REDDING, Calif.—SR-71 Blackbird pilot Brian Shul, a retired major in the U.S. Air Force who was shot down during the Vietnam War, will be the speaker at Simpson University’s 18th Business Leadership Luncheon on Tuesday, March 3.
The event, sponsored by Merchant’s Bank of Commerce, will be in the James M. Grant Student Life Center on campus, 2211 College View Drive. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.; the event begins at noon. Tickets cost $50, or $500 for a table of 10.
Purchase tickets at simpsonu.edu/businessluncheon
Shul served as an Air Force fighter pilot for 20 years after graduating from college and flew more than 200 air support missions during the Vietnam War. He was shot down near the Cambodian border and severely burned in the crash. Rescued by Special Forces, Shul spent a year in military hospitals and was told he would never fly again.
But Shul defied the odds and returned to active duty flying. He culminated his career by flying the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, the fastest aircraft ever built. He flew covert missions for four years and was the pilot who provided President Ronald Reagan with detailed photos of Libyan terrorist camps in 1985. He is the only SR-71 pilot in history to fly three spy missions on three consecutive days.
After retiring in 1990, Shul has pursued writing and photography. He was the first pilot to write a book about flying the Blackbird, completely illustrated with his own photography. He is also the only man to fly extensively with the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds as a photojournalist.
Shul is a Spirit of Freedom award winner, has appeared on the History Channel, and lives in Marysville, where he owns Gallery One, a photo studio.
Shul will be available after the luncheon to sign photos and books, available at the venue for purchase. Tickets are for sale online at simpsonu.edu/businessluncheon. For more information, contact Pam Schalo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy Brian Shul
Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.
Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.