Meet the Class of 2020: Soon-to-Be Pilot Seeks His Path
Date published: April 5, 2016
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, incoming member of the UD Class of 2020
John Paul di Lucca will earn his pilot’s license in April 2016. Di Lucca’s paternal
grandfather was a pilot in World War II, passing on a love for aviation to di Lucca’s
father and then to di Lucca himself, though he never met his grandfather.
“I started taking flying lessons when I was 15,” di Lucca said. “I stopped for a while
but then got a job at an airport and picked it back up again. I love flying.”
He flies a single-engine aircraft; he would have to earn a different type of rating
to pilot a larger plane. The farthest he has flown so far is approximately 150 miles
or 2.5 hours. He hopes to someday own his own plane and possibly work as a private
or charter pilot.
One of the things that drew di Lucca to UD and the Dallas/Fort Worth area from his
home in Idaho was the flying opportunities here; however, he is also what we at UD
call a “legacy student”: one of his older brothers is an alumnus, and the other graduates
this spring; his older sister is a member of the Class of 2018. A family of eight
children, the di Luccas are well on their way to becoming a UD dynasty!
“UD is one of the better known truly Catholic schools,” said di Lucca. “Seeing how
my brothers and sister have made Catholic friends for life, how they have this fellowship
of Catholic friends, was definitely appealing to me.”
He visited UD last year while helping his sister move in at the beginning of her freshman
year and enjoyed the experience.
“The students are kind and easy to talk to,” he said. “They talk to you and ask you
A fan of big cities, di Lucca appreciates the Dallas/Fort Worth area. His major is
currently undecided and his interests varied. He may follow his brothers’ examples
and major in business; he may lean toward the sciences, especially physics. He also
has an interest in politics and would love to someday be a senator or congressman;
clearly, UD and the Core curriculum will provide the perfect environment for him to
figure out what his path might be.
Di Lucca is the recipient of the Congressional Award Medal for young Americans, which is based on the achievement of goals in four areas: volunteer
public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.
He enjoys hiking and skiing and loves all sports; he played some football in high
At UD, di Lucca is looking forward to meeting new people and going to Rome, of course,
but he’s also excited about learning.
“I want to learn more and expand upon everything I’ve learned so far,” he said.