Piloting Her Future
The sky’s the limit for a two-sport student-athlete private pilot
Friday, March 19, 2021
annie wise wearing glasses and a tank top, smiling in the cockpit of an aircraft

Trinity senior Annie Wise is a versatile student-athlete, to say the least.

Annie, who hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a guard on Trinity’s women’s basketball team. She also is a team captain of the Tiger women’s tennis squad. Annie keeps in top condition by regularly hitting the weights in the Patrick Stumberg Sports Performance Center.

Annie Wise '21 plays guard for Trinity's women's basketball team.

Studying marketing, Annie is a member of Trinity’s Dean’s List, has been named a scholar-athlete by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and received recognition on the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Academic Honor Roll. She also finds time to be a member of the Spurs sorority and has devoted many hours of volunteer work in Tulsa and San Antonio.

On top of all that, Annie is a licensed pilot who has clocked over 80 hours to date.

“Trinity has provided a phenomenal job of allowing me to use my time management skills,” Annie says. “By juggling sports and a full schedule of classes, I’ve been able to use what I’ve learned in class and on the court and apply it to all my directions in life. I feel like I’ve improved my leadership skills, my communications skills, and developed an understanding of how to interact with different people.”

Annie came to the Trinity campus in the fall of 2017 from Holland Hall in Tulsa. Since that time, she has competed in four NCAA Division III Tournaments in basketball and tennis. Tiger Basketball won the SCAC Championship in 2018 and was a finalist in 2019 and 2020. The 2018 and 2020 seasons resulted in NCAA bids.

The Trinity women's basketball team listens to the national anthem before a game in 2021.

During Annie’s time on the Trinity women’s tennis team, the Tigers captured the SCAC Championship in 2018 and 2019 and advanced to the NCAA postseason event each year. Unfortunately, the 2020 campaign was cut short because of the pandemic.

Both the basketball and tennis teams are in full swing this season, and each will be able to compete for the SCAC Championship. The women’s basketball tournament will begin March 5 at campus sites. Trinity is slated to host the men’s and women’s tennis tournaments April 30-May 2.

Annie seems to have inherited her flying ability from her parents. Her dad is a pilot for American Airlines. Her mom, also a licensed pilot, is a “check airman” for Southwest Airlines who oversees safety and qualifications roles for pilot evaluation.

Annie Wise and her younger sister, Abby, holding Annie's pilot's license.

Annie earned her pilot’s license last August at R.L. Jones Jr./Riverside Airport in Tulsa. She put her skills to good use during her first cross-country solo flight, a 60-mile trip from Tulsa to Stillwater, Oklahoma, in a single-engine, four-seat Cessna 172 aircraft. The radio failed and the quick-thinking Annie utilized all she had learned in training to successfully land the plane.

“When I am up there,” Annie says of flying, “it is one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. You feel like a pioneer in the skies. I love seeing the new landscapes, and there is no feeling like it.”

After her graduation in May from Trinity, Annie plans to put her flying prowess to good use. She hopes to land an internship at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, and then enter the Air Force Officer Training School and move on to undergraduate pilot training. Always a “team person,” Annie would prefer to pilot aircraft such as the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker (refueling) instead of fighter jets or smaller planes.

“I have always had the utmost respect for people who serve in the military and make daily sacrifices for our country,” Annie says. “Becoming an Air Force pilot would be an absolute honor to serve and continue to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

To supplement her marketing studies, Annie collaborated on a campaign for TAG Coffee, located in nearby Converse, Texas. The company delivers coffee to homes and offices. She also generated a grant for Hill Country Land Trust in conjunction with the Girl Scouts.

Meanwhile, Annie takes special pride in serving as the tennis coach for her younger sister, Abby, a sophomore in high school in Tulsa. Big sister coached Abby and her teammates in Junior TeamTennis. Annie also continues her volunteer work, in addition to all that’s on her plate. She has volunteered at San Antonio’s Kinetic Kids, which encourages mobility and activities for children with special needs. In Tulsa, she has taught social skills to adults with disabilities at Pathways Adult Learning Center, taking the people for walks and reading Bible verses. Annie also spent time at the Community Food Bank Eastern Oklahoma.

“It’s a very humbling experience to see people who are not like you and have connections with them,” Annie says. “It will forever change your life, and theirs as well.”

James Hill ’76, more famously known as Trinity's public address "Voice of the Tigers," retired in 2020 as Trinity’s assistant sports information director.

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