Last year set a record for philanthropic support of the Air Force Academy, with more than 7,500 graduates, parents, families, foundations and corporations contributing $51.7 million to the Air Force Academy Foundation.
Those contributions bring the Defining Our Future campaign to $248.26 million, the foundation said in a release.
Launched in 2021 by the foundation and the Association of Graduates, the campaign aims to build private philanthropic support for the Academy’s mission and boost engagement, pride and participation among graduates and families.
While the Academy receives funding from the federal government for core needs, private support is used to enhance educational and leadership opportunities for future Air Force and Space Force officers.
Examples of the impact philanthropy created in 2022:
• All mission elements received a boost through crowdfunding on Aug. 3, when more than 2,600 donors participated in the first 1Day1USAFA giving day. Donations totaled $1.3 million.
• John Martinson, Class of 1970, committed $10 million to the Academy Scholars Program to recruit top scholars and expand academic opportunities.
• The Madera Cyber Innovation Center, now under construction, will house USAFA’s cyber defense and warfare training programs; nearly $32 million was contributed.
• The Institute for Future Conflict received a $1 million gift from John Fox, Class of 1963, to bring a fellow to the Academy.
• Academy athletics benefited from a $1 million grant from the Mary K. Chapman Foundation and a $500,000 grant from El Pomar Foundation for the modernization of Falcon Stadium. A $2.5 million gift from the Erdle family in honor of Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Philip J. Erdle will support the transformation of the fan experience at Falcon Field, home of Air Force baseball.
• Jerry Bruni, Class of 1970, and Pam Bruni committed $5.5 million to support immersive exhibits in the Hosmer Visitor Center under construction.