On April 20, 2018, at the Spring Alumni Dinner, the St. Mark’s Alumni Board recognized John Nance ’64 as the latest recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Since graduating from St. Mark’s, John has enjoyed an extraordinary career as a commercial pilot, attorney, best-selling author, Air Force veteran, healthcare advocate, professional speaker, and national broadcast news aviation analyst.
Friend and classmate Mike Philips ’64 introduced John and shared the story of how a small group of Marksmen first became interested in aviation: “John joined our ‘flight crew’ in 1962, when he came to St. Mark’s in our junior year. The spark of flying was lit in all of us, but John was the only one who fanned that into the flame of being a pilot himself. Though flying lies at the heart of his professional life, his dedication and professionalism to what he does and what he represents is incredible.”
Since earning his pilot’s license in 1965, John has logged more than 13,700 hours of flight time. As an Air Force pilot, he flew in both Vietnam and the Gulf War and is a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Today, he is widely known as the Aviation Analyst for ABC World News and the Aviation Editor for Good Morning America.
While flying commercial airlines, John began another career as a New York Times bestselling author. To date, he has published 19 books, both fiction and non-fiction. In 2009, he brought his literary skills back to campus for the St. Mark’s Literary Festival where he discussed his career as an author and judged the student writing contest.
“As a professional wordsmith, I can’t quite find the word to express how deeply I appreciate this honor,” John said upon accepting St. Mark’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. “The underlying accomplishments you’ve recognized here would not have happened without the opportunities this amazing School provided me. This is more properly a celebration of St. Mark’s and the effect it can have on one individual.”
The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. The award recipient’s engagement with the School is a consideration. The award is presented to no more than one person each year and need not be awarded on an annual basis. Because the award is defined by its recipients, it has been given sparingly. Click here
to learn more about the Alumni Awards.