Milton Hershey School Names 2020 Alumnus of the Year
Lt. Col. Charles “Chuck” Seidel ’87 recognized for his service to our country with the U.S. Air Force
Milton Hershey School has named retired Lt. Col. Charles “Chuck” Seidel ’87 as the 2020 Alumnus of the Year in recognition for his 27-year career with the U.S. Air Force and for his work in leading one of the Air Force’s top strategic initiatives—the Long Range Strike Bomber program at the Pentagon.
“It is a true honor to award retired Air Force Lt. Col. Chuck Seidel with this year’s Alumnus of the Year award,” said MHS President Pete Gurt ’85. “Chuck is a decorated military officer whose service to his country matches his support, commitment, and advocacy to his alma mater—something our founders, Milton and Catherine Hershey, hoped for all of their students. Chuck is a mentor to all and I am proud to not only call him a fellow graduate, but also a friend.”
Seidel enrolled at Milton Hershey School in October 1978 when he was 8 years old. During his time at MHS, he developed lifelong leadership skills that helped build the foundation of his character—something he credits his coaches, teachers and staff for shaping.
“There isn’t a single aspect of my life that Milton Hershey School has not impacted, but some of the most important have been in strengthening my faith, my work ethic and my ability to get along with and care for others,” Seidel said.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force for almost three decades, Seidel retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel and as integration chief for the Long Range Strike Bomber program at the Pentagon. He led the specialized team that coordinated the activities of a 77-member office for a $70 billion initiative and oversaw the planning, programming, and budgeting efforts with Congress to develop the replacement for the B-2 bomber. He also commanded the bomb squadron at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. A decorated officer, Seidel’s military awards include a Bronze Star, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force Achievement Medal, and NATO Medal, among many others.
After retiring from the military, Seidel was called back to work for the U.S. Air Force as a subject matter expert and contractor for the Munitions Sustainment Division at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. From 2016-2020, his work leading a bomb production effort to support U.S. allies and efforts against ISIS saved our nation nearly $1 billion.
Seidel and his wife of 32 years, Cyndi—who also is a 1987 graduate of Milton Hershey School—reside in Savannah, Georgia. They have two adult children, Brittany and Brandon, and one grandson, Declan.
More information about Milton Hershey School can be found at mhskids.org.