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Tue, Mar 30, 2010

Daniel Webster Students 'Mourn' Loss Of Aviation Program

Students Plan To Transfer To Other Schools

The end of the flight operations program at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire may be a cause for sadness, but it might not have seemed that way Friday night when more than 40 students of the soon-to-be-history flight training program got together for a candlelight vigil at the program's home.

The students who gathered at the Nicholas N. Tamposi Aviation Center reportedly were laughing as they tried to keep their candles lit, and shouted out the types of planes taking of and landing nearby.

Still, students are unhappy the program is ending. “The flight program is the backbone of our college,” said sophomore Travis Fitzgerald. “Aviation is a part of our heritage. It’s part of who we are. This college was our home, and the sad thing is, we didn’t get a say about anything,” he told the Nashua Telegraph.

The vigil was organized by Fitzgerald, who is in the school's Homeland Security Program, along with Aviation Management student Mick Delcore.

While somewhat lighthearted, the vigil was also seen as a protest against the schools new owners, ITT Educational Services, about how the decision to close the flight training program was made.

Other protests are planned. Students were reportedly organizing through Facebook to picket a campus visit by candidates for a permanent replacement to interim president Nadine Dowling, accompanied by ITT president Kevin Modany. Some students say they will stay with DWC, though, because of the atmosphere afforded by the close-knit college community.

While Dowling has said the other aviation programs at the school would be continuing, one student's parents who contacted the school to inquire about switching to aviation management was reportedly told that program was also no longer accepting new students. That has left many questions about the future of any of the aviation programs at Daniel Webster College.

Many of the students are considering transferring to other flight operations programs around the country.

FMI: www.dwc.edu

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