Distinguished Graduate Award Program

NOTE: In light of the rising concerns and uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award medal ceremony and related events. The Alumni Association plans to reschedule the event for Fall 2020, most likely in conjunction with the celebration of the Academy’s 175th Anniversary and the close of the Called to Serve, Daring to Lead campaign. We will update everyone with the date once it has been confirmed.

We believe this creates a wonderful opportunity to highlight our honorees’ achievements and contributions to our nation at a particularly visible and high-profile moment for the Academy. 

We will execute the process for the 2021 DGA selection with the 1 July 2020 Call for Nominations.


The Distinguished Graduate Award was established in 1998 to honor graduates who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to service, personal character and distinguished contributions to our nation. On 12 May 2017 the Alumni Association Board of Trustees formalized the program by approving the Distinguished Graduate Award Program Guidelines resolution.

The Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) is given annually to a graduate of the United States Naval Academy nominated by a member of the Association and selected by the DGA Selection Panel. The recipient will receive a medal and is expected to attend the DGA Ceremony. 

DGA 2019 Ceremony and Complete Biographies (Shipmate article)
DGA Recipients by Ceremony Year (includes videos)
DGA Recipients by Class Year
2019 Announcement and bio pages

Key Dates for 2021 Nomination Cycle

1 July 2020: Nominations Open
21 October 2020: Nomination Deadline

Nomination Package Guidelines (word doc)

Full Description of the Award/Criteria (PDF)