WELCOME TO DOOLITTLE HALL
Doolittle Hall, headquarters of the Association of Graduates (AOG) and alumni house of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Founded in 1965 and incorporated in 1968 as an independent, nonprofit organization, the AOG is dedicated to serving the USAFA graduate community, supporting the Academy and its cadets, and promoting the heritage of this venerable institution. The AOG is not a government agency, nor is Doolittle Hall a federal building. However, the AOG does maintain a very close, mutually beneficial working relationship with the Academy. Doolittle Hall is also home to the offices of the Falcon Foundation and USAFA Endowment.
History of Doolittle Hall
Named for renowned Gen. James “Jimmie” Doolittle, Doolittle Hall is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and situated on 24 acres of property that the AOG has leased from the Air Force. Constructed by the AOG in 1992, Doolittle Hall is the first building on the Academy grounds built solely with private donations.
Doolittle Hall’s namesake, Gen. Jimmie Doolittle, is revered for his bravery in leading an audacious B-25 raid on Tokyo just four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. You can learn more about this daring mission by visiting the Doolittle Raiders display on the second floor of the building.
Gen. Doolittle was selected as the building’s namesake due in part to the youth of the Academy at the time of the building’s completion. With only 33 graduated classes, there were few graduates of sufficient stature to have a building named in their honor. Gen. Doolittle was an ideal choice to fulfill this purpose. Beyond his distinguished military leadership and wartime heroism, Doolittle was a true renaissance man of aviation. During his life, he spent time as an aeronautical engineer and scientist, daredevil air racing pilot, and presidential advisor.
INSIDE DOOLITTLE HALL
Doolittle Hall is home to the AOG, the Falcon Foundation and the USAFA Endowment offices. When events are not taking place in the assembly area or the atrium, we invite you to take a tour of the facility. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and browse our collection of Academy historical pieces.
Entryway/AOG Gift Shop. You can access the AOG Gift Shop from the entryway of the building. If you are an AOG or True Blue member, remember to ask for your 15% discount on purchases!
(2) Ballroom/Assembly Area. Also located on the first floor, to the left of the entry, is the ballroom/assembly area. The assembly area is used for AOG functions, as well as cadet and Academy events. It can also be rented for weddings, promotion and retirement ceremonies, meetings and other functions. Rental is available to graduates, Academy personnel and the general public. Check the front desk for event brochures and rental details.
(3) Memorial Window Etchings. Etched on windows canvassing the east and west walls of the assembly area are the names of the Air Training Officers (ATOs) who were the surrogate upper-class for the inaugural Class of 1959. Also on the glass of the east wall, you can observe the etched window dedicated to the female ATOs who trained the first women admitted to the Academy, members of the Classes of 1980 and 1981.
(4) Library Lounge. North of the assembly area, through the doors on either side, is the library lounge. If the area is not being used for an event, we invite you to browse the memorabilia and books available in our collection, as well as our POW bracelet display.
You can access the second floor of the building via the elevator in the entryway or the two stairways in the assembly area. Once upstairs you can view the following attractions:
(1) Class Rings: a collection of rings worn by Academy graduates.
(2) Doolittle Raiders Display: a colorful exhibit that spans the north wall on the second floor. It provides a timeline of events that led up to Doolittle’s Raid. A comfortable seating area and research materials about Doolittle’s life are available to the public.
(3) Painting of the cadet area by artist Stan Stokes.
(4) Sabre Society donor recognition display.
(5) Association of Graduates Long Blue Line Exhibit: honors notable graduates, each of whom have excelled in one of seven categories and stand as examples of excellence for the Cadet Wing, graduate community and nation.
(6) Distinguished Graduate Display: honors the select group of graduates who have been bestowed with this prestigious honor which is awarded annually at the institution’s Founders Day Dinner.
THE GROUNDS OF DOOLITTLE HALL
Located in the traffic circle in front of the building is the white marble statue of Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek mythology. In 1959 this 8-½ ton statue was gifted to the Academy from the Italian government in commemoration of the institution’s inception. Pegasus was located on the north patio of Arnold Hall for 35 years. It was relocated to its present site at Doolittle Hall in 1994.
