Prescott Campus


Embry-Riddle Inducts New Honorees Into Prescott Alumni Hall of Fame

Prescott, AZ., October 11, 2013

The Chancellor’s Alumni Hall of Fame at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., campus recently inducted two new members, Norman Knight and William Thompson, at the Alumni Awards Dinner held during OctoberWest Homecoming. Earlier this year Maj. Gen. Thomas Trask was also inducted.

Prescott Chancellor Frank Ayers established the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012 to recognize the significant contributions of prominent alumni to their profession, the community, the Prescott Campus and the university.

Norman Knight

B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, 1990, Prescott Campus

Norman Knight

Norman Knight

Knight became the first Embry-Riddle student to co-op at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) after establishing contact with JSC on his own initiative. That experience led to a distinguished career of more than 20 years at JSC, where he is currently chief of the Flight Director Office, responsible for all human spaceflight operations including the International Space Station, commercial spaceflight coordination and new exploration initiatives. As the first flight director to be certified in all console positions in the Flight Director Office for both shuttle and ISS operations, Knight was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. He has been very active in contacting prospective students, parents and alumni  in the greater Houston area and is a member of the Board of Visitors at the Prescott Campus. He received the university’s Eagle of Aviation Award when he served as the commencement guest speaker in May 2011.

William Thompson

B.S. in Aviation Business Administration, 1987, Prescott Campus

William Thompson

William Thompson

Thompson is currently Embry-Riddle’s executive director of alumni relations, overseeing operations for all three Embry-Riddle campuses. He joined the university in 1994 and has held several director-level positions through the years in admissions, enrollment management, alumni relations, community relations, external relations and public relations. Under his leadership, the Prescott Campus achieved six record-breaking enrollment counts and introduced new programs and events to engage prospective and current students, their parents and local military veterans, among others. As director of the Western Region alumni operations, Thompson was principally responsible for the exponential growth of alumni outreach and activities at the Prescott Campus. He is a recipient of the Embry-Riddle Global Service Award and a three-time winner of the Staff of Semester Award presented by the graduating class.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas Trask

B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, 1984, and Air Force ROTC, Prescott Campus

Thomas Trask

Thomas Trask

Trask is currently the director of force structure, requirements, resources and strategic assessments at the U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He oversees more than 67,000 personnel, responsible for providing financial resources and services for special operations forces. Trask and his wife, Karin, are long-time supporters of Embry-Riddle Prescott students through the annual fund and have funded state-of-the-art equipment in the Tracy Doryland Wind Tunnel Lab. Trask was inducted into the Prescott Alumni Hall of Fame and received the university’s Eagle of Aviation Award when he served as the commencement guest speaker in May 2013.

Last year, five aviation/aerospace leaders were inducted into the inaugural Prescott Chancellor’s Alumni Hall of Fame:

  • Margaret (Peg) Billson (’84, Aeronautical Engineering), president and CEO, Ontic/BBA Aviation
  • Jody (Fisher) Davis (’03, Aeronautical Engineering), Curiosity Mars Rover engineer, NASA Langley Research Center
  • Mark LaPole (’84, Aeronautical Engineering), senior director, Ball Aerospace
  • John Markham (’96, Electrical Engineering), senior engineering director, Cobham Avionics
  • Katie Pribyl (’00, Aeronautical Science), vice president for communications, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association




Media Contact 

Mary Van Buren
Assistant Director, University Internal Communications
Marketing & Enrollment Management
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Office: (386) 226-6525

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at