Eli Lilly donates jet to Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center

Eli Lilly donates jet to Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center

Vincennes University Logo

June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – The donation of a Gulfstream IV jet aircraft from the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly will help Vincennes University provide a competitive advantage to Aviation Maintenance students through honing their skills and knowledge with first-rate technology. 

Photo of Gulfstream IV donated to VU

Lilly has donated the aircraft to students pursuing degrees in Aviation Maintenance Technology at VU’s Aviation Technology Center (ATC) in Indianapolis.

ATC Director Michael Gehrich said, “I am proud to announce we are adding a Gulfstream IV to our fleet of aircraft for our students to train on. Lilly's donation of this GIV will be yet another important way for VU to set our program apart from other aviation programs.

Michael Gehrich, VU ATC Director

“This plane will expand our student's training experience in the corporate aircraft maintenance area and allow them even more opportunities with employers who service these types of aircraft. This is an area of our program that has been challenging to address in the past simply due to the expense of these types of aircraft. Without the support of Lilly and their donation of the GIV we simply wouldn't be able to provide this type of training.”

Lilly delivered the jet on June 26 to VU’s Aviation Technology Center located on the property of the Indianapolis International Airport. 

“Lilly is a longstanding advocate for quality education in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – especially within our home state of Indiana,” said Scott Farrar, senior director of aviation operations at Lilly. “Through this donation to Vincennes University, we hope that students pursuing careers in aviation maintenance will have access to additional hands-on learning and application. It is a privilege to collaborate with VU to help prepare future aviators and aviation mechanics.”

VU’s ATC has established an impressive reputation for its state-of-the-art aviation facility and first-class aviation training programs.

Amy Pena, VU Student

“I was thrilled to know that we were receiving a donation,” VU Aviation Maintenance student Amy Pena of Indianapolis said. “It's a great learning opportunity for all of us students at the ATC and we are so grateful. I am sure we'll all have a fantastic time having our first look at it.”

Eli Lilly’s donation will allow students to put their training and knowledge to practice before they enter the workforce.

“The biggest benefit is getting well-rounded experience on different kinds of aircraft before we even enter the workforce,” Pena said. “We are able to get familiar with aircraft we have never seen before or worked on before. Having a variety of aircraft at our school allows me to know what part of the industry I'd even be interested in! I can take a peek at what general aviation is like, commercial, and now business jets.”

In addition to the Gulfstream IV, the ATC is one of only a few schools that houses a fully functioning Boeing 737 airliner used solely for maintenance training. The facility is home to the most advanced aviation labs, testing equipment, and fully operational maintenance hangars along with full classroom and library facilities and immediate airfield access.

“We are proud of our program and the demand for our graduates from the aviation industry,” Gehrich said. “Employers are always impressed with our graduates' abilities right out of school. Much of our success is due to our curriculum, lab equipment, and trainer aircraft.”

To learn more about VU’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program and Aviation Flight Technology programs, visit https://www.vinu.edu/web/atc/home.