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Flying With The Angels

December 2011 | by Jane Kettering

It isn't everyday you see a university president don a flight suit-let alone one with a "Blue Angels" emblem on it. Even so, this fall President Joan Lescinski, CSJ, did just that and "flew with the Angels."

Piloted by Lt. David Tickle, the Navy Blue Angels' F/A-18 Hornet took Sister Joan to 16,500 feet, "up to but not breaking Mach 1," she said. It was a 45-minute, 5 G (force), "out of this world" experience. "I was thrilled," said Sister Joan.

The opportunity came along when Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Paul Koch, PhD, nominated her for the Blue Angels Key Influencer Rider Program, a program that offers rides in a Blue Angel's Hornet to people who have a positive influence on young adults.

"I liked the idea because it's tied to goals we have as educators," Sister Joan said. "Hopefully the young people of St. Ambrose will see that you're never too old to try something new."

With nephew Army National Guard Major Michael Akins and great-nephews Tyler and Tanner on-hand, the experience became all the more special. "It was lovely to have my family be a part of this incredible experience," she said.

This is not the first time Sister Joan has flown. At age 50 she decided to skydive as a part of her celebration. Recently, she started flight lessons. And now, the Blue Angels.

"At my very core I'm an educator, and it was a marvelous opportunity to teach by example."


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