CARBONDALE (WSIL)-- SIU's Aviation program is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
The program started in 1960 with only four airplanes and spare parts.
Today, it's one of the nation's leading comprehensive aviation programs with more than 600 students.
According to faculty, one of the most rewarding parts of the program is watching multiple generations come through.
"Somebody come through here in the 1960s, go to work for one of the airlines, they're now senior captains. And their kids have gone through the program. And now we're starting to see their grandkids going through the program, so that's rewarding as well," said the Aviation Technologies Department Chair Michael Burgener.
What's next for the aviation department?
Aviation technologies and aviation management will merge to become the SIU School of Aviation.