Durbin, Manzullo, Foster Tout Benefits of Partnering with Rockford to President of Embry-Riddle

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressmen Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Bill Foster (D-IL) today met with the President of Embry-Riddle University, Dr. John Johnson, to discuss bringing the University’s new campus to Rockford, Illinois. All three Members of Congress stressed the mutual benefits of a partnership between Rockford – a world-class city and growing aerospace center – and Embry-Riddle. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), former board member of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), also attended today’s meeting.


“There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and support for Embry-Riddle from Rockford’s citizens, leaders, schools, and businesses,” said Durbin. “President Johnson understands that because of the longstanding support of the Illinois Delegation, Chicago Rockford International Airport has become a premier airport in the Midwest. With continued support, it has tremendous potential for growth giving Embry-Riddle an opportunity to grow and expand its presence in the Midwest at the same time.”


“The future is bright for the aerospace manufacturing industry in northern Illinois, and an Embry-Riddle campus in Rockford is a perfect fit for this region that is quickly being recognized as a world leader in aviation,” said Manzullo. “Senator Durbin and I have worked closely in convincing our colleagues to invest in Rockford’s world-class airport, aerospace manufacturers, and research entities that are important to Embry-Riddle, and our support will continue. We thank President Johnson for coming to Washington, DC to meet with us today so we could share our support for Embry-Riddle in person.”


“I am pleased to work in a bipartisan manner with Senator Durbin and Congressman Manzullo as we discuss the possibility of bringing Embry-Riddle’s new campus to Rockford. Northwestern Illinois would greatly benefit from such a move, as it would create jobs for our area while also helping to prepare individuals for high-tech, high-paying careers,” said Foster.


ERAU is a private, non-profit, coeducational university with residential campuses inDaytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona. The university offers non-degree programs, associates, bachelors, masters and PhD degrees in Aviation and in Engineering Physics. ERSU’s two Air Force ROTC detachments form the largest university-based Air Force commissioning source in the nation. On August 31, ERAU announced Rockford as a finalist for a third residential campus. The campus will begin with about 1,000 students and 250 administration and faculty and likely include: aerospace-oriented research & development labs; professional flight training; flight maintenance training; and academies in area high schools.