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Dunlap Named Distinguished Graduate for Fall 2022


The faculty of the Eastern Kentucky University Aviation Program recently named Matthew Dunlap as the Distinguished Graduated for the fall 2022 Semester. Dunlap, a native of Greenville, Indiana, is graduating with a B.S. in Aviation, concentrations in Professional Flight and Aerospace Management, and a Minor in Business.

Dunlap came to EKU in the fall of 2019 and always knew he wanted to pursue a career in aviation. He was also quick to join each of the aviation student organizations and believes those experiences can do a lot for students. “I wanted to be as involved as possible,” said Dunlap. “It’s not just about flying the plane. It’s about everything that goes into it.”

Serving his country is also something Dunlap is passionate about. After joining the Kentucky Air National Guard in 2017, he went on to be deployed in the summer of 2020 to Kuwait. Upon his return, Dunlap’s progress in the Aviation Program only accelerated. He was elected as the president of the Alpha Eta Rho aviation fraternity, added a dual concentration in Aerospace Management, and continued to work through the flight program’s various ratings and certificates.

In September of 2022, however, Dunlap reached a significant milestone by earning his Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating and being hired by EKU.

“Being a CFI allows me to give back to the program and serve as a role model for younger students,” says Dunlap, who believes the job is about a lot more than flying. “I tell all my students to get involved and not just in aviation. That’s what makes the whole experience and will set them apart in an interview.”

While his future career plans may still be undecided, Dunlap is sure he has chosen the right field. “Right now, I’m focused on being the best instructor I can be,” he said. “I have really enjoyed my time here and it has given me the tools to be successful in whatever comes next.”

Matthew is the son of Joseph and Gladys Dunlap and is among a group of more than 30 students graduating from the EKU Aviation Program this fall. A graduation ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 3rd at 9am at EKU’s Alumni Coliseum.

Published on November 28, 2022

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