The West Michigan Aviation Academy has received $150,000 in scholarship funding to support graduates attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University over the next 20 years.
Louis Seno Jr., vice president for corporate relations and government affairs at Embry-Riddle, and his wife, Christine, announced the donation Thursday, Dec. 4. They will also donate Seno’s late father’s Corben Junior Ace aircraft for display at the aviation-themed charter high school located on the grounds of Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
As the children of aviators and war heroes, Seno said the couple, who have a home in Harbor Spring, wanted to establish a special legacy for WMAA. This partnership is described as uniting “the power of aviation and education with the importance of sharing history and giving back to future generations.”
“Having attended WMAA’s first commencement in June of this year, I was struck that so many parents felt the WMAA experience changed their child’s life,” said Seno, about the 492-student school. “The aspirations of those parents for their children were the impetus for this scholarship program. Christine and I are pleased to help the next generation reach their dreams.”
WMAA CEO Pat Cwayna said the scholarship commitment spans 20 years with $7,500 annually being given to the school for two graduates planning to attend Embry-Riddle. He said during Seno’s visit he sensed an immediate connection between him and the school’s mission.
“We are very fortunate that people appreciate what we are doing here,” said Cwayna, who said the generous gifts are an example of the Seno family’s passion for education and aviation. “We couldn’t be more grateful.”
School founder Dick DeVos said WMAA will now be able to offer our graduates even more opportunities. He said lives will be changed as a result of their generosity.
“Christine and Lou are another great example of the spirit of giving that is still alive and well in West Michigan,” he said. “Their passion for kids, for education and for aviation are all reflected in this amazing gift.
The aeronautical university has residential campuses located in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, AZ, as well as offer online classes in more than 150 locations around the globe.
In February, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation announced it would give $240,000 in scholarships to graduates of WMAA – a $60,000 scholarship to one graduate each year from 2014 to 2017.