Class of 1997 20th Reunion Project


In honor of our 20th reunion, the Class of 1997 has set out to raise $150,000 to support the renovation, maintenance, and programmatic use of the USAFA Planetarium.

During its past operation from 1959-2004, the USAFA Planetarium was a successful military and academic learning tool for the USAFA cadet wing as well as an important public relations asset. The USAFA Planetarium was closed in 2004 due to outdated technology and a failing infrastructure. In 2012–2013, a Planetarium Task Force, chaired by General James P. McCarthy, USAF, Retired, conducted a feasibility study to determine the value and challenges presented by refurbishing the planetarium. Modern technology has continued to increase the reach and value of planetariums; therefore, reopening the USAFA Planetarium would offer significant applications and advantages in the following areas:

  • USAFA Academics
  • STEM Education and Outreach
  • Public and Community Relations
  • USAF Research
  • Cadet Leadership Experience
  • USAFA Visitor Sites Synergy

The task force concluded that a refurbished planetarium will significantly benefit USAFA academics and research, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and student outreach, cadet leadership experiences, community relations, and USAFA visitor experience.

In light of the compelling task force findings and the dramatic and continuing rise in the importance of the space domain in the mission of the United States Air Force, our 20th reunion class gift committee unanimously agreed that a planetarium project provides a unique opportunity to focus class generosity on an institutionally important initiative.

In honor of our gift, our class will be recognized in the Planetarium. Our support of the Planetarium will be a lasting legacy of our Class of ’97.

Please contact the Class of 1997 Gift Committee at for any questions.
Click here for more information on the USAFA Planetarium Renovation.