The Honorable George P. Shultz Receives Thayer Award

Categories: Thayer Award, Events & Awards

As a distinguished educator, business leader, and public servant, the Honorable George P. Shultz has rendered a lifetime of outstanding service to the United States and its citizens. In education, in government, in corporate business enterprises – all in selfless service to his fellow countrymen – George Shultz has exemplified the ideals of West Point, as expressed; in its motto, “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.”

As an educator. George Shultz’s contributions to the study of industrial economics are without parallel. After earning his doctorate in industrial economics at M.I.T. In 1949, he was invited to join its faculty, becoming an associate professor and director of the M.I.T. industrial relations section.

In 1957 George Shultz was appointed Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In 1962 he was named Dean of the Graduate School of Business. In 1968 he spent a year as one of the fifty scholars in residence at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Later he joined the faculty at Stanford University and following his decades of service in government, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Hoover Institution. During his distinguished academic career, George Shultz published prolifically and his scholarly works are regarded as fundamental texts in the fields of economics and labor relations.

As a leader of corporate business enterprise, he served first as executive vice-president and later as director and president of the Bechtel Group, an international corporate enterprise involved in major construction and engineering projects. In addition, he has served as a member of the boards of directors for General Motors, Tandem Computers, Boeing and Chervon Corporations.

As a public servant, George Shultz first served his country as a Marine Corps Captain during World War II. In 1955 he was appointed as a senior staff economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors. Later he served as a consultant to the Secretary of Labor. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, he served on various consulting and advisory bodies. During this period George Shultz became nationally recognized as an expert in industrial relations and compiled an impressive record as an arbitrator of management-labor disputes.

In 1968 President-elect Nixon selected George Shultz to be his Secretary of Labor. A year later he became the first director of the newly created Office of Management and Budget. In 1972 President Nixon appointed George Shultz Secretary of the Treasury. During this period George Shultz also served as Chairman of the Council on Economic Policy. As Chairman of the East-West Trade Policy Committee, he negotiated a series of trade protocols. the Soviet Union. He also represented the United States at the Tokyo meeting on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The last of President Nixon’s initial cabinet appointees to leave office, George Shultz fashioned an impeccable reputation as a man of independence and courage.

Early in President Reagan’s administration, George Shultz again answered his country’s call, becoming Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. In 1982 George Shultz was sworn in as our nation’s sixtieth Secretary of State. As Secretary, he guided our nation’s foreign policy in the delicate negotiations of nuclear and conventional arms control, in the continuing search for a peaceful resolution of civil strife in Central America and in the establishment of the foundation for a Middle East peace process.

The centerpiece of his more than six years in office was the remarkable transition in United States-Soviet Union relations When George Shultz took office, the world scene was dominated by the adversarial confrontation of the two world super Powers When he left office, world communism was collapsing, the Soviet Union was on the verge of disintegration, the nations of Eastern Europe were casting off forty-five years of darkness and the United States and its Western Allies were emerging as the victors of the Cold War.

George Shultz has served and advised five Presidents. He is the only public official in the history of the nation to serve in four different cabinet-level positions. George Shultz has forged an unsurpassed reputation for integrity, candor and love of country. His matchless record of achievement personifies uncommon dedication and is in keeping with the finest traditions of American public service. His lifetime of willing response to his nation’s calls of duty clearly reflects the values expressed in the motto of West Point. Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy hereby presents the 1992 Sylvanus Thayer award to the Honorable George P. Shultz.

Thayer Award

Since 1958, the West Point Association of Graduates has presented the SYLVANUS THAYER AWARD to an outstanding citizen of the United States whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to the ideals expressed in the West Point motto, “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.”
The Sylvanus Thayer Award is funded by a generous endowment from E. Doug Kenna ’45 and his wife, Jean.

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