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FedEx presents Aviation scholarships to Delta State University Aviation students

FedEx and Delta State officials unveil the updated FedEx Purple Runway Scholarship Wall during the 2022 FedEx Takeover Day event at Delta State.

CLEVELAND, Miss.—FedEx officials recently recognized 50 Delta State University Commercial Aviation students who received Purple Runway Aviation Scholarships during the 2022 FedEx Takeover Day.

FedEx Express created the scholarship program to build the next generation of aviation professionals.

During the Takeover Day event, hosted April 5, the names and photos of recent scholarship recipients were added to the prestigious FedEx Purple Runway Scholarship Wall, located in the Gibson-Gunn Aviation Building on Delta State’s campus.

The 2022 FedEx Takeover Day was hosted recently at Delta State.

“It is so great to be able to give out $300,000 in scholarships today to help students,” announced Bill West, Jr., vice president of Supplemental Air Operations, during the Takeover Day ceremony.

“FedEx Takeover Day was such a special day for us at Delta State,” said Dr. Billy Moore, dean of the College of Business and Aviation at Delta State.

“Even beyond the financial contributions that assist our students in achieving their dreams and career aspirations, the opportunity to interact with industry leaders allowed our students to readily see their progress toward their goals,” he added.

Delta State received a $500,000 gift from FedEx in 2018 as part of the corporation’s $2.5 million Purple Runway Aviation Scholarship program. For the past four years, Delta State Aviation students have benefitted from the award, with many of the recipients crediting it for providing the support needed to complete the program.

FedEx and Delta State officials pose for a photo during the 2022 FedEx Takeover Day.

“The FedEx Purple Runway Scholarship has meant so much to many Delta State Commercial Aviation students. It has helped them to financially stay on track to complete their Flight Operations Degree and become professional pilots,” said Joe Saia, interim chair of Aviation at Delta State.

“Students are so excited to be a scholarship recipient and are eager to share heartwarming stories of how much they appreciate FedEx for this scholarship,” said Dr. Lori Spencer, director of development at Delta State.

For some students, receiving the scholarship was a wish come true.

“When I walked through this hallway during my visit to Delta State, I saw the Purple Runway scholarship wall and turned to my mom and said, ‘I sure hope I get on that wall,’” shared scholarship recipient Chandler Ladner, a Commercial Aviation major at Delta State.

“After hard work and a strong desire to be a Purple Runway recipient, today I took a picture of me standing in front of the wall, sent it to my mom, called her and said, ‘Mom, I made the wall!’”

The recently updated FedEx Purple Runway Scholarship Wall, located in Delta State’s Gibson-Gunn Aviation Building.

The FedEx Purple Runway Aviation Scholarship is an extension of the company’s aviation pathways program. This pilot development program, an industry-leader, is designed to assist three FedEx Express feeder operators in recruiting and retaining pilots who wish, in the end, to qualify for pilot positions in the FedEx trunk fleet.

Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation offers a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation (BCA) in Flight Operations and Aviation Management with a concentration in Logistics, and a Master of Commercial Aviation (MCA).

To learn more about Commercial Aviation programs at Delta State, visit

For questions, e-mail, or call (662) 846-4205.