The Buckeye State’s role in aviation is well documented. With names like the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, Ohio has a rich history of aerial pioneers. That tradition includes Cincinnati where John Paul Riddle and T. Higbee Embry founded the Embry Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in 1925, and opened the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University the following year. After 89 years and expanding to 150 locations nationwide, Embry-Riddle has blossomed into a world-renown institute that continues to mold the future of of flight.

“You’re not just getting a technical degree, you’re getting an education that will make you successful in whatever you do,” says Brady Templeton, who received his bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and a master’s in business administration of aviation from Embry-Riddle Cincinnati. He’s now president of Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services Inc. at Wilmington Air Park.

An aircraft mechanic by trade, Templeton watched as less experienced and knowledgeable individuals began getting promoted because of their education. It was the motivation he needed to get back in the classroom in 2004.

“I turned 40 and I knew I wanted to continue to have opportunities in my field and I knew a degree would be required,” he says.

While at Embry-Riddle, Templeton was among a diverse student body, from seasoned technicians to recent high school graduates.

Like many other alumni, Templeton’s hands-on expertise proved beneficial.

“Having 20 years experience and going into my program that was focused on what I did every day certainly put me in a position to be knowledgeable about the classroom material,” he says.

Matthew Kahn, an adjunct assistant professor at Embry-Riddle since 2007, teaches aeronautics and transportation courses. As a manager of flight control for Delta Private Jets at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Kahn draws upon his personal experience for instruction. He also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle. His mix of professional and academic experience is a cornerstone of the school’s curriculum.

“Embry-Riddle does a good job of marrying real world application with technical and theoretical material,” says Kahn.

Along with aviation, graduates from Embry-Riddle have entered a wide array of industries, including aerospace, unmanned aerial systems, fire science, health care, professional development, transportation logistics and more.

Offering associates to master’s degrees, Embry-Riddle also has a diverse curriculum that includes courses such as History and English, which are far removed from the aviation lexicon.

“Embry-Riddle provided me with what I considered a solid education and prepared me very well and gave me a variety of challenges,” says Templeton. “You’re not only getting a technical degree, you’re getting an education in things that will make you successful.”