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Famous tradition overlaps with another

Joe Sutter Dinner captivates those not dancing away

By Natalie Lile

V3_I3_News_Sutter_Lile

“We are promoting aviation and aerospace and it’s good to know the history,” said Nurzhanov. “The purpose of the dinner isn’t just about building network. The entire dinner is formed around lecture.”

While some were dressing in sequins and giving flowers to one another for the Aviators’ Ball, other students decided to take a different approach to their November night.

Students were encouraged by both flyers and the NOTAM to apply to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture, which was at the Museum of Flight on Saturday 14 Nov.

“It’s really a pretty incredible thing for our students to be invited to,” said RAHS Coordinator Steve Davolt. “Generally, it’s something that you would pay $175 per seat to be at, and this [event] enables students to be there in a way that normally, not the general public gets to go to.”

The Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture is an event that has occurred for the past fourteen years to commemorate former Boeing engineer Joe Sutter. He started at Boeing after he served the country during World War II and was part of the incredible team that rolled out the first 747 in just 29 months.

“Joe Sutter was a former aeronautical engineer,” said Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov. “He was very famous for building planes for Boeing and he got lots of recognition for aviation. He is literally called the ‘Father of Boeing 747’. I feel like it’s amazing to go to that special event.”

This year, Dr. Roger D. Launius was the guest speaker. He is the Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and spoke to the many different people who attended the dinner: military, academic, and technical fields alike.

“Each year is really pretty different,” said Davolt. “This year it’s a gentleman from the Smithsonian and that’s a different perspective than the guy that they had last year who was talking about the Battle of Britain.”

Since every year’s theme is so vastly different than the themes before, the event appeals to the attendees, who keep coming back. This year’s theme was “The Strange Career of the American Spaceplane: NASA and the Quest for Routine Human Space Operations.”

“Just the fact that you can actually hear something that is not published [and] face someone face to face, it’s different [than reading published text],” said Nurzhanov. “It’s the same as actors who play in movies and play in a theater. When they play in the movie, everything is set and they can do the same scene multiple times to get what they need to get but when they play [live], they just get energized from their audience and I think it’s the same things here.”

This variety attracts many different people from many different fields, including the fortunate students that get to go. This tradition has been going on for all ten years of RAHS. However, only a handful of students were able to attend the dinner this time, as the Aviator’s Ball had been scheduled for the very same evening.

“We’ve been involved in it some way or another for all 10 years,” said Davolt, “and [attendance] varies from 10 students to 30 or 40.”

Faculty, like students, were also torn between the two events. Aviator’s Ball needed chaperones, yet the Joe Sutter Dinner is always a sought-out experience.

“Unfortunately this year we were short booked [on staff],” said Nurzhanov, “because we had Homecoming and Joe Sutter Dinner on the same night.”

Apart from learning about aeronautics through lecture, students also got to sit down and converse with professionals.

“All of our students are placed at tables with a variety of people so it allows you to have this interaction with adults you normally wouldn’t have,” said Davolt, “and it’s different than a teacher or an administrator. Where else do you have an opportunity to be [that] involved?”

 

Like the Aviator’s Ball, the dinner is well known throughout the RAHS community. It has been promoted by flyers, in the NOTAM, and even personally by Nurzhanov.

 

“Its an experience that can never be repeated,” said Nurzhanov, “because it’s not going to be the same the second time.”

While some were dressing in sequins and giving flowers to one another for the Aviators’ Ball, other students decided to take a different approach to their November night.

Students were encouraged by both flyers and the NOTAM to apply to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture, which was at the Museum of Flight on Saturday 14 Nov.

“It’s really a pretty incredible thing for our students to be invited to,” said RAHS Coordinator Steve Davolt. “Generally, it’s something that you would pay $175 per seat to be at, and this [event] enables students to be there in a way that normally, not the general public gets to go to.”

The Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture is an event that has occurred for the past fourteen years to commemorate former Boeing engineer Joe Sutter. He started at Boeing after he served the country during World War II and was part of the incredible team that rolled out the first 747 in just 29 months.

“Joe Sutter was a former aeronautical engineer,” said Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov. “He was very famous for building planes for Boeing and he got lots of recognition for aviation. He is literally called the ‘Father of Boeing 747’. I feel like it’s amazing to go to that special event.”

This year, Dr. Roger D. Launius was the guest speaker. He is the Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and spoke to the many different people who attended the dinner: military, academic, and technical fields alike.

“Each year is really pretty different,” said Davolt. “This year it’s a gentleman from the Smithsonian and that’s a different perspective than the guy that they had last year who was talking about the Battle of Britain.”

Since every year’s theme is so vastly different than the themes before, the event appeals to the attendees, who keep coming back. This year’s theme was “The Strange Career of the American Spaceplane: NASA and the Quest for Routine Human Space Operations.”

“Just the fact that you can actually hear something that is not published [and] face someone face to face, it’s different [than reading published text],” said Nurzhanov. “It’s the same as actors who play in movies and play in a theater. When they play in the movie, everything is set and they can do the same scene multiple times to get what they need to get but when they play [live], they just get energized from their audience and I think it’s the same things here.”

This variety attracts many different people from many different fields, including the fortunate students that get to go. This tradition has been going on for all ten years of RAHS. However, only a handful of students were able to attend the dinner this time, as the Aviator’s Ball had been scheduled for the very same evening.

“We’ve been involved in it some way or another for all 10 years,” said Davolt, “and [attendance] varies from 10 students to 30 or 40.”

Faculty, like students, were also torn between the two events. Aviator’s Ball needed chaperones, yet the Joe Sutter Dinner is always a sought-out experience.

“Unfortunately this year we were short booked [on staff],” said Nurzhanov, “because we had Homecoming and Joe Sutter Dinner on the same night.”

Apart from learning about aeronautics through lecture, students also got to sit down and converse with professionals.

“All of our students are placed at tables with a variety of people so it allows you to have this interaction with adults you normally wouldn’t have,” said Davolt, “and it’s different than a teacher or an administrator. Where else do you have an opportunity to be [that] involved?”

Like the Aviator’s Ball, the dinner is well known throughout the RAHS community. It has been promoted by flyers, in the NOTAM, and even personally by Nurzhanov.

“Its an experience that can never be repeated,” said Nurzhanov, “because it’s not going to be the same the second time.”

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