The Sylvanus Thayer Award is an award that is given each year by the United States Military Academy at West Point. Sylvanus Thayer was the fifth superintendent of that academy and in honor of his achievements, the award was created. During his tenure, Thayer transformed West Point into an excellent engineering school.
"The Thayer Award, established in honor of Col. Sylvanus Thayer, 'Father of the Military Academy,' is presented to an outstanding citizen whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify the Military Academy motto, "Duty, Honor, Country." The Association of Graduates has presented the award annually since 1958."
"The recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award receives a medal with a bust in profile of Thayer on one side, with the inscription: 'The Sylvanus Thayer Medal Awarded by the Association of Graduates, United States Military Academy, for Outstanding Service to the Nation.' The reverse side carries the coat of arms of the Military Academy and the words 'West Point" and "Duty, Honor, Country.' Around the edge of the medal are inscribed the name of the recipient and the year of presentation. In addition to receiving the medal, the recipient’s name is inscribed on a memorial plaque in Washington Hall, the cadet dining facility."
The recipient is approved by the Board of Directors, and announced in late winter. The Award is presented in the following October.
Active-duty and retired American military servicemen are eligible for this award, but many civilians who contributed to the military in a positive way such as Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite or recently Tom Brokaw have received the award. Three West Point graduates have received the award - Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and Omar Bradley. Currently, recipients are required to be non-West Point graduates.
The following is the list of the award's recipients: