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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Former American Airlines CEO to discuss airline safety in URI web chat Oct. 4

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 26, 2006 – Robert Crandall, a former American Airlines president and CEO, will answer questions about airline safety and security during an online chat on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

Called "the man who changed the way the world flies" by the Wall Street Journal, Crandall has more than three decades experience in the airline industry and is credited with introducing new concepts that revolutionized the travel industry, including the first frequent flyer program, deep discounted fares for advance purchases, and the cutting-edge SABRE reservation system. A leading expert on the industry, he has provided expert commentary to CNBC, Bloomberg News and other news outlets.

Crandall graduated from URI in 1957 with a degree in business administration and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. Among numerous honors, he is the recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, celebrating those who achieve significant success despite challenging life circumstances. Crandall currently serves on the management advisory council of the Federal Aviation Administration and the executive committee of the Aviation Safety Alliance, as well as several corporate boards.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancement’s electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go to for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the University’s website once the chat has been completed. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URI’s online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question and answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman talking about the making of Born into Brothels, as well as with URI administrators, faculty and coaches.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the web site.