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Distinguished Graduate Award

The Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) is to be given to graduates of the United States Military Academy whose character, distinguished service, and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.”

The Distinguished Graduate Award is funded by a generous endowment from E. Doug Kenna ’45 and his wife, Jean.

List of Recipients

DGA Criteria

Factors to be considered in selecting individuals as Distinguished Graduates include accomplishments, contributions to the greater good, and other actions that favorably reflect the principles upon which West Point was founded as well as the excellence, spirit, integrity, and character that it seeks to ingrain in graduates.  There is an expectation that a nominating official will have knowledge of a nominee’s character, distinguished service, and stature.  There is a further expectation that the nominators will recommend only those individuals who exhibit the highest standard of honorable living embodied in the ideals of West Point’s motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.”

The Award will not be given to individuals who occupy, or are candidates for, elective office, or who are still on active duty. The individuals selected for the Distinguished Graduate Award must be alive and agree to accept the Award at West Point whenever possible.  If an awardee should die between the time of selection and presentation, a designee appointed by the next of kin may accept on behalf of the deceased.

International graduates should be judged using the same criteria, but in the context of service to their own nation or the international community.  They should have served and contributed at home in a manner that has enhanced the reputation of West Point and has encouraged partnerships between the United States and their country.  To ensure equitable and appropriate consideration, international nominees will not displace US graduates who would otherwise be selected, but rather be additive to the total selected.


For the Distinguished Graduate Award, the following guidelines apply with respect to nominations:
•    Only Societies or Classes, not individuals, may nominate candidates for the Distinguished Graduate Award.
•    Societies and Classes may not nominate more than two candidates for the Distinguished Graduate Award in a given year.

A nomination must adhere to the following format:
•    It shall take the form of a letter to the Chair of the Distinguished Graduate Award Committee.  After identifying the nominee, the letter shall continue with a narrative of the nominee’s life and accomplishments that makes clear to the reader the way in which these draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto:  "Duty, Honor, Country.”
•    The nominating letter shall not be longer than three pages of single-spaced typescript.
•    Any endorsements of the nomination that either accompany it or that arrive separately shall be confined to a single page and must endorse the candidate for the Distinguished Graduate Award.  Endorsements are not limited to West Point graduates.

The deadline for Award nominations is November 3.
Email submissions to: Laurie.Fontana@wpaog.org
Or, postal mail as follows:
Distinguished Graduate Award Committee
c/o Laurie Fontana
West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road
West Point, New York 10996