NYS Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, '97 Funds $250k Gift to Offset Flight Fees for Spring 2024 Students 

Farmingdale State College (FSC) President John S. Nader, PhD today joined FSC alumnus and New York State (NYS) Assemblyman Clyde Vanel to announce the Clyde Vanel ’97 Flight Fee Scholarship, which will go to support every student in FSC’s Professional Pilot Program. NYS Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, NYS Senator Monica Martinez, FSC Vice President for Development & Alumni Engagement Matthew Colson, FSC Aviation Department Chair Dr. Jeanne Radigan, students and faculty were also in attendance.  

Assemblyman Vanel has arranged for FSC to receive $250,000 to help offset flight fee costs for the 90 students currently enrolled in the Professional Pilot Program. Scholarships will be awarded in the spring 2024 semester based on each student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Awards will range from $2,300 to $4,572 per student.  

“We must ensure that we do all that we can to help provide financial assistance to men and women to become professional pilots,” said Assemblyman Vanel. “This funding will help young adults achieve their dream while securing their economic future.” 

“We are thankful to Assemblyman Vanel for this tremendous student-focused gift which will have a resounding impact on our Pro-Pilot Program,” said President Nader. “It is a genuine reflection of Assemblyman Vanel’s exemplary leadership and commitment to our region.”  

“This generous investment will help redefine the scope of opportunity for our aeronautical science students well into the future,” said Matthew Colson, FSC vice president for development & alumni engagement. “As both an alumnus and public servant Assemblyman Vanel personifies FSC’s vibrant alumni network and dedication to exceptional community involvement.”  

Assemblyman Vanel is an attorney, entrepreneur, and pilot from Queens. He is the founder of the New York Metro chapter of the Black Pilots of America, Inc., which trains and exposes the community and youth to the field of aviation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration and an Associate of Applied Science in Aerospace Technology from FSC, where he served as the Student Government President. 

“Being at Farmingdale really helped shape my future,” he said. “As a student in the aviation program, I lived it. I have experienced it firsthand, and I know its impact on me. Farmingdale was invaluable to me,” he added. “This grant will support students in the program, who are spectacular aviators but may not be able to navigate the flight fees.” 

FSC is home to the largest collegiate flight school in the Northeast and is the only four-year degree program in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Located less than two miles from the FSC campus, the Aviation Flight Center serves as the primary hub for flight training with a fleet of 17 aircraft that the College owns and operates and features advanced aviation training devices. The main campus also houses a fully interactive air traffic control simulator that provides simulation in both tower and radar positions. In addition to Professional Pilot, students can earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Administration, with minors in Air Force ROTC, Aviation Administration or Aviation Flight. A drone pilot certification course is also available.               

View more photos from the Clyde Vanel ’97 Flight Fee Scholarship announcement on our Flickr Gallery