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Fri, Mar 10, 2006

Gone West: Kenneth L. Tallman

Former ERAU President, Served In Vietnam

Aero-News was saddened to learn this week of the passing of Major General Kenneth L. Tallman, who served as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's second full-time president from 1985 to 1991. He died Monday, at the age of 80.

During his time at Embry-Riddle, Tallman -- who was referred to as "The General," despite having retired from the Air Force several years before -- brought athletics to the university, introduced scholarships and expanded the university's course offerings to include engineering, physics and computer science.

The General's commanding presence, and attention to detail, also earned the respect of the teaching staff at ERAU.

"I remember his first talk to faculty and staff," said ERAU historian Robert Rockett, who was also dean of students during Tallman's tenure. "He talked about the most important asset to a university is its people."

Before Embry Riddle, General Tallman served in Vietnam as General William Westmoreland's executive assistant. He later became deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel for the Air Force -- tasked with the unenviable duty of writing the families of servicemembers who died in the war -- and earned the rank of lieutenant general in 1975.

Later, as superintendent of the US Air Force Academy, Tallman oversaw the first women cadets. The Daytona Beach News Journal says Tallman retired at the age of 66, and settled with his wife, Jeanne (Dee) Phillips Tallman, in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL.

Tallman is survived by two daughters, one son... and the thousands of lives he touched throughout his long and varied carrier. ANN salutes you, sir.

FMI: www.erau.edu, www.usafa.af.mil, www.af.mil

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