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Aviation Donors Aim High



Sauk Valley Community College and the Dixon Municipal Airport hosted a recent event to recognize the generosity of donors who contributed to the creation of an endowed scholarship that will increase opportunities for students to pursue productive and satisfying careers in aviation.

The event included remarks from Liandro Arellano, mayor of Dixon, “It’s the passion of local, committed people like you that has lit the fire for this cause. Thank you for advancing the future of aviation in the area.”

Propelled by an anonymous lead gift of $10,000 in 2018, donors came forward to meet the challenge, giving a total of $24,501. Because of their collective vision and love of aviation, the Dixon Municipal Airport-SVCC Aviation Scholarship in perpetuity.  

Dan Ruckman, president of the Dixon Airport Board, expressed his commitment to future fundraising efforts in partnership with the Sauk Valley College Foundation. Ruckman’s hope is that the number of scholarships will increase, attracting more students to pursue careers in aviation. “In the next ten years, fifty percent of airline pilots are scheduled to retire, so there’s a big demand out there, and anyone getting into the field now is in a good position to have a great career in multiple areas of aviation.” 

Joining donors, local civic leaders, and SVCC administration were Chase Workman and Anthony Holguin, current students in the Aviation Private Pilot Ground Training course offered through the SVCC Community Education program. Workman, a junior at Dixon High School shared, “It’s very good to get young people like me involved in aviation. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and this scholarship is a great opportunity.”

Applications for the new scholarship are being accepted and beginning in the fall of 2019, students who complete their certification through SVCC Community Education at the Dixon Municipal Airport may be eligible to receive a reimbursement award of $500 to $1,000.

Questions about the scholarship may be directed to the Sauk Valley College Foundation by calling 815-835-6329. Scholarship applications are available at svcc.edu/scholarships.

Students interested in the Aviation Private Pilot Ground Training course may contact Brenda Helms at 815-835-6212.