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Max James ’64

“Maxing” non-traditional support

Max James ’64 and his family have maintained a long and deep association with the Academy ever since the Tennessee native became a Zoomie. Some of his helicopter rescues during his Southeast Asia combat tours were fellow grads, which was personally very rewarding. In the days before Linked-In he made a point of seeking out and associating with his classmates and others from USAFA, such as the Aging Aviators.

He is only too willing to state, “I owe my life and everything that has transpired since to what I carried with me from the Academy, and to those who have helped me along the way.” Following his USAF service Max began a career in real estate, hotels and then retail, eventually as one of the pioneers of the now ubiquitous shopping malls’ kiosks. His company has contracts with hundreds of centers throughout North America. Now based in Las Vegas, he is still very active in the business.

From leading his squadron’s involvement with early class reunions to his present service as a Founding Director of the USAFA Endowment Board, Max has been committed to helping the Academy. “The pinnacle came when I was nominated by my peers and selected by the Academy for the Distinguished Graduate Award,” says the recipient of the 2010 honor. “This was most meaningful to me, as I have been blessed to be able to give of my time and resources to the place that shaped me.”

Indeed, Max’s support has been frequent and generous. Recently, as he was reviewing his portfolio of assets, with a desire to do more to support the Academy, a realization set in that he could make a gift without writing a check. The Endowment worked with him in the donation of investment houses he no longer wished to keep. “I was pleased that I could leverage these properties’ increases in value while helping with my passion to support the Center for Character and Leadership Development.”

The use of appreciated property such as real estate has many options. In addition to outright transfer by deed, donors can even live in their donated home, knowing it will be put to use in furthering the Academy’s ability to prepare cadets, and freeing their estate’s administrators from the complexities of valuing and selling the property. For more information, see the article on page two. The USAFA Endowment can provide illustrations of the benefits, and assistance in working with professional advisors. 

For information and assistance, contact Dale Zschoche at dale.zschoche@usafaendowment. org or 719.238.7510.