AIR FORCE ACADEMY GRADUATE DONATES $5 MILLION TO FALCON STADIUM RENOVATION
Former Air Force Academy football student-athlete and President and CEO of Varitec Solutions, Jack Kucera ’78 and his wife Vianne presented a check for $5 million to the Falcon Stadium renovation project. USAFA Endowment President and CEO Mark Volcheff ’75, Superintendent, Lt General Michelle Johnson ’81, and Athletic Director Jim Knowlton accepted the gift during an on-field check presentation during the Air Force vs. Colorado State football game.
It was through Kucera’s experience at the Academy that he saw firsthand the power of education and athletics. Kucera competed at a very high level during his time with the Fighting Falcons, serving as captain of the football team and being recognized as the most valuable offensive player and most valuable player in the 1978 season. During his football career at the Academy, he also set offensive and defensive records that still hold today. Kucera earned a Honorable mention All-American selection by the Associated Press and served as Deputy Wing Commander during his senior year.
Acknowledging the gift, USAFA Endowment President & CEO Mark Volcheff said, "The generosity and commitment of people like Jack and Vianne are vital to our continuing movement to provide the Academy with transformative support. Jack and Vianne’s gift is an investment in the Academy. We are deeply grateful to Jack for serving on the Endowment’s Board of Directors and for the support that he and Vianne have provided.”
To date, the Falcon Stadium renovation project has received $11.3 million in private support that will help fund the much-needed renovations for the aging stadium that has undergone only minor upgrades since it was built in 1962. This gift marks the third six-figure private contribution to the stadium renovation initiative, a fundraising partnership between the USAFA Endowment and the Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation (AFAAC) Early phases of the renovation have included the installation of two new video boards, new sound system, and the revamping of the Blue & Silver Club.
“Our cadets and supporters play a big role in making the Academy a premier institution, said Air Force Head Football Coach Troy Calhoun ’89. They have certainly earned a much needed facility upgrade not only for the quality of the game-day experience but ultimately the venue where they receive their commission as officers and leaders for our country. This gift is a big step toward that effort. Our facilities also have a significant impact on successfully recruiting excellent future officer candidates.”
Air Force Athletics Director Jim Knowlton also expressed his appreciation. "We couldn’t be more excited and we are incredibly grateful for the Kuceras’ gift that will provide an immediate impact on our fundraising efforts for the stadium. We are confident that this generous gift will be a catalyst for future support to the much needed Falcon Stadium renovation project.”
“I have many great memories of Falcon Stadium, as well as my days as a cadet. The lessons learned from literally and figuratively getting knocked down but getting back up to continue the fight both on and off the field have served me well in life,” said Jack Kucera of his Academy experience. “Falcon Stadium is where I learned the most about true character, leadership, heart, camaraderie, teamwork and the power of being passionate. To say the least, the Academy experience has profoundly impacted our lives. Vianne and I feel very blessed to be able to support the Stadium renovation project as well as other Academy objectives.”