The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development serves as the focal point of the Academy’s commitment to developing leaders of character.
In the coming years the academy plans to erect a building dedicated to this commitment. The new Center will be the first of its kind in the United States — the focal point for the total integration of character and leadership development into all aspects of the Academy experience.
The CCLD is a public/private entity, funded partially by the U.S. government and by donors like Boeing and the McDonnell family.
Boeing’s $1.5 million donation, along with a $5 million commitment last year from the late Sanford “Sandy” McDonnell and other members of the McDonnell family, make up more than half of the private funds required to build the CCLD, and makes Boeing the single largest corporate contributor.
“Things like leadership and character transcend the military and civilian world” said U.S. Air Force Academy Endowment President and CEO, Steven Lorenz, a retired Air Force General and 1973 graduate. “These contributions provide the extra margin of excellence to prepare these future leaders for our nation.”
The Academy plans to dedicate the CCLD Center entrance to Bill Boeing, founder of The Boeing Company. The atrium will feature a symbolic tower of glass pointing “true north,” which will be named for Sanford McDonnell. “True north, we equate to integrity, service and excellence,” said Lorenz.
“We at Boeing are proud to be a part of this exciting project and to honor Bill Boeing’s legacy,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security CEO, Dennis Muilenburg. “He exemplified excellence in modern aviation and in his lifelong support of our nation’s armed forces. Bill set the standard — he led with vision and innovation, constant in his personal commitment to the values of fairness, service, excellence, and integrity in every detail â€“ values Boeing continues to embrace as we serve our customers today.”
When complete, the CCLD building will create a new skyline on the Academy grounds near the iconic chapel. “The chapel represents the soul of the Academy and the CCLD building will represent the heart,” according to Col. Joseph Sanders, permanent professor and director of the CCLD.