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1994 Distinguished Graduate Award

Edgar Douglas Kenna, Jr. 

     A dynamic and pioneering captain of industry, an outstanding business leader, an enthusiastic volunteer and philanthropist who has served his Alma Mater for over forty years, and a West Point athlete whose exploits in three sports established records and standards still unsurpassed, the career of Edgar Douglas Kenna, Jr. has exemplified the finest traditions of the United States Military Academy.

     Doug Kenna attended the University of Mississippi for one year before being appointed to West Point in 1942. As a cadet, he excelled in athletics, was a cadet captain and regimental
commander, and was elected president of his class.

     In athletics, Doug Kenna achieved a fame that is accorded few cadets. In his three years at West Point- the course for the Class of 1945 was shortened to three years because of World War ll - Doug Kenna was awarded eight varsity letters, three in basketball, three in tennis, and two in football. He quarterbacked the 1944 undefeated national championship Army team
that averaged 56 points a game - a record that still stands for college football. He was named first team All-American in 1944. And, in 1984, he was elected to the National Football Foundation
Hall of Fame. In the 104 years West Point has played the game, he is one of only 21 Army players so honored. In basketball, Doug Kenna started at guard for three years, playing on one of only two undefeated basketball teams in Army history, and participating in a record 27 game winning streak over a period of three seasons. As captain of the Army tennis team, Doug Kenna led the cadets to an undefeated season.

     Upon his graduation from West Point, he was commissioned in the Infantry and assigned to the 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division in the European Theater of Operations. Transferring to Armor branch in 1947. he was later assigned to the 2nd Constabulary Regiment. In 1948 he returned to the United States and joined the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, Maryland. In December 1949, he resigned his commission.

     Beginning in the fall of 1946, Doug Kenna returned to West Point on temporary duty each fall as an assistant football coach under head coach Earl Blaik. In that capacity, he was instrumental in developing two more unbeaten Army teams, and, when he turned to civilian life, he stayed on at West Point coaching football for three more years.

     In 1952 Mr. Kenna joined Avco Corporation. and in 1954 he accepted a position as Sales Manager for Mississippi Power and Light. Five years later he returned to Avco.

     During the next nine years, Doug Kenna rose rapidly through the corporate ranks at Avco. As Vice-President of the Missiles, Space, and Electronics Group he was responsible for the design,
development and production of ICBM payload reentry systems, and for a wide variety of programs in spacecraft communications, radar, oceanography, propulsion systems, and medical research. In this position of great responsibility during the troubled era of the Cold War, and later as Vice-President in charge of Marketing and Planning, Mr. Kenna made significant contributions to the defense and security of the United States.

     In 1968 he joined Fuqua Industries as its President, and in two years increased sales eight-fold. In 1970, Mr. Kenna joined Robert B. Anderson, Ltd in a partnership that provided broad
financial services and marketing throughout the world.

     In 1973, his illustrious career in business resulted in his selection as President of the National Association of Manufacturers, an organization of over 12,000 members. While in this position, Mr. Kenna founded and directed the United States/USSR Trade and Economic Council. His enthusiasm and innovative planning made this visionary project a reality.

     In 1977, Mr. Kenna left the National Association of Manufacturers to become President of Carrier Corporation, the nation's leading manufacturer of air-conditioning, heating, and
refrigeration equipment. In 1981, he became a partner anddirector of G.L. Ohrstrom & Co., a capital investment firm.

     Mr. Kenna has served as chairman and director of many companies during his long and brilliant career in business. Among these is Vinnell Corporation, where as Chairman of the Board he was directly responsible for the important military and logistics training of Saudi Arabian military forces carried on by that firm for many years, training that played a key role in the success of the Gulf War.

     He has formerly served as a Trustee of Eisenhower College and Northeastern University; he is a member of the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Foundation; he has been active as Chairman of the
United Way campaign and the Hiawatha Boy Scout Council for Upstate New York; and he is a Trustee Emeritus of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy, an honor
achieved after serving fifteen years as a Trustee. For many years, he was also Vice-Chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

     Doug Kenna has served two Presidents of the United States as chairman of investigative committees, devoting his time and energy as willingly as he has assisted charitable organizations
during his career. He is a recipient of the Freedom Foundation Medal and the Gold Knight Award of the National Management Association.

     Throughout a lifetime of distinguished service to the nation and his fellow citizens, Mr. Kenna's career has been one of selfless contributions and dedication to the principles and ideals of the West Point motto: "Duty, Honor, Country." As a soldier, athlete, industrialist, and philanthropist, Mr. Kenna's outstanding leadership and integrity have set a standard of performance and conduct against which future generations of West Point graduates will be measured.

     Accordingly, the Association of Graduates is proud to present the 1994 Distinguished Graduate Award to Edgar Douglas Kenna, Jr., USMAClass of 1945.