Olga Custodio

Olga Custodio, the first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force military pilot training and serve as a fighter pilot, opened the 2019-20 season of The Forum at UW-Eau Claire.

The first Latina to become a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force will open the new season of UW-Eau Claire’s speaker series known as The Forum.

“An Evening With Olga Custodio” will be on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 19, in Schofield Auditorium at Schofield Hall on the university campus.

Custodio made history multiple times in U.S. aviation by becoming the first Latina to finish military pilot training and then serve as a fighter pilot. She then became the first Latina commercial pilot for American Airlines and followed that by breaking the gender barrier as the first female flight instructor at two major U.S. Air Force bases.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the program starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $8 for general public, $6 for seniors and UW System employees and $4 for students and children. Advance tickets can be bought online at uwec.ticketforce.com or at the Service Center in UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Center, 77 Roosevelt Ave. For more information call 715-836-4636.

Other speakers slated for this season of The Forum:

• Oct. 16: Bill Deresiewicz, a best-selling author and educator who is critical of the higher education system in the U.S. after working 24 years in the Ivy League.

• Dec. 10: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 19-year-old climate change activist, author and hip-hop artist who has spoken to the United Nations and fought for environmental causes. He also is leading a lawsuit on behalf of children against the U.S. government, claiming that it has failed to protect the atmosphere.

• March 10: Jackson Katz, an expert hired by groups to teach people about sexual harassment and sexual assault, who will talk about toxic masculinity and how language can be used to shift focus of the problem onto perpetrators instead of the victims.