As educator, author, and evangelist, William Franklin Graham has devoted his life to the service of God, Country and fellow man. The truth of his teaching and the inspiration of his leadership have had a profound influence on the moral and spiritual life of the Nation and millions around the world.
During the period of Dr. Graham’s career, the United States has fought in three wars and has undergone extraordinary and far-reaching sociological change. The conventional wisdom of earlier generations of Americans and their traditional values have been questioned and, for many, found wanting.
Dr. Graham’s response to this challenge has been that spiritual problems require spiritual solutions. One of our most fundamental needs is for moral authority and spiritual fulfillment. Both man and society will find solutions to those problems and satisfy those needs through obedience to God’s will, adherence to truth, and a genuine concern for humanity.
More than 50 million people have sought, heard and seen Dr. Graham’s personal delivery of that message. Other millions have been influenced by his books, magazine articles and radio and television addresses. The youth of America, particularly servicemen and college students, have found special meaning in the humility of the man and the sincerity of his commitment. The universality of his belief has transcended the boundaries of race and national origin. Dr. Graham’s moral and spiritual leadership and its significance to the life of our Nation have been recognized by four Presidents of the United States.
In discharging his life’s obligations, Dr. Graham has returned his personal renown to the further fulfillment of his mission. The moral and spiritual authority which has flown from his sharing of faith with others has been reinvested in his pursuit of the solution to the moral and spiritual problems of mankind. His extraordinary influence on the lives of individual Americans and on our society has its deepest roots in his sense of duty to God and man, his unfailing advocacy of truth, and his selfless concern for the American spirit.
Through his long and dedicated service to God and Country, Dr. Graham has made a lasting and invaluable contribution to the moral and spiritual welfare of America. In his life and work, he has reflected to a wide segment of mankind those values inherent in Duty, Honor, Country. Accordingly, the 1972 Sylvanus Thayer Award is hereby awarded by the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy to William Franklin Graham.