On February 18, 1930, Ted Freeman was born. On February 18, 2014 – on what would have been his eighty-fourth birthday – Delaware Tech dedicated the Theodore C. Freeman Powerplant Education Building. Although his life was tragically cut short, the story of a local boy who achieved his dream of becoming an astronaut continues to inspire those involved in aviation today.
The new Theodore C. Freeman Powerplant Education Building has allowed Delaware Technical Community College to expand its existing aviation maintenance program to include the powerplant (engine) maintenance component of aviation technology. When combined with the existing airframe maintenance technology curriculum, which began at the College in 2009, this new program will prepare graduates to become FAA certified in both areas of aviation maintenance. The dual certification of airframe and powerplant, called A&P, prepares graduates for an exciting and rewarding career while satisfying a crucial need for these professionals in the aviation industry statewide.
The $1.4 million building was constructed using private and state funds on land donated by Sussex County. An additional $1.1 million in equipment was provided through federal and state sources. The facility offers over 9,800 square feet of classroom and hands-on learning space and is equipped with the latest technology related to aircraft powerplant maintenance.
Delaware Tech President Dr. Orlando J. George, Jr. addressed the crowd at the dedication. “Programs like this are investments … investments in people, in Sussex Countians, in Delawareans and in our business community. The people of Sussex County and throughout Delaware can take great pride in seeing all of us working together for the betterment of our County and State.”
Today’s dedication ceremony also included remarks by Governor Jack Markell and Delaware Economic Development Secretary Alan Levin, as well as a videotaped message from Senator Tom Carper. At the conclusion of the program, a mural was unveiled in the building’s main hallway entitled, “On the Wings of a Dream, the Ted Freeman Legacy,” chronicling the extraordinary life of Ted Freeman.
“It is Ted Freeman’s legacy that we are entrusted with today through the naming of this wonderful educational facility for the men and women who will do the all-important job of maintaining and repairing aircraft,” said Dr. Ileana M. Smith, vice president and campus director of the Owens Campus. “We want all to see the beautiful parallel that we see between the college mission of giving hope and opportunity for students to work hard, stay the course, and achieve their goals and the inspiring legacy of a local boy, who reached beyond the stars, on the wings of his dream.”