About Us

Welcome to the Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation Fund Website!

The Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation Fund is a Scholarship fund established to support tuition or book expenses for students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). The target group for this fund is students who are members of historically underrepresented groups in aviation, or the sciences.

The Scholarship was originally started as the Alpha Eagle Book Scholarship in 2011 at Embry-Riddle. The Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation Fund was later established at the Central Florida Foundation in Fall 2014 by Embry-Riddle alumnus Mark Giddarie (DB 98).

Message from the Founder

As a three time graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, (Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science [Daytona Beach—1998], Master of Science in Management [World Wide—2008], and Master of Business Administration in Aviation [World Wide—2010], I am deeply passionate about the university. Embry-Riddle has changed me, so much for the better that I will always feel a deep respect and gratitude for my years there “earning my wings”—not just those that put me in the air, but those that sent me to unimaginable career heights, and yet, my experience is not uncommon. As is the case for many Alumni, I am driven by a passion to give back to ERAU in a manner that is tangible and measurable. The most valuable resources at ERAU are our dedicated faculty, our passionate students, our illustrious alumni—and the synergistic relationship between these three that guides our tradition of excellence.

But being “the best” comes at a price. In 2015, the estimated cost of tuition, room and board, and books totaled approximately $45,100 per year for non-flight majors . . . or approximately $180,400 for a 4-year Embry-Riddle education. Flight majors pay an additional estimated total of $48,000 of flight training costs, graduating with an estimated accrued expense of $228,400, almost a quarter of a million dollars. As a native of Jamaica, and a member of a group that is underrepresented in aviation as well as other technical careers, I found myself considering what has made the biggest impact on my life. The answer? Educational opportunities.

In the fall of 2014, I created the Alpha Eagle Aviation & Science Foundation Fund scholarship to provide financial support for specific underrepresented student groups who might not otherwise have the opportunity I did—African-American, Caribbean, and Hispanic students. This scholarship fund is a perfect vehicle for alumni, individuals, and corporations to directly support these specific underrepresented student groups who are in need. Your tax-deductible gifts are invested and professionally managed by the Central Florida Foundation, a 501c3 corporation. Awards are administered directly to students in collaboration with the ERAU Financial Aid office to cover book and tuition expenses.

Please join me and the other donors/supporters, and take pride in knowing that your financial contributions are transparent under our donor recognition tabs on our website, and measurable from our semi-annually updated student testimonials.

Thank You,

Mark Giddarie, MSM, MBAA, MSEAT

Gold Seal CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI
Founder Alpha Eagle Aviation and Science Foundation