A bronze bust of U.S. Navy Lt. Jesse Easterwood, a World War I aviator and Aggie, was unveiled by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Astin Aviation CEO John Clanton and historian John Adams at the McKenzie Terminal of Easterwood Airport. In 1918, Lt. Easterwood was part of the first group of American pilots to fight in World War I.
Chancellor Sharp and Mr. Clanton also discussed the expansion of the Easterwood Airport, which is part of the Texas A&M University System. The A&M System and Astin Aviation, which operates the airport, have worked to enhance the airport with a $15 million investment in both the McKenzie Terminal, where commercial flights arrive and depart, and the Fixed Base Operations, or FBO, terminal that serves as the region’s main general aviation terminal.
“The newest piece of art on Texas A&M University System property honors one of our greatest former students,” Chancellor Sharp said. “As travelers pass through the improved Easterwood Airport, I hope they take a moment to honor Lt. Jesse Easterwood.”
The renovation project at the McKenzie Terminal will give the airport a more professional look, café services after the security checkpoint, a TSA Pre-Check option for the frequent travelers, more comfortable seating options with power outlets and dedicated restrooms for men and women.
The under-construction FBO terminal will include improvements that will turn the aged facility into a world-class regional airport that serves the general aviation community and one of the nation’s top research universities. The facility has not seen much updating since its development in the 1950s. It will get improved hangar storage that will meet the needs of the current aviation market and an increasing number of passengers who do business in the College Station community.
Artist Steven Whyte, who also created the statue near Kyle Field of former Texas A&M football player and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow, said he was pleased to be commissioned to honor another famous Aggie.
“As always, it is a deep honor to be able to contribute to the A&M community. I am proud to have created this tribute in honor of Jesse L. Easterwood,” Whyte said. “I hope that as A&M students, faculty, alumni and visitors travel through the airport, the sculpture reminds them of the long history of service, courage and patriotism that embodies the spirit of Aggieland.”
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.55 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.
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