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By Neal Reid
The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered businesses, curbed progress in countless areas and stunted growth across the globe, but Auburn University’s Department of Aviation has weathered the storm and is flying high as another semester comes to a close on the Plains.
With a record number of approximately 160 students joining the storied program this fall, the department kept its instructors and team leaders busy accommodating an increase in interest while adjusting to new norms forced by the pandemic. The Department of Aviation boasts roughly 400 students who are professional flight majors and another 200-plus aviation management majors, giving Auburn a robust presence in the aviation world and an optimistic outlook toward a promising future.
“The freshman class is bigger than the senior class,” said James Birdsong, aviation program coordinator and recent winner of the 2020 Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. “The net number of graduates each year is probably about 50 to 60 right now, but that number’s going to increase more and more.
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