Distinguished Alumni Award
Milburn ‘Mel’ Homes graduated with a degree in General Studies in 1961. After playing basketball for Eastern Oregon University, formerly Eastern Oregon College, Holmes found himself in the Navy during the early years of the Vietnam War. After three deployments, Holmes became one of five pilots chosen by the Navy to reinvent the process of teaching combat pilots how to fly and fight at the same time.
At the newly formed Navy Fighters Weapon School (Top Gun), he served as head of the air-to-air combat department until 1970. A retiree from commercial airlines, Holmes now operates the Grey Eagle Aviation and a flight school where he teaches pilots to fly single-engine Cessnas.