Embry-Riddle Launches Crowdfunding Site to Support Key Projects

Nose of Cessna bearing name "Worldwide Aeronautics Faculty"

“This is a way for alumni, faculty, staff and friends to provide financial support directly to areas within the university that they care about most.”

Bill Hampton, senior vice president for external relations and chief marketing officer

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has launched a crowdfunding website to give its alumni and friends a more immediate way to support targeted key initiatives at its Daytona Beach, Prescott and Worldwide campuses.

“This is a way for alumni, faculty, staff and friends to provide financial support directly to areas within the university that they care about most,” said Bill Hampton, senior vice president for external relations and chief marketing officer. “Many initiatives and projects have immediate and substantial needs, and this tool allows donors to make a difference with the click of a button.”

Located at crowdfunding.erau.edu, the site will not be limited to specific areas of the university. “Any great project or idea is up for consideration,” said Hampton. “The tool is powerful and nimble enough to be used to support a variety of areas.”

At its launch, the site is featuring ambitious projects and initiatives that go beyond the classroom, including creating a consumer guide for small unmanned aircraft systems, building a space habitat simulator out of a 1976 Airstream trailer and launching a student-built rocket into space.

“Crowdfunding enables faculty and students to push the boundaries of education and allows for the funding of hands-on student projects and experiential learning,” said Kenneth L. Witcher, dean of the College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus.

Many educational and research initiatives are short on time and money, two challenges that crowdfunding was specifically designed to help remedy. The platform allows students and faculty to promote their most critical fundraising needs to potential donors using the Internet and social media, getting real-time results for their efforts.

“Our team is extremely excited for this project, and every dollar we earn is precious to us,” said Bryce Chanes, a Prescott Campus student and project manager for the Eagle Space Flight Team.

The Embry-Riddle crowdfunding website debuted with seven projects that are seeking funds:

  • The Eagle Space Flight Team at the Prescott Campus wants to become the first undergraduate team to successfully launch a student-designed/built rocket to space.
  • The EcoEagles EcoCAR 3 Team, composed of undergraduate and graduate engineering students from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, is competing nationally in a four-year program to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Eagle Works Team at the Prescott Campus is engineering an electric vehicle with the goal to shatter the E-1 class electric land-speed record.
  • The Worldwide College of Aeronautics wants to test a variety of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems and their capabilities to develop a free consumer comparison and buying guide.
  • The Mobile Extreme Environment Research Station (MEERS) at the Daytona Beach Campus is a student-run project to design and build a mobile laboratory and space habitat simulator out of a 31-foot 1976 Airstream trailer for the purpose of testing and advancing space technologies.
  • With the Dreams Soar Initiative, Embry-Riddle student and alumna Shaesta Waiz is hoping to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world while encouraging young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • The Name a Plane Campaign gives donors an opportunity to name a Cessna 172 or Diamond Twinstar to support flight departments or student flight teams at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses.
  • To find out more about Embry-Riddle’s crowdfunding efforts, go to crowdfunding.erau.edu.

    Questions? Contact:
    Melanie Stawicki Azam
    Corporate Communications

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