FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 30, 2006
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW and Weyerhaeuser host Pilot Partner dinner
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women and
Weyerhaeuser rolled out the welcome mat for Pilot Partner
Class 07-13 at the Plymouth Bluff Center on Tuesday evening.
Members of the class and their families experienced Southern
hospitality at a dinner that included barbecue with all of
the fixings and Mississippi mud pie for dessert.
The Pilot Partner Program, co-sponsored by the local chapter
of the Air Force Association and the Columbus-Lowndes
Development Link, unites each Columbus Air Force Base
Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) class with
businesses from the Columbus-Lowndes County. The Military
Affairs Committee of The Link, co-chaired by Chuck Bigelow
and Marleen Hansen, identifies two business/organizations as
partners for each of the 15 annual classes.
MUW President Claudia A. Limbert said, “It’s exciting to see
another group of pilots training. We want you to visit our
campus and be a part of our community. I am very proud to be
a part of this program, and it is an honor to be here with
Kent Walker, vice president/site manager of Weyerhaeuser
Company Pulp and Paper Complex, added, “We want to open our
arms and make sure you feel a warm Southern welcome. This is
a warm community. The base is a critical part of our
community and economy.”
In addition to dinner, door prizes from the local movie
theater and restaurant gift certificates were given away.
Student pilot Joseph Ward III said the MUW and Weyerhaeuser
partnership was very appreciated.
“It’s so surprising that these organizations are so
receptive to incoming pilots they have not met yet.”
Ward added that Columbus is very different from his
community of Avon, Conn.
“It’s a lot more relaxed here. The people are wonderful.
There is a strong sense of community and family.”
Adam Cole of Dallas, who is also student pilot, added, “This
program is a conduit for us to get more involved in the
International student pilot Tomonori Okubo of Japan said the
partnership was a great way for them to meet new people and
learn the community.
Class 07-13 is made of 26 students, one who is female, and
they range in age from 22 to 30. Six are married and three
have children. Three of the students are international
officers, two from Japan and Kazakhstan.
Class 07-13’s SUPT graduation is Aug. 17, 2007, where the
graduates earn their engraved set of Air Force pilot wings.