Air Force Academy names distinguished grads

Published: February 18, 2014, 9:49 am, by Tom Roeder

PrintThe Air Force Academy has added two names to its roster of distinguished graduates.

Philanthropist A. Bart Holaday and retired Gen. Bill Looney earned the honor for 2013, the academy said in a February news release.

A 1965 academy graduate, Holiday served as an Air Force officer and officer and government executive before launching a career in venture capital.

Holaday then found ways to give his money away.

“As a philanthropist, he founded the Dakota Foundation, a foundation dedicated to funding entrepreneurial, non-profit organizations that help people help themselves in achieving greater economic self-sufficiency,” the academy said.

Holaday led efforts to form the academy’s endowment fund and donated money for what was later named the Holaday Athletic Center on the campus. He also formed a scholarship that sends academy graduates to study at Oxford University.

Looney, a 1972 graduate, served as a fighter pilot and climbed the Air Force’s ranks, retiring as the four-star commander of Air Education and Training Command.

After the Air Force, Looney took over as president of the  defense contracting firm, i3.  “A published author and sought-after motivational speaker on the power of leadership, he has enabled the next generation of leaders to be better and do better than they ever thought possible,” the academy said.