WMU News

Pioneering pilot boosts WMU's aviation program

Oct. 27, 2004

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--Suzanne D. Parish, Michigan's pioneering woman pilot, who is known throughout the nation for her support of aviation, will visit Western Michigan University's College of Aviation Thursday, Oct. 28, to announce her intention to boost the college's training capacity through a unique arrangement.

Parish will join WMU President Judith I. Bailey and aviation Dean Rick Maloney for a brief ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the large aviation maintenance hangar at the college's W.K. Kellogg Airport facility in Battle Creek. Following the announcement, the principals will be available for comments and photos.

Parish, a member of the Upjohn family, began flying in 1942 near her home in Kalamazoo. She was a member of the World War II Women's Airforce Service Pilots--WASP--and became the first woman inducted into the Experimental Aircraft Association's Warbird Hall of Fame. The co-founder of the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, Parish is renowned for more than a decade of flying her signature pink P-40 Warhawk at air shows around the country. The plane now hangs in the entry to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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