Alpha Eta Rho serves as a contact between the aviation industry and educational institution to foster, promote, and mentor today's college students towards successful careers in any aviation field. It bands into one organization outstanding students, alumni, interested faculty, and industrial leaders for the purpose of studying the problems of everyday life as influenced by the field of aviation. Alpha Eta Rho serves to actively associate interested students of aviation with leaders and executives in the industry. This close association, strengthened through the bonds of an international aviation fraternity, establishes opportunities for all members in their relation to aviation and inspires interest and cooperation among those in the profession who are also members of Alpha Eta Rho.|
Established in 1929, and the oldest professional aviation fraternity in history, Alpha Eta Rho has had over one hundred thirty five chapters both domestically and internationally. Currently over seventy chapters are active on campuses throughout the United States. The alumni of the fraternity are found in all facets of the aviation industry and related management fields. These include Airline Captains, Military Aviation Flag Officers, Corporate CEO's, NASA Engineers, Flight Attendants, Aircraft Mechanics, Aviation Museum Directors, Aerospace Engineers, and General Aviation Pilots to name just a few of occupations in which you will find them. There are currently over 45,000 Alumni of Alpha Eta Rho, with over 1,000 new members pledging each year.
The fraternity has an active scholarship program that offers financial assistance to a number of active members every year. To date more than $55,000 in scholarship awards has been given to deserving fraternity members.
Alpha Eta Rho is a collegiate fraternity founded to bring together those students having a common interest in all fields of the aviation industry. Alpha Eta Rho, the Greek letters that stand for air, came into being to fulfill a definite need of the time. Growth in the budding aviation industry had brought enrollment in aviation courses on the campus of the University of Southern California in the spring semester of 1928-29 to an all time high. Faculty members as well as students were voicing the need for an extracurricular activity for promoting and organizing the tremendous interest in aviation.
Led by Professor Earl W. Hill, who was teaching aviation at the USC campus and with the assistance of others on the faculty, Alpha Eta Rho was organized on April 10th, 1929.
Professor Hill was the first national president and has been succeeded by seven other distinguished members of collegiate aviation. They are Marshall Benedict, John Goodwin, Ray Mertes, Gene 'Red Baron' Kropf, Harold S. Wood, Wayne White, and the current president Ron Kelly.
Today Alpha Eta Rho is led by its four National Officers and six Regional Governors, promoting an ever-expanding fraternity to meet the growing needs of the international aviation industry.