Cartwrights in flight

Leslie Arntz

Former president takes to the sky in namesake as husband pilots

Former Kent State president Carol Cartwright looks over a new Piper PA-44 that is named after her. Cartwright along with flight instructor Tim Taylor and her husband Philip Cartwright, who piloted the plane, flew its “maiden voyage” yesterday morning at t

Credit: Steve Schirra

As she approached the twin-engine plane, President emeritus Carol Cartwright turned to her husband.

“Here, let me have the camera,” she said. “You need to be focused on other things.”

Her husband, Phil Cartwright, took the controls and piloted his wife’s first flight in the Piper PA-44 Seminole named in her honor.

The plane is the only one in the Kent State fleet named after someone.

During her 15 years as university president, Cartwright supported the aviation program and advocated buying three new aircrafts earlier in the year, said Isaac Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics.

“She has been very important in small behind-the-scenes ways,” Nettey said.

The Cartwrights’ 40th wedding anniversary coincided with the June dedication of the airplane, and Cartwright gave her husband flying lessons as a present.


“It was the gift that kept giving him homework,” she said with a chuckle.

Phil Cartwright explained that he had earned his commercial pilot’s license in 1957, but hadn’t flown in about 45 years.

“He had to get back in the groove, in a sense, to fly today,” Nettey said.

Flight instructor Tim Taylor accompanied the Cartwrights on their flight, which took them past Ravenna and looped around the Kent State campus twice.

“It’s beautiful up there when you know what you’re doing,” said Phil Cartwright.

The original June flight was canceled because of thunderstorms, causing the delay of Cartwright’s “maiden voyage.”

As she exited the plane, Cartwright said with a smile, “We got it done.”

Contact College of Technology reporter Leslie Arntz at [email protected].