Air Force Academy Distinguished Service Awards, which honor a lifetime of service to the school, were given last month to the Class of 1970 Gift Committee and retired Gen. John Lorber, a 1964 graduate .

"The award is given to individuals or groups who have contributed significantly and directly to the academy through their generous donation of time, resources or influence," an academy news release says.

Lorber received the award for 2019, and the Class of 1970 Gift Committee received the award for 2018. Members of the committee include retired Brig. Gen. Curtis Emery, retired Col. Gary Dahlen, retired Col. Richard Rauschkolb and retired Col. Michael Torreano.

The awards were presented by academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria during an Aug. 30 ceremony at Polaris Hall.

For nearly 50 years, Lorber has maintained close ties with the academy and its athletic department, the release says. In 2011, he was elected as the first chairman of the board for the newly established nonprofit Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation.

"Under General Lorber’s leadership, when government sequestration threatened to cancel the 2013 Air Force versus Navy football game in Annapolis, the AFAAC quickly raised funds to support the team’s travel expenses and kept the 41-year competition for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy alive," the release says. "His vision for the non-profit organization extended beyond football and, through his guidance, AFAAC now supports the academy’s 27 intercollegiate programs."

Over more than 20 years, the Class of 1970 Gift Committee has donated "countless hours and resources" to projects including the War Memorial Wall along the Heritage Trail and the Plaza of Heroes, the release says.

The committee "also led efforts to fund, design and build the Southeast Asia Pavilion, which includes the most accurate depiction of the Ho Chi Minh Trail anywhere in the world by adding information obtained from the North Vietnamese. The pavilion is a living project with planned additions to honor various groups including members of the fourteen classes that participated in that war."

Ellie is a general assignment reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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