Alumnus donates $3.5 million to USAFA

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A longtime U.S. Air Force Academy supporter and alumnus has donated $3.5 million to assist in funding leadership programs and construction of the Center for Character and Leadership Development.

Max F. James, who graduated from the Academy in 1964 and serves on the USAFA Endowment Board of Directors, donated $1.5 million to create the CCLD Editor-in-Chief Fund, $500,000 to create the CCLD Distinguished Researcher Fund and $1.5 million to build a Distinguished Graduate Seminar Room in the new center, said USAFA Endowment officials Monday in a news release. An “air terrace” in the new facility will also be named in his honor.

“My vision is to see this facility completed, and occupied by passionate researchers and instructors, dedicated to determining the best methods to instill within all cadets that ‘moral compass’ of character that will guide them throughout their careers in military service as well as service to this nation and the world,” James said in the release. “And then, see the CCLD and Academy share those methods with other universities, corporations and associations.”

The CCLD Editor-in-Chief Fund will help with the publication of the Academy’s Journal of Character and Leadership Integration, which will be nationally recognized and promote “discussion about the profession of arms.”

The release also stated that the center — scheduled for completion late next year — will be the first of its kind in the country for integrating the concepts of character and leadership development into the various aspects of the cadets’ education.

The new seminar room will be a high-use learning area for cadets, faculty and visitors in which they can learn about the values and characteristics of successful graduates and leaders, the release said. It will also serve as a facility for research and development of best practices for the Academy.

“The new Center is poised to become the intellectual and physical nexus for national character and leadership dialogue in the 21st century,” the release said.