The University will soon add a new building all thanks to a grant from Delta Air Lines.
The Delta Air Lines Foundation and the Jacobsen Family Foundation granted $6.2 million to support multiple programs and fund the construction of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building.
The grant was given at an event on Friday at the Auburn University Regional Airport to the Department of Aviation at the University.
In addition to the new building and program support, the money will be used to purchase an aircraft simulator and create endowed faculty professorships. Delta’s gift also will provide funding for the university’s Radio-Frequency Identification, or RFID Lab
Auburn is the leading academic institution for RFID technology, conducting research on how specialized sensor technologies can have an impact on industries, including aviation, retail, supply chain and manufacturing. Emerge at Auburn, a new student leadership development program, also will receive funding from Delta’s gift.
“We are proud to partner with Auburn University’s aviation education program, the RFID Lab and Emerge at Auburn,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, trustee with the Delta Air Lines Foundation and chair of the Jacobson Family Foundation.
“This grant and partnership will help ensure an exceptional aviation education through technology, research and innovation for students, and supports our commitment to enhancing education as a key pillar of our community engagement efforts.
Construction of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building, the first building designed exclusively for aviation education at Auburn, will be completed for fall 2018 classes.
The 23,000-square-foot facility will accommodate anticipated growth and increased class offerings, as well as provide state-of-the-art flight simulators; flexible, technology-enhanced classrooms; faculty offices and workspace and meeting spaces for faculty and students.
The investment in the RFID Lab will provide a dedicated Delta Air Lines Aviation Sensor ID Bay to facilitate research and create an experiential learning center that will include executive, student and industry teaching capabilities.
This funding also will establish lead resources for an aerospace consortium sponsored by Delta and create aerospace-focused student and faculty positions within the lab.
“Delta is revolutionizing the way we teach aviation at Auburn,” said Bill Hutto, interim chair of Auburn’s Department of Professional Flight and Aviation Management and director of the Auburn University Regional Airport and Auburn Aviation Center. “We will see the impact of their gift for decades.”