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The Sylvanus 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.

Thayer Award Criteria

The Award is given to a citizen of the United States, other than a West Point graduate, whose outstanding character, accomplishments, and stature in the civilian community draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: “Duty, Honor, Country.” The individual selected for the Thayer Award must agree to accept the Award at West Point.

For the Thayer Award, the following guidelines apply with respect to nominations:

  • Classes, Societies, and individual Regular Members of the Association may submit nominations for the Thayer Award.
  • The number of new annual nominations that Classes, Societies, and individuals may submit is unlimited.  The intention is to present the award to a single individual, not to a group or conceptual individual.

Nominations for the Thayer Award

  • It shall take the form of a letter to the Chairman of the Thayer Award Committee, noting how their nominee’s accomplishments draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: "Duty, Honor, Country."
  • The nominating letter shall be no longer than three pages.
  • Any endorsements of the nomination that either accompany it or that arrive separately shall be confined to a single page.
  • Pictures and embedded links to other documents may not be included in the nomination letter or endorsements.

Selection and Presentation

Normally, the recipient is approved by the Board of Directors and announced in late winter.  The Award is presented in the following October.

The deadline for Award nominations is November 3.  Nominations are considered active for three years. 

Please submit your submission as follows:
By email: Laurie.Fontana@wpaog.org
Please indicate in the subject line: Thayer Award Committee
By postal mail:
Thayer Award Committee
c/o Laurie Fontana
West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road
West Point, New York 10996