Four aviation leaders inducted into UND Aerospace Hall of Fame

Four aviation leaders inducted into UND Aerospace Hall of Fame

Four distinguished UND alumni who’ve contributed immensely to the field of aviation were inducted into the UND Aerospace Hall of Fame on Oct. 4.

After being established last year, the UND Aerospace Hall of Fame awards have become an annual tradition at UND’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Last year’s awards – the UND Aerospace Hall of Fame’s first — honored the 1985 UND Flying Team, the first at UND to win a national aviation championship; Karen Ruth ’82, a distinguished Delta Airlines captain; and Roger Martin ’73, who retired from Cessna as a senior executive after a 36-year career with the company.

The 2019 UND Aerospace Hall of Fame Hall of Fame inductees were honored at the UND Aerospace 2019 Hall of Fame Luncheon, which was held during Homecoming Week on Friday, Oct. 4.

The 2019 inductees into the UND Aerospace Hall of Fame are:

Jim Bunke ‘78

Bunke is regional vice president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and a former senior executive with Bombardier Aerospace and Beechcraft Sales Inc./Raytheon Aircraft Co.,  He has received the top sales award at Beechcraft, Raytheon and Bombardier, including the Olive Ann Beech Award and Salesman of the Year. He has served the Odegard School by sitting on all of the Dean’s Search Committees to help in selecting the college’s future leaders (1999 and 2016), and for decades has supported UND aviation students through an established Aviation Department scholarship.

Robert Muhs ‘77

Muhs is director of aviation business consulting for The Boeing Co. He is a former senior vice president of operations at Pinnacle Airlines, a former vice president flight operations and system operations control for Delta Air Lines and a former vice president, system operations control for Northwest Airlines. He served on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Task Force to develop model contingency plans to deal with lengthy airline on-ground delays and was instrumental in the successful merger of two of the world’s largest Service Operations Centers – those belonging to Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines — in 2009.

James Sweeney ‘86

James Sweeney is co-founder and president of Fargo Jet Center – a fixed-base operator or aviation services provider at Hector International Airport in Fargo, N.D. – and vice president of Weather Modification LLC, a Fargo-N.D.-based global atmospheric sciences company. In 2012, he was elected chairman of the National Air Transportation Association and was president of Fargo Jet Center when it was named the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber’s 2010 Business of the Year.

Patrick Sweeney ‘78

Patrick Sweeney – older brother of fellow 2019 UND Aerospace Hall of Fame Inductee James Sweeney — is CEO of Weather Modification LLC and CEO of the Fargo Jet Center. He started at Weather Modification as a summer electronics radar technician in 1975 and rose through the ranks, serving as director of electronics, vice president and president before becoming CEO. He has helped Weather Modification arrange for more than 380 UND pilot internships since 1974 and 62 UND meteorologist internships since 1996, and he was named the 2001 Business Innovator of the Year by the UND Center for Innovation and the 1997 Small Business Exporter of the Year by the North Dakota branch of the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Tom Dennis

Editor, UND Today

Associate Director of Communications

Division of Marketing & Communications

University of North Dakota

O: 701.777.6746