Serving successfully in multiple careers for the past 35 years, The Honorable Dean Rusk has unselfishly given himself and his professional talents to his country in a continual quest for peace. A Rhodes Scholar and Educator, during World War II he experienced military operations firsthand in two campaigns in the China-Burma-India Theater. He also served with the Operations Division of The War Department General Staff.
At the request of General George C. Marshall, then Secretary of State, Dean Rusk rejoined the Department of State in 1947 where he skillfully guided the Nation’s policies, particularly in United Nations and then Far Eastern Affairs. Five years later Dean Rusk, a humanitarian with a deep interest in the welfare of people worldwide, accepted the Presidency of The Rockefeller Foundation. In this capacity, he distributed $250,000,000 for varied projects, including aid to underdeveloped nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
As Secretary of State during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, he earned a reputation for maintaining close cooperation between the United States and its Allies and between the Departments of State and Defense. A man of intellect and of unyielding principles, he helped shape policies during a period of almost continuous major crises.
Traveling more than 850,000 miles, he ably represented the United States at meetings of NATO, SEATO, CENTO, and ANZUS treaty organizations and signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Moscow.
Through his long and dedicated service to his Country, Dean Rusk has contributed immeasurably to the enhancement of its defense posture and to improved relations with its friends and allies around the globe. Accordingly, the 1969 Sylvanus Thayer Award is hereby awarded by the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy to The Honorable Dean Rusk.