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Wings Over the Rockies

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April 2, 2020
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Message from the AOG and AFAF
The Association of Graduates and the Air Force Academy Foundation remain unified and steadfast in our commitment to the Academy, cadets, parents and graduates. We are inspired by the outpouring of support from the Air Force Academy family, especially in light of the recent deaths of two first-class cadets.


Class of 2020 Graduation Date Moves Up
Family, friends and the public will be able to live stream the entirety of the April 18th celebration.


Letter from the Superintendent
The Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy addresses the recent loss of two first-class cadets here on the USAFA campus.

  Cadet Losses

Resources for Supporting the USAFA Family
Looking for opportunities to support the USAFA family or find helpful resources during this time? Explore the USAFA COVID-19 support website, a central online hub where graduates, the Class of 2020, underclassmen and parents/family can explore resources, helpful tips and updates, plus support each other.


Social Distancing on ZoomieLink
We are calling on all grads and alumni to sign on to ZoomieLink in this time of social distancing and uncertainty. By sharing your experience, wisdom and time when connecting with your fellow grads and current cadets, you can have a positive impact during this unprecedented time.


Founders Day
We are truly living in historic times as we deal with the effects of the Coronavirus. But even as we face this situation, it is useful to remember our past, especially the anniversary this week of our most historic day. On April 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed Public Law 325, officially authorizing the establishment of an Air Force Academy.

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

Air Force Academy Foundation

Mark Hille Joins Air Force Academy Foundation
Mark Hille, a 1997 graduate of the Air Force Academy, joined the Air Force Academy Foundation April 1, 2020, as its new president and chief operating officer. He will lead the Foundation in its mission to align donor passion and generosity to serve and support the U.S. Air Force Academy.


Take Advantage of the Polaris Legacy Challenge
Planning a legacy gift for the Air Force Academy has become even more attractive with the Polaris Legacy Challenge. For every new planned gift commitment made in 2020, a $1,000 donation will be made to the Air Force Academy Fund in the donor's name. Donors also will qualify for one year of Sabre Society level recognition.

  Polaris Legacy Challenge

Cadets Thrive Through the Cadet Summer Research Program
Private support for the Cadet Summer Research Program enables cadets to participate in internships, conduct important research and experience cultural immersion activities around the world. Summer research conducted by Cadet 1st Class Manzi Masozera in Washington, D.C., led him to focus his senior capstone project on Fortune Wright, a soldier in a segregated infantry unit during the Civil War.


Revisit the 2020 NCLS
A selection of 18 videos from the 2020 National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS) are now available for viewing online, including the Outstanding Airmen of the Year panel discussion, Maj. Gen. Michael Fantini and others. Academy graduates, friends and classes support the annual event through the Air Force Academy Foundation. The NCLS "brings together distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate executives and world-class athletes to motivate and equip participants for honorable living and effective leadership."


The CARES Act and Charitable Giving
The new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law to help taxpayers, businesses and nonprofits facing economic hardship during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many provisions are several that are meant to encourage donations to organizations such as the Air Force Academy Foundation. Some are applicable to any donor, and one helps donors over the age of 70 1/2.

Grads in the News

From Meals to Masks, Volunteers Work to Lighten Load for Health Care Workers on Front Lines
Sal Speziale '78, the owner of Ciao Osteria, and his team have been delivering dinner to doctors and nurses and other first responders on the front lines of the pandemic.


Rise Against Hunger Names Chief Executive Officer
Barry Mattson '01 joins Rise Against Hunger at an important time as his expertise in non-profit operations and focus on global impact will be paramount to continuing the organization's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 of achieving zero hunger by 2030.


Col. Thad Allen '92 Named Vice Athletic Director
A 1992 USAFA graduate, Allen was a two-time NCAA national qualifier while wrestling at the Academy.


A Webcast Wedding
For Zachary Blanks '17 and Montana Geimer it was not the wedding they had planned, but the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the change. They decided to get married immediately and livestreamed the event on Facebook. Blanks is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and Geimer is a graduate of the Naval Academy. They met in 2015 when he was an exchange student in Annapolis.


NASA Spotlight
Dr. Kjell Lindgren '95 flew on the International Space Station from July 2015 to December 2015 and logged 141 days in space. He participated in two spacewalks and in more than 100 different scientific experiments.


Brock "Slim" Strom Profile
In 1958, he became the Academy's first All-American. He led the Falcons to an undefeated season, with only one 13-13 tie against Iowa, who went to the Rose Bowl that year, stopping his team from having a flawless season.


Cadets Continued Their Education Online During COVID-19 Outbreak
Online distance learning for nearly 3,000 Air Force Academy cadets sent home to their friends and families started March 25. (NOTE: Since publication of the article, online learning continues to change.)

  Online Education
From the Bleachers

Air Force Welcomes Back Coach Joe Scott as Men's Basketball Coach
Joe Scott, who led the Air Force men's basketball program from 2001-04 to unprecedented heights, is returning to the Academy to once again to lead the program.

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