Dear Aviation Alumni,
Many of the DSU Aviation alumni knew and loved Gary Hemphill (Dr. H). Gary was an integral part of the career and life of all of his students. To honor Gary and his service to the DSU Aviation program and students, the Mississippi legislature is considering a bill that would name April of every year the Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation Month.
Designating April the Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation month not only honors Gary and his service to the state of Mississippi but will be used by the DSU Department of Commercial Aviation to recruit students and promote aviation in the state of Mississippi.
We need you to contact Senator Dean Kirby and ask him to pass House Bill 425. Senator Kirby is the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. This bill has passed the House of Representatives and must now pass his committee before it can be considered by the full Senate.
Senator Dean Kirby
Below is an excerpt of the bill.
WHEREAS, as a great advocate for the aviation profession and industry, Mr. Gary Hemphill was responsible for the State of Mississippi becoming a leader in commercial aviation, and because of this, it is important for the State of Mississippi to recognize him by designating April as “Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation Month”; and
WHEREAS, in 1970, Mr. Hemphill served with the United States Air Force’s 388th Combat Support Group at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as an aircraft electrical repair technician; and following service in Southeast Asia, he was assigned to the Air Force Systems Command’s Weapons Development Center at Kirkland AFB, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hemphill’s duty with the Weapons Development Center allowed him to work with various aircraft,
including: F-100, F-4E, B-52, KC-135, C-130, T-29, F-104, T-38, WB-56, RB-66, C-121, F-105, A-4, and T-39; and
WHEREAS, after serving with the United States Air Force, Mr. Hemphill attended Northeast Louisiana University (NLU), where he received a bachelor of business administration in management in 1976, a bachelor of science in aviation in 1979, and a master’s degree in education; and
WHEREAS, during his time in graduate school, Mr. Hemphill was a graduate assistant in the Aviation Department at NLU teaching classes and coaching the NLU flight team; and after receiving his master of education degree, he was hired by Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he was an instructor, teaching primary ground instruction, passenger transportation, aviation weather, and aviation law among other subjects; and he was, until his appointment as Executive Director, the advisor to the Delta State University Flight Team and advisor to the Delta Psi Chapter of Alpha Eta Rho; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hemphill’s career at Delta State saw him rise to chairman of the Department of Commercial Aviation, and while serving as chairman, he spent countless hours working to advance commercial aviation in the State of Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, even though his duties as chairman required hours of work, Mr. Hemphill continued to be available to students of the commercial aviation department, with his office door always open to any student who wanted to discuss aviation, life, or anything a young college student might face, and as he was known too many of his students as “Dr. H” or “Doc”, he became their career advisor, personal advisor, and most importantly, their friend; and
WHEREAS, even after his retirement from Delta State University in 2003, students continued to seek Mr. Hemphill’s advice and friendship, and as he never failed to spend as much time as needed listening, he always had good, sound advice for his former students; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Hemphill loved airplanes and aviation, but most importantly, he loved his students and dedicated his life to them, with many of his students going on to work for NASA, fly the President of the United States and the Governor of Mississippi, and fly airplanes around the world every day; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature desires to recognize and Honor outstanding individuals, especially those such as Mr. Hemphill, whose selfless dedication to serving others, and tremendous commitment to the aviation profession and industry, brings honor to the State of Mississippi;
The month of April is declared to be “Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation Month” in recognition, observation and commemoration of Gary Hemphill, who was responsible for the state of Mississippi becoming a leader in commercial aviation.
Please complete the form below and send an email to Rep. Rob Roberson asking him to support and pass HB425 – Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation Month
I am an alumni of the Delta State University Commercial Aviation Program. Gary Hemphill was an important part of the Commercial Aviation program and helped thousands of students. Please support and pass HB425 naming April the Gary Hemphill Commercial Aviation Month.
Thank you for you time and consideration,