The first step is checking in at the north gate, where you are greeted and asked if you have any weapons. It is a military school. Then you are politely asked to open your trunk. The funny part about this very serious question was our initial response was, "no, of course not". Then they said, please pop your trunk and my husband struggled, he did not know where the release was. We had borrowed the car and my anxiety level rose just a bit because, in Colorado you are permitted to own a firing arm with much greater ease then you are in Pennsylvania and I hoped the friend whose car we had borrowed did not indeed have any firearms or any bodies in the truck. I will admit I was briefly panic stricken, because you just never know. Luckily, Bruce a retired federal government employee, and former cartographer is a good guy and he did not.
The rest of the tour was self-guided and the road was plainly marked where you could go and not, we headed towards the visitor center where we viewed an introduction movie that was basically a recruiting film but I did learn that graduates receive a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force upon completion.
The school ranked 33rd on the U. S. News 2012 Edition for Best Colleges for Liberal Arts, number 5 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program and Number 2 in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Programs.
The in-state tuition is $0 and the out of state tuition is $0. They do however, have high standards and there is a requirement of military service after graduation.
The campus grounds are beautiful and I am guessing on any given day you can see new recruits practicing their flying skills as we did driving along the highway.
The trail from the visitor's center is a test in physical strength as well. Besides the breathtaking backdrop of the Rockies, the hills are high too but the view of the prize winning architecture on the other side of the path is worth the completed climb, just bring water and sip slowly to have some left for the walk back. My heart was pumping but I made it. It's good for you.
The chapel soars 150 feet into the beautiful blue sky in Colorado. The shell of the chapel and surrounding grounds cost $3.5 million to build. The glass and steel structure has 17 spires. It is an all-faith house of worship.
Inside of the top level up the steps is The Protestant Chapel with stunning reflections of light in every direction you turn. It is hard to describe inside but no doubt your first impression is wow! That simple word hardly covers just how this structure makes your eyes bounce everywhere as the illuminating colors just seem to engulf you and welcome you in. It feels massive inside yet very intimate and comforting. I loved the colors.
The lower level is equally as dazzling with the Catholic, Jewish and Buddha Temple but the massive size and spectacular site remains on the upper level.
Another incredible site on the property is a real B-52 bomber. It is amazing looking. I never saw one up close and personal. They are BIG!
This is a photograph of the signpost with description found at the B-52 display on campus. This
puppy has seen some action. In case you are unable to read the picture below, it says,
Dedicated to the men and women of the strategic air command who flew and maintained the B-52 throughout its 26 year history throughout the command. Aircraft 55-083 with over 15,000 flying hours is one of two B-52's credited with a confirmed MIG kill during the Vietnam Conflict.
Flying out of the U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in Southern Thailand the crew of "Diamond Lil" shot down MIG northeast of Hanoi during Linebacker II action on Christmas Eve, 1972.
Visiting this site was another recommendation of the editor and a fine choice it is a top tourist attraction in Colorado and it belongs on the list.