Over the weekend, current and future Butler Tech students had a once in a lifetime opportunity to grab lunch with the President’s Pilot of Air Force One, Col. Mark Tillman. Col. Tillman was in town to speak later that evening at a non-profit gala benefitting children with special needs in aviation. Matt King, a board member for this nonprofit and Butler Tech employee, asked Col. Tillman to have lunch with some Butler Tech students beforehand and he graciously agreed.
Col. Mark Tillman was chosen as the nation’s 12th Presidential Pilot for President George W. Bush. The recently retired colonel was responsible for keeping the President safe on Sept. 11, 2001, and clandestinely flying the President in and out of Iraq on Thanksgiving 2003. He is the first pilot to fly a President in a war zone.
The luncheon consisted of students who were recently accepted into Butler Tech’s brand new Aviation Exploration program as well as students who had hands-on experiences this past year learning about drone technology.
“My son couldn’t sleep last night, he was so excited. He will never forget this day.” said the mother of Bryce Morgan who will be in the Aviation Exploration inaugural class. “It was a huge decision for Bryce to choose to come to Butler Tech in this new program. Butler Tech has already given him world-class experiences and he has not even had his first day of classes yet.”
Col. Tillman took his time answering any questions that the students or parents had. “There’s never been a better time to go into aviation and I know Butler Tech will prepare you for what’s next. Their new Aviation Exploration program is a step in the right direction. It’s been an honor meeting you all today.” said the President’s Pilot.
The lunch ended in style with students receiving aviator style sunglasses that the former Captain of Air Force One signed.