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Wings Over the Rockies

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October 17, 2019
Top Cover

An End of Era: Beloved Academy Falcon Mascot Dies at Age 23
Aurora, a White Phase Gyrfalcon and the Academy's official mascot, died Oct. 2. She lived to be 23, roughly twice the age of falcons in the wild. She interacted with tens of thousands attending sporting, military and community events.

• A "white out" tribute for Aurora is planned for the next home football game Oct. 26.
• With leadership from the Class of 1995, the USAFA Endowment has started a crowdfunding initiative to honor Aurora, purchase a new all-white gyrfalcon and benefit the Cadet Falconry Club.


Hawaii Service Project — Falcons Helping Falcons
Air Force football plays at Hawaii on Saturday. This week we'll be collecting outside play equipment for the Hickam Elementary School Falcons near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Help us continue to serve our hosting communities!


BOV Examines USAFA Progress on Many Fronts
The United States Air Force Academy Board of Visitors met Oct. 10-11 at the Academy to get a report from senior leaders about the current health of and progress made by the institution.


New Telescope at Academy to be Largest Available for Public Viewing in Colorado
Scientists at the Air Force Academy said a $1.25 million project to install a telescope in the school's observatory should be complete by springtime.


Outdoor Hockey in Falcon Stadium
The NHL® is bringing outdoor hockey to Colorado. Be there on February 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. when Nathan McKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche® take on Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings® at the U.S. Air Force Academy, transforming Falcon Stadium into a hockey arena high up in the Rocky Mountains. Get your tickets now!


Young Alumni Excellence Award Nominations Now Open
Each spring, the Association of Graduates has the pleasure of honoring graduates who attended the United States Air Force Academy within the last 15 years with our Young Alumni Excellence Award. The award is presented on the basis of the recipient's outstanding professional achievements and contributions to their community, whether in military or civilian life. Nomination deadline: January 10, 2020.

  Young Alumni
7258' — Your Association at Work
Read the latest issue of the AOG's newsletter.

USAFA Endowment

National Estate Planning Awareness Week
National Estate Planning Awareness Week is October 21-27. It is a perfect time to develop or review your strategy for maintaining financial security for you and your loved ones and ensuring the intended transfer of your property and assets at your passing. The USAFA Endowment Office of Gift Planning can be a good place to gather more information about the important task of estate planning.

  Estate Planning

Present and Accounted For?
Will you be present and accounted for in the USAFA Endowment 2019 Annual Report? Your personal involvement as a donor can send a strong signal to fellow graduates and potential students. Your contribution will play a key role in the future of cadets and positively affect the alumni participation rate. Corporations and foundations make funding decisions based in part on participation rates, so higher participation rates translate directly into increased private support for the Academy.

  Accounted For

Putting Concepts Into Practice
Around the world this past summer, 273 Air Force Academy cadets applied their knowledge and skills to help industry partners and Air Force operational units solve real-world problems. Through long-standing relationships and a few donor-funded opportunities, cadets were able to apply their educations toward addressing employer challenges as part of the Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP).


Honoring Armacost's Service
To honor retired Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost's incredible work at the Air Force Academy, the USAFA Endowment is conducting a fundraising campaign in support of the Dean's Discretionary Fund. The fund supports programs in the Dean of Faculty mission element.

Grads in the News

'We're Waiting on a Classmate': Astronaut Welcomed Home, Air Force Academy-style
Air Force Col. Nick Hague '98 was welcomed back to Earth from the International Space Station by a phrase that's familiar to him and his fellow Air Force Academy class of 1998 alumni.

• Russia has decorated NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who survived an aborted space launch last year, with one of its highest honours, the Order of Courage.


NASA Hires Loverro to Lead Human Spaceflight
NASA announced Oct. 16 that it has hired Doug Loverro '76, a former Defense Department official responsible for space policy, to lead its human spaceflight programs.


Former Falcon Selected to Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Alonzo Babers '83, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and former standout on the Air Force track and field team, will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, as a member of the Class of 2020.


Grad Crowned Ms. Veteran America
Naviere Walkewicz '99 was crowned Ms. Veteran America at the competition in Hollywood Sunday night. She will serve as the primary spokesperson for Final Salute, an organization assisting homeless female veterans, for the coming year. Well done, Naviere! The AOG is proud to be your sponsor!


Behind the Scenes at Dover Air Force Base
Air Force Col. Dawn Lancaster '93 has deployed overseas six times and escorted hundreds of soldiers' remains from the Dover tarmac.


Olmsted Scholar Changes of Command
• Lt. Col. Mike Polidor '04 assumed command of the 13th Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing from another Olmsted Scholar, Lt. Col. Geoffrey Steeves '01 in May 2019.
• Lt. Col. Nicola Polidor '04 assumed command of Detachment 5, 29th Training Systems Squadron in June 2019.

  Changes of Command

5 Research Projects AF Academy Cadets Are Working on Today
Ever wonder what cadet researchers are doing these days at the Air Force Academy?


Air Force Academy Launches New Airmanship Next Program
The Air Force Academy recently redesigned its Airmanship program to give cadets more opportunities to experience the Air Force's flying mission and produce the best pool of rated candidates.


Academy Cadet Remains Resilient Despite MS Diagnosis
Garrett Tuin is on medication to treat his MS. His resilience has been a source of inspiration for Cadet Squadron 10, where he now serves as their cadet squadron commander. Tuin will be medically retired the day after graduation. He plans to stay in the local community and pursue work in line with his management major.


Air Force Academy Hosts Annual "Audience with an Astronaut"
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Duane G. "Digger" Carey, a former NASA astronaut who piloted the STS-109 Columbia mission in March 2002, spoke to more than 300 fifth and sixth graders from schools across the Front Range at the Air Force Academy, Oct. 9.


Cadets Say Adventure Based Learning Program Is a Success
The preliminary results are in on Adventure Based Learning, and it's scoring high marks from cadets and Academy leadership.

  Adventure Based Learning

USAFA Theater Group: A Creative Outlet for Cadets
The U.S. Air Force Academy's Bluebards Theater Troupe is cadet run with more than 70 members. They put on a free fall play and a spring musical every year.

Video: A look at USAFA's Drum and Bugle Corps

From the Bleachers

Second Half Surge Leads Air Force Past Fresno State, 43-24
A big second half on both sides of the ball helped lift Air Force football (4-2) past Fresno State 43-24 in a Mountain West contest Saturday night at Falcon Stadium. View photos from the game.

Air Force, Utah State kickoff time set by ESPN
Former Air Force receiver Jalen Robinette (now Jalen Rowell) drafted by XFL's Seattle Dragons


Scottie Named To Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team
Lavelle Scottie is the first Falcon to make the preseason all-conference team since Jacob Burtschi in 2006.

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