In a nod to its upcoming 90th anniversary and key role in Arizona’s aerospace, aviation and technological development, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will host a special Open House celebration Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at its Worldwide campus at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

As part of the Open House, the university will showcase one of its original aircraft, a restored 1928 WACO used in the school’s early days for flight training and air mail delivery. This one-of-a-kind, fully restored plane is scheduled to tour the United States as part of the university’s year-long celebration of its founding 90 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1926.

From 9 a.m. to noon, and then again from 2 to 5 p.m., the Worldwide Phoenix-Mesa Campus will open its doors to the public with information about the campus’ undergraduate and graduate programs and facilities. A presentation program at 12:30 p.m. will feature guest speaker Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. John R. Watret and Dr. Bobby Martin, a Honeywell Program Manager for Air Force Platforms and assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s Phoenix locations.

Also on hand at the event will be world-renowned aerobatic performer Matt Chapman, who pilots the  Embry-Riddle Extra 330LX in air shows and events around the country. Chapman will headline homecoming events including a private air show for the university’s Prescott, Ariz., campus on Oct. 3.

“Embry-Riddle’s connection to Arizona exemplifies our commitment to educating leaders in the aviation and aerospace industry,” Dr. Watret said. “With a fast-growing residential campus in Prescott, the three Worldwide locations in the Phoenix area and dual enrollment programs throughout the state’s public school system, we are providing that pipeline of pilots, engineers, technicians and other professions necessary to ensure a safe, profitable and innovate future.”

Airport senior officials echo the significance of having Embry-Riddle expand its presence there.

“Aerospace is a thriving industry in Arizona, and the demand for knowledgeable employees continues to grow,” said Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Executive Director Jane Morris. “Embry-Riddle has positioned itself as the global leader in aviation and aerospace education and helps to meet the growing demand with highly skilled and informed graduates. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is proud to be one of the Worldwide locations in the Phoenix area and a part of the 90th anniversary celebration.”

Nearly 350 students are enrolled at Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s three Phoenix area campuses at Gateway Airport/Mesa, Phoenix-Sky Harbor and Luke Air Force Base. Other campuses in Arizona include Davis-Monthan in the Tucson area and Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista.