45th Reunion Class Gift Project               Restoration of the Air Gardens  /  Endowment of Contrails

Rendering by Joel Gray, © 2016. Used with Permission of the Artist

Update               13 December 2018

 

Classmates, as many of you know, at our 40th Reunion the Class formed and charged a Gift Committee to select suitable gifting to the Academy for our 45th Reunion.

Accordingly, classmates Fariss, Beesley, Pyatt, Hennek, and Smith-Harrison initiated a “Quiet Phase” of a campaign by selecting two gifts that were endorsed by our class officers: Endowing Contrails and Restoring the Air Gardens.  We wanted gifts that would last for our lifetimes, are important to the Academy, and affects all past, present and future cadets. After considering over 20 candidate gifts, we unanimously selected these two iconic USAFA treasures.   

Contrails is still heavily used in fourth class training but the funding for publishing it has proven problematic for the Academy over the years. The class that gifts this publication not only helps the Academy but makes a lasting mark on every future cadet entering USAFA. The Class of 1975 will be recognized in each future edition with our class crest and an address to the new class on a cover page (see attached Class Address document & FAQ document).

The Air Gardens are not what we remember. Over the years they have suffered from lack of attention, with reduced water features, deteriorated vegetation and broken marble strips. The desire is to restore the Air Gardens with the fountains and landscape as close to the original design as possible. The Class of 1975 will be recognized for their contribution in this project with a permanent oblast mounted plaque placed on the grounds of the Air Garden (see Air Gardens Design Renderings, Below & FAQ document). 

The Quiet Phase Committee selected an overall "stretch goal" of $1.975M, with the first $200K funding the Contrails endowment and the balance applied to the Restoration of the Air Gardens. We intended to measure the success of our campaign by class participation, not a dollar amount but we wanted to know if we were at least in the right ball park. So we validated the stretch goal by contacting 30 classmates to gauge class interest. Their response for these two iconic gifts was overwhelming as this small sampling have already made pledges totaling $800,000! Many thanks to them and the Quiet Phase Committee members who worked so diligently on our behalf to this point!

With that great start, we are now entering the “Public Phase” of the campaign with a new committee consisting of classmates Larry Fariss, Rick Pyatt (1st Group), Mark Volcheff (2nd Group), Bentley Rayburn (3rd Group), and Duane Jones (4th Group), who will conduct a class wide funding campaign commencing January 2019. This will be done with a squadron mate in direct contact with each classmate (see FAQ document). We are seeking to complete our pledges to the Class Gift Campaign by 4 June 2019. Both of our selected projects will be completed before the Class of 1975’s 45th Reunion in 2020 when we will be able to open a current Contrails, stroll through a restored Air Garden and be recognized together, as a class, in Falcon Stadium for providing one of the best gifts in Academy history!

Thanks for the opportunity to serve our class, respectfully yours,
The Class of 1975 45th Reunion Gift Committee:
Quiet Phase:  Mark Beesley / Rick Pyatt / Larry Fariss / Rod Hennek / Leon Smith-Harrison
Public Phase:  Larry Fariss / Rick Pyatt / Mark Volcheff / Bentley Rayburn / Duane Jones


Gallery

Concept Drawings of Restored Air Gardens


The Air Gardens Through the Ages

News

13 December 2017

Classmates, as many of you know, at our 40th Reunion the Class formed and charged a Gift Committee to select suitable gifting to the Academy for our 45th Reunion.

Accordingly, classmates Fariss, Beesley, Pyatt, Hennek, and Smith-Harrison initiated a “Quiet Phase” of a campaign by selecting two gifts that were endorsed by our class officers: Endowing Contrails and Restoring the Air Gardens.  We wanted gifts that would last for our lifetimes, are important to the Academy, and affects all past, present and future cadets. After considering over 20 candidate gifts, we unanimously selected these two iconic USAFA treasures.   

Contrails is still heavily used in fourth class training but the funding for publishing it has proven problematic for the Academy over the years. The class that gifts this publication not only helps the Academy but makes a lasting mark on every future cadet entering USAFA. The Class of 1975 will be recognized in each future edition with our class crest and an address to the new class on a cover page (see attached Class Address document & FAQ document).

The Air Gardens are not what we remember. Over the years they have suffered from lack of attention, with reduced water features, deteriorated vegetation and broken marble strips. The desire is to restore the Air Gardens with the fountains and landscape as close to the original design as possible. The Class of 1975 will be recognized for their contribution in this project with a permanent oblast mounted plaque placed on the grounds of the Air Garden (see Air Gardens Design Renderings, Gallery, Left & FAQ document). 

The Quiet Phase Committee selected an overall "stretch goal" of $1.975M, with the first $200K funding the Contrails endowment and the balance applied to the Restoration of the Air Gardens. We intended to measure the success of our campaign by class participation, not a dollar amount but we wanted to know if we were at least in the right ball park. So we validated the stretch goal by contacting 30 classmates to gauge class interest. Their response for these two iconic gifts was overwhelming as this small sampling have already made pledges totaling $800,000! Many thanks to them and the Quiet Phase Committee members who worked so diligently on our behalf to this point!

With that great start, we are now entering the “Public Phase” of the campaign with a new committee consisting of classmates Larry Fariss, Rick Pyatt (1st Group), Mark Volcheff (2nd Group), Bentley Rayburn (3rd Group)  and Duane Jones (4th Group), who will conduct a class wide funding campaign commencing January 2019. This will be done with a squadron mate in direct contact with each classmate (see FAQ document). We are seeking to complete our pledges to the Class Gift Campaign by 4 June 2019. Both of our selected projects will be completed before the Class of 1975’s 45th Reunion in 2020 when we will be able to open a current Contrails, stroll through a restored Air Garden and be recognized together, as a class, in Falcon Stadium for providing one of the best gifts in Academy history!

Thanks for the opportunity to serve our class, respectfully yours,
The Class of 1975 45th Reunion Gift Committee:
Quiet Phase:  Mark Beesley / Rick Pyatt / Larry Fariss / Rod Hennek / Leon Smith-Harrison
Public Phase:  Larry Fariss / Rick Pyatt / Mark Volcheff / Bentley Rayburn / Duane Jones

10 March 2017

Checkpoints Magazine featuring the Class Gift Air Gardens Restoration Project

7 March 2017

Classmates, at our 40th Reunion, the class formed and charged a Gift Committee to select suitable gifting to the Academy for our 45th Reunion.  Accordingly, classmates Fariss, Beesley, Pyatt, Hennek, and Smith-Harrison selected two gifts that were endorsed by our class officers: Endowing Contrails and Restoring the Air Gardens. We wanted gifts that would last for our lifetimes, are important to the Academy, and affects all past, present and future cadets. After considering over 20 candidate gifts, we unanimously selected these two iconic USAFA treasures.   

Contrails is still heavily used in fourth class training but the funding for publishing it has proven problematic for the Academy over the years. The class that gifts this publication not only helps the Academy but makes a lasting mark on every future cadet entering USAFA. The Class of 1975 will be recognized in each future edition with our class crest and an address to the new class on a cover page.

The Air Gardens are not what we remember. Over the years they have suffered from lack of attention, with reduced water features, deteriorated vegetation and broken marble strips. The desire is to restore the Air Gardens with the fountains and landscape as close to the original design as possible. The Class of 1975 will be recognized for their contribution in this project with a permanent oblast mounted plaque placed on the grounds of the Air Garden. 

Our "stretch goal" for this gift is $1,975,000 with the first $200K funding the Contrails endowment and the balance applied to the Restoration of the Air Gardens. We intend to measure the success of our campaign by class participation, not a dollar amount but we wanted to know if we were at least in the right ball park. So we validated the stretch goal by contacting 30 classmates to gauge class interest. Their response for these two iconic gifts was overwhelming as this small sampling have already made pledges totaling $800,000!

We will conduct a class wide funding campaign commencing April 2017. This will be done with a classmate in direct contact with each classmate. Both projects will be completed before the Class of 1975’s 45th Reunion in 2020 when we will be able to stroll through a restored Air Garden and be recognized together, as a class, in Falcon Stadium for providing one of the best gifts in Academy history!

Thanks for the opportunity to serve our class, respectfully yours,

The Class of 1975 Gift Committee: Larry Fariss / Mark Beesley / Rick Pyatt / Rod Hennek / Leon Smith-Harrison

24 February 2017

Initial Public Announcement of Class Gift.

Release of Dedication Page, Contrails, Class of 2020.

History               
   
United States Air Force Academy
Dan Kiley, Landscape Architect
National Park Service
Natl Historic Landmark Nomination