The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the United States Air Force Academy Endowment works to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships that ultimately further the ideals and core values of the United States Air Force Academy.
Cubic Corporation, for example, partners with the Academy to research how best to prepare cadets and airmen for a major cyber attack event.
“We focus on solving complex problems that are pain points for our customers,” says Melanie Hagerty, vice president for engineering and innovation at Cubic. “We believe enemies will attack communication structures between the ground and air forces. In order to provide comprehensive and realistic training against our most determined adversaries, we absolutely have to address cyber.”
Cubic has been addressing cyber issues with its sponsorship of senior capstone projects. They provided initial funding to set up the project, and they have continued their involvement with ongoing mentorship of cadets enrolled in the course. A Cubic employee is also embedded at the Academy. Vel Prakhantree works on campus with Air Force CyberWorx to conduct and facilitate design sprints. She helps the participating groups understand human-centered design and approach problems from a design-thinking angle.
The company has also committed a $1 million gift in support of the new United States Air Force Center for Cyber Innovation.
“We are committed to training cyber warriors with the same rigor that we help kinetic warriors train,” says Mark Graper ’80, vice president for business development, Cubic Global Defense, Europe.
The USAFA Endowment works with reunion classes to support priority Academy projects as part of the Class Giving Program. In 2018, class giving projects accounted for $3.1 million in gifts in support of the Academy, a 140 percent increase from the previous year. Fourteen classes actively raised funds for projects in 2018, including seven new projects.
The Class of ’68 exceeded its 50th reunion project goal, which supported the Cyber Competition Team Endowment. Other projects included (new projects are identified with an asterisk):
The USAFA Endowment welcomed 17 new Polaris Society members in 2018. The Polaris Society celebrates the charitable spirit and commitment of generous individuals who establish a legacy gift to help the Air Force Academy in the future. Donors let the Endowment know of $5.3 million in gifts slated to benefit the Air Force Academy as part of their planned giving.
There are a variety of methods to arrange a legacy gift for the future benefit of the Air Force Academy:
The Parent and Family Giving program at the USAFA Endowment completed its first full year after it began in mid-2017.
“The success of this program is a credit to the families of our cadets and graduates. It is something unique to them and their experiences – especially those who are not graduates themselves,” says Jason Fox, director of the program. “So much of the Academy is geared toward alumni and military. It’s nice to have something just for parents.”
The Parents Leadership Council — a group of leading philanthropic and volunteer families — remains a critical element to engaging the broader base of Academy families in conversations about giving.
Gifts made today in support of the Air Force Academy foster cadet exploration, engagement and discovery. They help develop a well versed and more experienced officer in the United States Air Force.