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K-State Today

March 22, 2021

Gift of three flight trainers helps K-State Polytechnic aviation students get a feel for flying

Submitted by Allie Lousch

John and Kim Vanier, Salina, have gifted three flight trainers to Kansas State University Polytechnic.

The two flat-panel trainers and one full trainer will enable faculty to instruct future aviators in some of the best state-of-the-art training devices.

"These new training devices will give our students the advantage of having hands-on knowledge on how to use an automated flight deck, how highly complex systems integrate with each other, and how crews interact with each other in decision-making processes," said Neal Bloomquist, assistant professor of aviation. "While nothing can beat the act of manning the controls of a real commercial airliner, these flight simulators are essential for giving the students a feel for what it will be like should they decide to work for an airline."

The Vaniers are longtime residents and supporters of various projects throughout the Salina community and with K-State.  They have been very active in their support of scholarships and with the construction of numerous facilities in and around Salina and Manhattan.

"K-State Polytechnic has always held a special place in my heart," said John Vanier. "With all that the Salina Airport Authority is doing with airport facilities, the training that the school will offer with these simulators will keep K-State Polytechnic at the forefront of aviation education."

The Vaniers' gift advances what K-State Polytechnic is able to offer its students in terms of training. 

"We are tremendously grateful to John and Kim Vanier for their investment in strengthening the educational experience for our students," said Alysia Starkey, dean and CEO of K-State Polytechnic. "Their amazing generosity means that our professional pilot program will continue to be a vital, respected leader in flight education, providing industry-specific training for years to come."

Advanced technology and training are key to K-State Polytechnic's goals to be a world leader in aviation.

"John and Kim Vanier's gift directly aligns with our Global Aeronautics Initiative, which is to create leading-edge and accessible educational and training capabilities to support industry talent needs of tomorrow, with graduates better prepared for careers of the future," said Richard Myers, president of Kansas State University. "The new flight trainers give our students access to the advanced equipment and technology they need to build the skills necessary for success and sets K-State apart as one of the best places for future pilots to train."

As Kansas State University's strategic partner for philanthropy, the KSU Foundation inspires and guides philanthropy toward university priorities to boldly advance K-State family. Visit www.ksufoundation.org for more information.