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October 2013

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JMU Alumnus Dave Sanderson Visits IBUS Class

Dave SandersonDave Sanderson, a JMU alum, recently visited an International Business class to share his experiences. Sanderson was a passenger on the US Airways flight that made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in NYC in January 2009. He shared his story of the amazing rescue of 144 people that frigid winter day.

Sanderson was originally scheduled to go home to Charlotte, NC, on a later flight that day. He finished his business trip early, and changed his flight to the ill-fated #1549. Although many would consider that Sanderson was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he felt that he was exactly where he needed to be. He was the last person on the plane – he wanted to ensure that everyone else was safe and off the plane before he left.

Sanderson recalled, “My mother always taught me to do the right thing, and the right thing to do is take care of other people first.” He emphasized the importance of being a leader, and taking charge when circumstances call for it. He also encouraged the students to give back in whatever way they could. 

Today, Sanderson serves as a national spokesperson for the American Red Cross. He felt that the Red Cross was there to help everyone in need that day. 

He says, “Create your own personal flight plan to a life a satisfaction.” He also advised the students to work with a mentor.

Sanderson is currently working on a book, “Brace for Impact,” which is what the captain said as the plane went down.  

The students appreciated Sanderson’s insightful remarks. The College of Business also appreciates Sanderson taking his time to visit JMU and share his story with the students.