Due to Covid-19, the ceremony to celebrate the 2020 recipients has been postponed until 2 September 2021.


2020 Distinguished Graduate Award RECIPIENTS

On 13 December 2019, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Award Selection Panel, chaired by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert ’75, USN (Ret.), selected the following alumni as 2020 Distinguished Graduates:  

- Vice Admiral Edward M. Straw ’61, SC, USN (Ret.)
Director of the Defense Logistics Agency from 1992 to 1996, Vice Admiral Edward M. Straw ’61, SC, USN (Ret.), followed his 35 years of Navy service with an exceptional career in business, holding positions including president of Ryder Integrated Logistics, senior vice president of the Compaq Computer Corporation, president of global operations of The Estee Lauder Companies, and, currently, founder and managing director of Osprey Venture Partners. He is also a 10-year member of the Defense Science Board.

- Colonel Robert D. Cabana ’71, USMC (Ret.)
The first American to enter the International Space Station, Colonel Robert D. Cabana ’71, USMC (Ret.)’s, career highlights include service as commander of Space Shuttle missions Endeavor STS-88, commander of Columbia STS-65 and pilot of Discovery STS-53 and STS-41. Today, he continues to serve as director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

- Admiral Kirkland H. Donald ’75, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Kirkland H. Donald ’75, USN (Ret.), spent 37 years on active duty in the Navy as a submariner, retiring as director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, where he was responsible for the safe and effective operation of the service’s nuclear-powered warships. After retiring from the Navy, he worked at Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc., as chief operating officer and then as president and chief executive officer. Currently, Admiral Donald is an independent business consultant and serves as a board director for companies in the utility, defense, research and development and cybersecurity industries.

- The Honorable Sean J. Stackley ’79
The Honorable Sean J. Stackley served at sea as a Surface Warfare Officer and later as an Engineering Duty Officer with assignments in ship design and construction, maintenance, and as LPD 17 Program Manager. Following his Navy career, he served as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) and served as Acting Secretary of the Navy (January to August 2017). He was the longest serving Assistant Secretary in Navy history. In 2019, he became president, Integrated Mission Systems, at L3Harris Corporation.  

Please join us in congratulating the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award recipients. The medal ceremony will take place on Friday, 20 March 2020. More information on the recipients and the 2020 DGA program will be shared in January.  

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear ’77, USN (Ret.)
Chair, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees 

Byron F. Marchant ’78
President and CEO, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation