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2020 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) has named the 2020 recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award. This annual award has been bestowed upon those West Point graduates 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 awards will be presented in a ceremony at West Point on May 19, 2020. The 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients are:

Richard A. Nowak ’64 – Many know Richard “Dick” Nowak as an All-American two-way Army football player, a two-time Hammond Award winner (team’s top lineman), and the captain of the 1963 squad. But, as Scott Beaty ’73, President of the West Point Society of North Texas, says, “After his distinguished athletic career, his passion for excellence has been evident in everything he has done.” Nowak completed Ranger School, served in combat in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division, and completed his service on the USMA staff and faculty. After leaving the Army in 1971 as a captain, Nowak went to work as a personnel manager for Martin Marietta Co. and later completed an MBA at the University of Denver. He then rose through the corporate ranks, currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Standard Industries, the largest roofing materials and waterproofing manufacturer in the world, innovating industry changes during his tenure. Throughout this time, Nowak never forgot his local West Point Society (North Texas), the West Point Association of Graduates or his class. On the society level, he served in most every capacity, developing an acknowledgment program (the Eisenhower Award) that recognizes outstanding teachers in urban areas. For WPAOG, he served on several committees and the Board of Directors, played a key role in designing and implementing the modern governance structure currently regulating the business of the Association, and gifted funds to the level of the Ulysses S. Grant Giving Society. Lastly, for the Class of 1964, Nowak served as co-chairman of his class’s 50th Reunion Fund, an effort that garnered the largest 50th Reunion Gift at the time. According to William Murdy ’64, a 2015 Distinguished Graduate Award recipient, Nowak is “a rock…steadfast, dedicated and resilient…He always walks the walk as well as talks the talk.”

William H. Roedy Jr. ’70 – Distinguished soldier, global media pioneer, freedom champion and global health leader, Bill Roedy “might be the most interesting man in the world,” says Mike Fries, CEO & Vice Chairman of Liberty Global. “He’s somebody who commanded nuclear silos in the Cold War, was friends with Mandela, and partied with Bono.” Upon graduation, Roedy volunteered for duty in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He then commanded nuclear missiles as part of NATO and received the Meritorious Service Medal. Graduating from Harvard with an MBA in 1979, Bill joined HBO in the nascent days of cable television. Ten years later, he led a relentless expansion of MTVN Europe with a unique model of respecting and reflecting local audience diversity, including behind the Iron Curtain, bringing a groundbreaking window to the West. In 2004 Roedy was promoted to Chairman & CEO of MTVNI, where he built a global operation (200-plus channels, 200-plus countries, 30-plus languages, for two billion-plus people) and pioneered the concept of global corporate responsibility. Under Roedy’s leadership MTVNI became the world leader in fighting HIV/AIDS with its “Staying Alive” campaign, and he chaired the Global Business Coalition. His far-reaching global health roles have included the first Ambassador for UNAIDS, Chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and Vice Chairman for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), which has saved millions of children’s lives. Bill’s numerous awards include UN Global Citizen, Cable TV Pioneer and an induction into the Cable Hall of Fame. Regarding Roedy’s work in the global health arena, Jeb Bush, 43rd Governor of Florida, says, “Bill is without a doubt a distinguished citizen of our world.” And Dr. David Brown MD, President of the Class of 1970, says of Roedy, “He is an ideal representation of our class and class motto: Serve with Integrity.”

Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. ’72 – In the words of GEN(R) Peter W. Chiarelli, 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, “I do not believe there is an officer of any rank, from any source of commission, who has left a larger legacy on our Army than Dr. Andrew Krepinevich.” After distinguishing himself as an Air Defense Artillery officer, Krepinevich attended Harvard University, earning a master’s degree and Ph.D. His award-winning book, The Army and Vietnam, appeared soon after. After four years in the USMA Department of Social Sciences, MAJ Krepinevich was recommended by GEN(R) Carl Vuono ’57 to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger to serve as his assistant for special projects. Later, while assigned to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Krepinevich wrote The Military-Technical Revolution: A Preliminary Assessment, triggering the “Revolution in Military Affairs” debate. After retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1993, Krepinevich founded the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a public policy institute known for its cutting-edge thinking on national security and defense issues. In 2005, his article “How to Win in Iraq” set forth a framework for what is now known as “The Surge,” and his 2009 book Seven Deadly Scenarios won wide praise for detailing emerging security challenges. “Most offices I visit in the Pentagon, including those of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have a well-worn copy on the shelf,” notes ONA Director James H. Baker. After serving on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ Policy Board and the Congressional Commission on the National Defense Strategy, Krepinevich chaired the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. Most recently, his operational concept for the Western Pacific, “Archipelagic Defense,” has attracted the Army leadership’s attention, as well as that of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.

Kenneth W. Hunzeker ’75 – “Our incredible institution produces many great leaders,” says GEN(R) Ray Odierno ’76, the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, “but few who have served their country and Alma Mater embody the spirit of Duty, Honor, Country like Ken.” After graduating from West Point, he held various Field Artillery command and staff positions both in CONUS and overseas. The year 2000 began a decade of increasing responsibility at the Pentagon, in Germany, and in Iraq. As Deputy Director for the Army’s Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate, Hunzeker was instrumental in developing strategies that would guide the early years of the Global War on Terrorism. Upon completing command of the 1st Infantry Division, in 2006 he assumed command of the Operation Iraqi Freedom Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, responsible for executing the “train, man, equip” mission for more than 400,000 Iraqi police personnel. In 2009, he relinquished command of V Corps and became Deputy Commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, executing the mission of planning a withdrawal of over 160,000 military personnel while still conducting combat operations. After retiring from the Army in 2010, Hunzeker was appointed Vice President Government Relations for ITT Defense, later known as Exelis. In 2011, he was appointed President of the Mission Systems division which later became a separate company, Vectrus. During his five years as President then CEO, Hunzeker ensured that Vectrus delivered critical facilities, supply chain, and digital information services to support warfighters across the globe in an operationally excellent manner. A member of the Henry J. Arnold Lifetime Giving Society and former WPAOG Advisory Council member, Hunzeker is currently serving West Point as the Distinguished Chair of the Center of the Study of Civil-Military Operations. He was recently elected to serve on the Wounded Warrior Project Board of Directors.

Curtis M. Scaparrotti ’78 – “Mike Scaparrotti is widely acclaimed as the very epitome of the exceptional leader of character our Alma Mater exists to produce,” says LTG(R) Dave Palmer ’56, the 53rd USMA Superintendent, “and his decades-long career in uniform is unmatched by anyone I know.” During GEN(R) Scaparrotti’s 41-year Army career, he commanded at all tactical levels (platoon through division, including the highly decorated 82nd Airborne) and served on multiple high-level staff positions (including Director of the Joint Staff). Scaparrotti also served in an array of critical overseas positions and, in various leadership roles, helped transform West Point. Regarding the latter, he served as the TAC for H-4, was aide-de-camp for the Superintendent (assisting in the redesign of USMA’s academic curriculum and development of the Facilities Long Range Strategic Plan currently being realized), and returned to West Point in 2004 as the 69th Commandant of Cadets. As CMDT, Scaparrotti led a major overhaul of cadet leadership and tactical training based on his combat experience in Iraq and advocated for the Defense and Strategic Studies academic major. In 2006, he was assigned as the Director of Operations for U.S. Central Command, and, upon promotion to lieutenant general, assumed command of I Corps, concurrently serving as Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. In 2013, Scaparrotti received his fourth star and became the Commander of USFK/CFC/United Nations Command, R.O.K. His military career culminated as Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, “…service that places him in a unique category of West Point graduates,” says LTG(R) Guy Swan III ’76, Vice President of the Association of the United States Army. “Successful soldier, diplomat-warrior, citizen and family man—Mike Scaparrotti is the acme of achievement,” says GEN(R) Joseph Votel ’80, “and the most respected Army officer of his generation.”