"An Evening with the Wright Brothers" presented by Historian Darrell Collins on Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium at the U of M, Crookston

If you are interested in aviation or history, learn more about the Wright Brothers and the 
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history of the first flight at Kitty Hawk with renowned aviation historian Darrell Collins at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. His presentation, which takes place at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium, will be followed by a question and answer period. The presentation is free and open to the public and refreshments will follow.

Collins is a native of the North Carolina's Outer Banks and resides in Manteo, on Roanoke Island, N.C.  He is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and holds a B. S. degree in geology with a minor in history.

He has worked with the National Park Service in the division of interpretation and education for 33 years, spending the majority of his time at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where he serves as the historian. He served with NASA is a series of educational programs promoting aviation and the Wright brothers to young children. 

In 1990, he was nominated as the National Park Service top interpretative ranger for the Freeman Tilden award.  He was nominated by the Department of the Interior in 1999 to represent the National Park Service for the "Park Ranger Tour Program", an outreach program for children in major U. S. cities. In 2003 the centennial year of the world's first flight at Kitty Hawk, he presented the National Park Service national and international promoting the 100th Anniversary of that great milestone in human history. 

For the past twenty-four years he has been on the aviation/ aerospace lecture circuit.  Pervious speaking engagements include the Aero Club of Washington's Wright Memorial Dinner, National Air Transportation, Aerospace Industries of America, Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association, 40th Ralph Barnaby Lecture, National Business Aviation Association.   

He is a regular speaker at the Speakers' Showcase Series at the Oshkosh Fly-In Convention. Australian International Airshow DownUnder and many other aviation/ aerospace oriented groups and events.  Collins ranks in the top 5 historians in the world on early aviation and the Wright brothers. He is the author on numerous articles and consulting editor for play writes and authors on early aviation and the Wright brothers. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Mike Vivion, chief pilot, 218-281-8114 (mvivion@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)