BNP Associates, Inc. and its president, Florida Tech alumnus Dave Mecartney, will establish a scholarship fund and internship program for minority students in the College of Aeronautics and the College of Engineering and Science.
Mecartney earned an associate degree in flight technology in 1980 and a bachelor’s degree in air commerce/flight technology in 1982. That year he joined BNP, a global leader in providing specialized consulting services to the air transportation industry, as an entry-level project engineer. He has been president and majority shareholder of the firm since 1995.
BNP chose to partner with Florida Tech because Mecartney has firsthand knowledge of the educational opportunities and excellence the school provides its students.
“Our goal is to put in place an effective solution that will afford real opportunity for careers in the aviation and airport industry to students at Florida Tech that will also naturally result in a more diversified and better culturally balanced aviation industry,” Mecartney said.
BNP’s $100,000 gift will be put to creative and powerful use. It will fund scholarships for first- and second-year students, allowing them entry into a career path leading to the aviation industry. For students entering their junior and senior years, the program will offer internships so they can get real-world experience even as they receive their Florida Tech education.
The first recipient will be selected in fall 2022.
“Our alumni are visionary leaders who understand the importance of giving back, and Dave truly embodies that Panther spirit,” said Gary Grant, senior vice president of development at Florida Tech. “We thank him and BNP Associates for their generous gift and commitment to helping Florida Tech educate the next-generation workforce in the aviation industry.”
With nearly 40 years of industry experience, Mecartney offered students a bit of advice.
“The management side of aviation industry education provides comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of aviation as a basis for any career in the industry, and you should always surround yourself with experts in as many sectors of the industry as possible,” he said. “The more experts you surround yourself with, the more specific knowledge of different aspects of the industry can be integrated into the general knowledge gained by an education in aviation management, which in turn provides a more versatile and productive career in the field.”