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Home > Museum News > Events in Colorado, Washington D.C. and Ohio rally support for museum expansion
Events in Colorado, Washington D.C. and Ohio rally support for museum expansion

Posted 11/20/2012   Updated 11/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by Lin Erickson
Air Force Museum Foundation

11/20/2012 - DAYTON, Ohio -- "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." For Lt. Gen. Jack Hudson, USAF (Ret.) and director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, this quote by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 -- the same year the Wright brothers achieved their historic first flight -- best conveys the spirit in which the Air Force Museum Foundation is undertaking the effort to expand the museum.

Hudson made his remarks at a recent Air Force Foundation Board of Managers dinner, held in a loft overlooking the Cold War Gallery at the museum on Nov. 13. The 50 or so guests included members of the board as well as regional business executives, some of whom have already contributed generously to this project important to the region's economy as well as to preserving the Air Force legacy.

The Air Force Museum Foundation has sponsored three such regional events as part of a national campaign to raise funds to support the construction of a fourth major building on the museum's Dayton, Ohio campus. The inaugural "Expand the Legacy -- Inspire the Dream" event was held at the Ft. McNair home of Lt. Gen. William Grisoli, U.S. (Ret.), and Maj. Gen. E. Ann Harrell, USAF (Ret.), in September. A Colorado event was hosted by Col. Gary E. Payton, USAF (Ret.), and The Honorable Sue C. Payton at The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs. The Air Force Museum Foundation is providing all funding for the new building, with support from many generous donors, and has already raised $40.2 million of the required $48.7 million.

At Tuesday's museum dinner, guest speaker Col. Bill Harrell, USAF (Ret.) and vice president for Air Force programs at Lockheed Martin, affirmed the critical role of science and technology education for our nation's future and the role the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force can play in motivating young visitors to pursue careers in those fields. At the Colorado reception, guest speakers Gen. Kevin Chilton, USAF (Ret.) -- a former astronaut -- and Maj. Gen. Anthony Przbyslawski, USAF (Ret.) -- a current Boeing Company executive -- echoed this theme. They further elaborated on the critical role of industry partnerships in our nation's aerospace achievements.

Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Managers and retired USAF Lieutenant General Dick Reynolds spoke at all three events about the importance of preserving the Air Force legacy at a time when fewer than one percent of the country has served in the military. He also highlighted the historical collaboration between the Air Force and aerospace industry and the many aerospace achievements that have resulted from this partnership, as well as plans for new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. By tying together these elements critical to the nation's future, the project to expand the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is indeed "work worth doing."

The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, non-profit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the museum. For more information on the Air Force Museum Foundation, visit Photos from these fundraising events are available on the Foundation's Facebook page.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. Each year, more than 1.2 million visitors come to the museum to learn about the mission, history, and evolving capabilities of America's Air Force. For more information on the museum, visit

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