UK gets surprise visit, U.S. Marine choppers land on campus

Posted at 4:19 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 18:16:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If students were trying to study quietly on the University of Kentucky campus this afternoon, a visit from U.S. Marine Corps helicopters probably made that a bit challenging.

The helicopters were flown in from New Orleans, in conjunction with an event the school hosted to promote its new Aerospace Engineering program that will launch this fall.


“We’re starting both freshman and sophomore classes at the same time, so students in their freshman year will be able to select aerospace engineering (as a major), said Dr. Michael Renfro, who heads the department.

Dr. Renfro said the university was losing about 40 potential students each year to schools in other states because it didn’t offer this program of study to undergraduate students

“For majors that don’t exist in the state, Kentucky students can get in-state tuition to partner schools in other states, so we know exactly how many we’re losing. So, hopefully, we’ll retain those students here at Kentucky,” Dr. Renfro added

Thursday's event was also about working to pique interest in a potential career in the military and more specifically with the Marine Corps.

“That group is here today as well to show off their drone systems and the other work they’re doing in that area,” Dr. Renfro added.

Visitors were able to watch the on-campus landing near Kroger Field before getting a tour of the helicopters given by the pilots and other members of the corps.

These particular helicopters are variations of what the United States used during the Vietnam War, and they are housed aboard a Naval ship.