
In the midst of a global pilot and aircraft mechanic shortage, CAU is working to prepare the next generation of aviation professionals. Through the University’s strong partnerships with airlines, influential aviation organizations, and leaders in the aviation community, CAU graduates become a part of a larger aviation network and reap the benefits of these relationships, including direct access to several airline cadet programs.
Members of the graduating class have already experienced successful ventures into the aviation industry and have accepted positions with airlines around the country, including SkyWest Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Horizon Air, and Republic Airways. After completing the required flight hours, these regional airlines can provide a direct pathway to major airlines such as American, United, and Delta.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our class of 2022. Throughout the uncertainties of the pandemic over the last couple of years, these students remained steadfast in achieving their goals,” said Matthew Johnston, President of California Aeronautical University, “We’re looking forward to seeing what they’ll accomplish next, and wish them the best of luck!”
For more information about the graduation, visit https://calaero.edu/life-at-calaero/graduation/.
About California Aeronautical University
California Aeronautical University (CAU) is preparing the next generation of aviation professionals. Serving students from all over the country, the University offers career-focused programs in aviation, aviation business, and aircraft maintenance. With on-airport locations throughout California and Arizona that provide an ideal learning environment, CAU courses are delivered in a year-round, fast-paced schedule that enables students to enter the pipeline for aviation careers in a shorter amount of time.
Through the University’s strong partnerships with airlines, influential aviation organizations, and leaders in the aviation community, CAU graduates become a part of a larger aviation network and reap the benefits of these relationships, including direct access to several airline cadet programs. The University offers access to federal student financial aid, tuition reduction programs, and veteran educational benefits to those who qualify.
About Captain J. Charles Plumb
A testament to the strength of the human spirit, Captain J. Charles Plumb endured the most extreme hardship and used the experience to transform his life in a profound way. Captain J. Charles Plumb was a Naval Aviator who made his mark helping to develop the Navy Fighter Weapons School, more commonly known today as “TOP GUN.” Captain Plumb flew 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam and made well over 100 carrier landings. On his 75th mission, Plumb was shot down, taken prisoner, starved, tortured repeatedly, and survived the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner of War.
Since his return home, more than 5,000 audiences in nearly every industry have been spellbound as Captain J. Charlie Plumb draws parallels between his P.O.W. experience and the challenges of everyday life. He has shared his message to an even wider public through appearances on Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, and more. Captain Plumb’s military honors include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, (2) Purple Hearts, and the P.O.W. Medal.
Tamu Smith-Kohls serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing for California Aeronautical University. She has worked in the aviation industry in various roles for 24 years. As a United States Air Force retired veteran, she has a unique appreciation for the aviation industry. Tamu has served in Information Systems as a Network Administrator, Aerospace Flight Medicine as a Health Services Manager, and Air Force Recruitment and Marketing. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology; a Master’s in Business Administration and is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner. Her passion is motivating, training, coaching and serving others to reach their best potential.