2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Nominations Open; Nomination Criteria Updated

Nominations for the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Award—the 20th anniversary of this core Alumni Association program—will be accepted until 1 November. 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.
Beginning in April 2017, a working group representing a cross-section of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees began an extensive review of the Distinguished Graduate Program in an effort to increase transparency and inclusivity in the selection process. That review resulted in changes to the selection panel that the full Board approved and announced in May 2017. Since then, the Board has continued to discuss the best ways of further strengthening the program, conversations which resulted in the recent proposal of several changes to the selection criteria and clarifications to the language surrounding the composition of the selection panel (full membership listed here). The Board of Trustees reviewed the recommended changes, discussed them at length, took an official vote and affirmed a decision to move forward with changes. 
These changes take effect immediately and will guide the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Award selection process. They are:
1)     The nomination guidance was changed to allow for the selection of military officers, elected officials, political appointees, and Senior Executive Service personnel still serving on active duty, holding public office, or working for the government who are 45 years or more from their graduation from the Naval Academy.
2)     Individuals chosen for the Distinguished Graduate Award must be alive when selected and shall make best efforts within their abilities to attend and participate in the Award medal ceremony. This amendment would allow for the posthumous recognition of an individual who passes away between his or her selection and the medal ceremony.
3)      The criteria for selecting the Chairman of the Distinguished Graduate Selection Panel was modified to clarify that the Chairman will not be a currently serving member of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees.
4)     The criteria for selecting the two at-large Distinguished Graduate Selection Panel members was modified to clarify that these selections will not be selected from the Alumni Association Board of Trustees.
All alumni are strongly encouraged to submit their fellow graduates who meet the criteria for consideration. The updated program and process, including complete nomination packet guidelines, is available at www.usna.com/dga. Any questions about the program or the guidelines should be directed to dga@usna.com.
These changes represent additional improvements to the program in service to our mission, and further changes to the program are not anticipated in the near future. 



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