|Anderson writes a personal message to Liberty aeronautics students before giving the picture to Liberty junior Conner Davidson and his father (not pictured) to take to the university.|
In January, Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines, wrote a personal message to Liberty University School of Aeronautics students on a 5-by-4 picture of an airborne Delta aircraft. He then presented it to Capt. Bret Davidson, who flies 747s for Delta, and his son, Conner, a junior in Liberty’s aeronautics program.
“Please diligently apply yourselves and strive for excellence in your studies,” Anderson wrote. “Work diligently for the opportunity to join the best airline professionals in the world at Delta.”
Bret and Conner Davidson had the picture framed and presented it to President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Dr. Ronald Godwin, Liberty’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, on Feb. 26, before giving it to Brig. Gen. Dave Young, dean of the School of Aeronautics, to display in the school.
“To receive such recognition from the CEO of one of the world's premier airlines is an honor and shows that our students are demonstrating the qualities that put them on the radar of these top employers,” Young said. “The School of Aeronautics greatly appreciates the generosity of Delta Air Lines CEO, Mr. Richard Anderson, in presenting such a wonderful depiction of what our students dream about, flying for a major airline such as Delta. We are committed to training future airline pilots who will meet the high standards to which Delta ascribes.”
Bret Davidson learned to fly at Falwell Aviation (now Freedom Aviation) where his father, Ramon “Dave” Davidson, was the personal pilot for Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. for many years. Bret Davidson said he also piloted more than 200 hours with Falwell, Sr.
Although Delta is one of the world’s largest airlines, Bret Davidson said the company considers itself a family and sets very high standards of character for its employees. He said Liberty’s students display the characteristics Delta is looking for in future employees and he hopes that when they see the CEO’s message they will be motivated to excel, so they can one day gain a position with the company. Last year, a Liberty aeronautics student landed a competitive internship with Delta. He was one of only three college students chosen from a pool of more than 700 applicants nationwide.