Class of '68 50th Reunion Class Gift Campaign

Invitation to Our USAFA '68 Classmates

Executive Summary: Your '68 Class Gift Committee invites you to join us in funding the USAFA Cadet Cyber Competition Team with a $500,000 endowment, as our 2018 50th Class Reunion Gift. The gift is designed to provide an estimated perpetual $25,000/year in travel, award and other expected cadet expenses not funded by the government.

Why a '68 Class Gift?: In 1964 we came to USAFA to be part of something bigger than ourselves that would make a real difference in protecting our country. Now, in 2016, we know that we '68ers did our part in uniform…we served with integrity and excellence…and it's time for others to follow our example. We're not getting any younger, and we suspect that you may be spending a bit more time thinking about your legacy—the mark you're still making and will leave behind some day with those who love you, in your chosen profession(s), and perhaps upon the youngsters who are following you in an Air Force uniform; thus this invitation. We're not professional fundraisers. We are your classmates. We're not asking you for anything. We are inviting you to join us in a unique, timely, and important Class of 1968 – only opportunity.

Process: In November 2015 a group of our '68 classmates from around the country, following procedures suggested by the USAFA Endowment, created a core gift committee. Over the next nine months, the committee met with Endowment and Academy staffs to identify a list of over 25 potential projects. We then set about to identify the specific project that best met the criteria we selected to guide us: (1) Recognizes the Class, (2) Visibility, (3 & 4) Meaningful to Our Class and USAFA, and (5) creates an Enduring Legacy. We held meetings with faculty and with senior USAFA and Endowment staff and saw a lot of great ideas that were not yet ready for funding. After many discussions and differences we finally reached unanimous agreement to make this one '68 Class Gift. We owe you this invitation, and we hope you will join us.

Why the Cadet Cyber Competition Team?

  • Meaningful: With the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and USAFA already committed to the Air Force Cyber Center on the USAFA campus, we already know from the USAFA Chief Scientist that the Cyber Center will engage "all cadets all 4 years." Today, there's already a Cadet Cyber Club — yet another opportunity for our Cyber Competition Team endowment to encourage more cadets to engage. Right now, USAFA is well behind West Point, Annapolis, and even the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in cyber center action. Fortunately, each of these is ready to be a willing partner, as is the Colorado Springs headquarters of Air Force Space Command, which leads Air Force cyber warfare efforts. As USAFA Superintendent Lt Gen Michelle Johnson was recently quoted in the Colorado Springs Gazette "We're crawling." But USAFA is committed to the Cadet Cyber Competition Team. While the Team is doing well now, the Class of 1968 has the opportunity to help USAFA do even better in the cyber arena, an area that is most visible yet least expensive – intercollegiate and military competition (beyond the scope of normal academic programs).

  • Enduring: Cyber warfare will be a pillar of all future wars, and is already a constant threat (e.g., the 2009 Stuxnet attack on Iran's nuclear centrifuges and North Korea's 2014 attack on Sony Pictures). We of '68 have a timely and lasting endowment opportunity to make a real difference in the future readiness of the U.S. Air Force to fight those wars. We compare today's cyber warfare preparation to what many Army generals thought of airplanes in the 1930s. They had no idea. You know it, just as you've lived through milestone warfighting advances such as GPS, smart bombs, global space-enabled communication, stealth aircraft, RPAs, and now highthreat cyber warfare. Douhet's Quotation, which we all memorized as Doolies, applies directly to cyber warfare. (Hint – "Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the change…") So we invite you to join us in planting the seeds of future victories in war, where "…the fields of friendly strife…" now definitely include cyber fields. We don't want to invest in a cold stone memorial celebrating ourselves while cadets walk past indifferently—we want to make a lasting legacy difference in the aspirations and skills of cadets who will win those wars and protect your grandchildren! Here is an opportunity to play a direct substantial role in producing future warfighters who will "Fight to Win" – which happens to be the motto of our 50-year Legacy Class of 2018.

  • Visibility: The Cyber Competition Team is notably already a winner among 10-12 annual cyber competitions. They have defeated West Point and Annapolis and finished 2nd in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. We're investing in a proven winner—and a valuable recruiting tool for the Academy. Our support will be made visible to the 100 or so cadets who try out for the team, and will be noted by all cadets who either take the Computer and Network Security major or just take the required courses in computer science and IT.

  • Recognizes '68: Endowment staff advises that '68, if it can reach the $500,000 endowment figure, will be the only recognized donor to this effort, which may include physical recognition in Fairchild Hall, awards to team members, and even team or competition naming opportunities, as well as news releases and Internet postings about team events and wins. As team members graduate and succeed as joint cyber warfighters, they'll surely remember and tell others of the boost in skills and inspiration given to them by the Class of 1968.

You'll have questions and good ideas, and are welcome to contact any of us individually or to email us at 1968usafa@gmail.com. To help, we're providing a separate sheet covering some Q&A topics. We think '68 is still great, and that together we can and will do this. Thanks for your consideration.

Your U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 1968 50-Year Gift Committee
Bill Maywhort (Chairman), Bill Begert, Garry Dudley, Bill Eckert, Gary Hoffman, Mike Parkinson, Steve McPhail and Alan Price