FedEx Corp. has pledged $5 million, in addition to $1.5 million already given, for a total of $6.5 million in support of the aeronautics academic center at the Kent State University Airport in Stow, Ohio. The 17,800-square-foot FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center was unveiled during a grand-opening event in September 2019.

Kent State President Todd Diacon (Third from left) is Joined by FedEX Officials and Members of the Kent State Community to unveil the new FedEX Aeronautics and Academic Center. All image credits: Kent State University.

Kent State’s Aeronautics Program, which is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), has the largest collegiate aircraft fleet in the state, a university-managed airport and an Air Traffic Control Laboratory. The program is an authorized Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examining authority and testing center while regularly winning safety awards. Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering attracts students from around the globe to participate in flight training and Kent State’s Precision Flight Team.

Kent State’s new academic center houses collaborative spaces, classrooms, briefing rooms, simulator rooms, and faculty and staff offices. It provides rooms for current and additional courses and, most importantly, will allow for growth in the program’s enrollment, which has grown 55% since 2010.

The new facility will increase the program’s capacity to enroll students to meet the growing demand for pilots, which the Boeing Co. predicts will require 617,000 new pilots worldwide by 2035. The FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center will provide 21st-century facilities and space to graduate aviation professionals able to fulfill flight requirements and to enter the workforce quickly and well prepared.

Kent State alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members walk into the FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center to tour the new building at the grand opening on September 7, 2019.

“There is a great deal of excitement around the new facility amongst our faculty, students and prospective students who recognize that the FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center will help facilitate a top-tier, interactive education that will further elevate the caliber of aeronautics professionals that Kent State delivers to the workforce,” said Christina Bloebaum, dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State. “This facility will be the focal point of our Aeronautics Program’s future growth, and we are very appreciative of the FedEx vision to support the development of prepared, confident aeronautics graduates.”