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Heritage to Horizons Assembly beckons former permanent professors

Posted 8/24/2012   Updated 8/24/2012 Email story   Print story


8/24/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Retired permanent professors and deans of the faculty returned to the Air Force Academy for the biennial "Heritage to Horizons" Education Assembly Thursday and today.

First held in 2006, Heritage to Horizons has grown through the years, with 2012 marking the largest gathering of retired permanent professors in the Academy's history. This year, attendees represented a combined 336 years of service to the Academy as permanent professors, including several professors who served during the Academy's formative years in the early 1960s.

The event provides a venue for current faculty to honor the attendees' service to the Academy and for the participants to reacquaint themselves with current Academy affairs. Most importantly, it provides a forum to acquire and employ the retired permanent professors' individual and collective wisdom.

"Every member of our faculty is striving to build on the incredibly rich legacy each of you has left," said Dean of the Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana Born in her opening remarks. "All of you will be long remembered at USAFA for what you have done for our institution and we thank you for your sustained service."

After an initial welcome by Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould and other senior leaders from each of the mission partners, the returning permanent professors gathered in Fairchild Hall for panel discussions concerning cadet programs that equip our future graduates to contend with the Air Force's core mission: "to fly, fight, and win... in air, space and cyberspace." The Academy offers programs to cadets in and across each of these emerging domains.

Between panels, the retired permanent professors visited their former classrooms and laboratories.They spoke with current faculty members and cadets to assess curricula, core requirements and the challenges facing future expeditionary Air Force officers.

The permanent professors caught up with former colleagues at a "back to school" reception hosted by the dean at the Heritage House Thursday. During the reception, retired Brig Gen. Richard Hughes was recognized for his service as the Academy's transformation chair. A retired permanent professor and former department head in the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department, Dr. Hughes will retire from his post as transformation chair on Sept. 30, after serving in that position for more than five years.

Today, the educators will receive updates on the Academy's language and culture programs, its current research initiatives and the Academy Scholars Program.They will also have the opportunity to offer their insight and expertise.

At the concluding session, the participants will be given the opportunity to discuss topics that were of interest to them, ranging from current class sizes and faculty composition, proposed curriculum changes, and the range of graduate scholarship opportunities available to graduates.

With their wealth of experience, the former faculty often have unique insights into the Academy's current challenges and opportunities, according to DF officials.

The dean said this gathering of former and current Academy permanent professors fulfills the vision Academy leaders expressed four years ago: that the assembly become a recurring biennial gathering for the betterment of the cadets, the faculty, the Academy, and ultimately the Air Force and the United States.

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