The Class of 1960 conceived of this walkway as a means for future generations of cadets to leave their footprints on our nation’s history and our Academy’s heritage. The classes of 1969 and 1973 also helped fund Phase I of the trail. Today, the Heritage Trail serves as a visual reminder of the lives and accomplishments of the Academy’s graduates, which we proudly call the Long Blue Line. Each member of the entering class walks the Heritage Trail on their first day as a cadet.
Bolt from the Blue
Members from the Class of 1970, with the help of other classes, coordinated the purchase and installation of the falcon statue on the western end of Doolittle Hall’s sidewalk. The statue, created by sculptor Chris Navarro, was dedicated in 2015, just prior to the start of the Class of 1970’s 45th reunion celebration. Many contributors who made the statue possible donated financial resources in memory of deceased classmates.
FEATURES OF THE HERITAGE TRAIL
- Doolittle Raiders Memorial
This pedestal is dedicated to the 80 brave men who volunteered for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.
- Distinguished Graduate Pedestals
The prestige of an institution is measured by the legacy left by its graduates. These pedestals located along the Heritage Trail salute those who have gone above and be- yond the call of duty to serve their nation and their Academy. They are chosen annually and celebrated in April.
- Challenge Bridge
The Challenge Bridge was a gift from the Class of 1959 and their Air Training Officers (ATOs). The plaques on the north side issue a challenge to new classes. Work hard, dedicate yourself to Integrity, Service and Excellence, and join the Long Blue Line. A member of the Class of 1959 reads this challenge to the new appointees as they in process each June. Academy appointees then cross the bridge as a symbolic gesture of their commitment to serving the nation.
- Memorial Wall
Donated by the Class of 1970, this memorial is a replica of the one that stands at the base of the flagpole in the cadet area. It honors those graduates who have made the ultimate sacrifice and died in combat.
- Kevin Shea Memorial
This node and statue dedicated to Valor, as personified by USMC Lt. Col. Kevin Shea ’89, was donated by the Class of 1989 to honor their first fallen classmate lost to hostile fire. Lt. Col. Shea took his commission with the Marines and would teach at the Naval Academy where the Class of 2006 made him an honorary member. He was killed in Iraq on September 14, 2004.
- Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion
Spearheaded by the Class of 1970, the Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion sits at the edge of the mesa on the north end of the Heritage Trail facing the cadet area. A long black granite wall forms the eastern perimeter, its polished finish is a strong rendition of the National Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Inside, a map created by sculptor Jim Nance ’71 depicts the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the South- East Asia Theater of operations. Fourteen bronze plaques — from the Class of 1959 to the Class of 1972 — adorn the granite to memorialize the graduates who were killed in action during the Southeast Asia confrontation. Scattered throughout the pavilion are nine granite benches honoring each of the nine members of the Class of 1970 who gave their lives in the war effort. In addition, unit and affinity plaques are displayed in recognition of various groups that contributed to the war effort. The blue glass wall, which extends across the northern perimeter of the pavilion, rep- resents the Long Blue Line. The wall is bisected by the map room, an architectural metaphor showing how the graduate community was impacted by the war.
To gain access to the building, enter 1970*
- Plaza of Heroes
The classes of 1965 and 1970 jointly dedicated the Plaza of Heroes on Nov. 6, 2015. Adjacent to the SEA Memorial Pavilion, the Plaza of Heroes recognizes USAFA graduates who performed conspicuous acts of valor during the Southeast Asia/Vietnam War. The centerpiece of the Plaza is a statue of Lance Sijan, the Academy’s only graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. The statue was created by sculptor Jim Nance ’71. The Plaza also includes plaques recognizing individual graduates who received the Air Force Cross or Silver Star as a result of their actions during the conflict. Other plaques recount the number of graduates who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart and Air Medal.
- POW Memorial
Dedicated in 2015, the POW Memorial — titled “Honor Bound: A Portrait of Courage” — recounts the names of USAFA graduates who spent time as prisoners of war during the Southeast Asia/Vietnam War.
So next time you visit the Air Force Academy, feel free to stop by Doolittle Hall and tour the building and grounds.
To view more pictures of Doolittle Hall and its grounds go to Galleries<Public Gallery. Pictures start at page 777 or click the link below.