Cadets, staff and faculty gathered at Washington Hall to attend the annual Sylvanus Thayer Award Banquet to honor philanthropist Kenneth Fisher as this year’s awardee for his dedicated service to military service members and veterans on Oct. 6 at the U.S. Military Academy.
Through his steadfast leadership of the Fisher House Foundation, Fisher provided, at no cost, a home away from home for more than 430,000 families while service members and veterans received medical treatment.
In 2021 alone, 27,000 families received support through the Fisher House Foundation’s 21 suites, which provide private bathrooms, laundry facilities, common kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms.
“As we come together this evening to recognize this year’s Thayer Award recipient, I can think of no finer example to inspire these future leaders to do good and make a difference…,ˮ said the 61st Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Steven W. Gilland. “Sir, we are proud and honored to recognize you this evening as a leader of character and an exemplar of West Point’s ideals of Duty, Honor, Country.ˮ
Since the Fisher program’s inception, numerous families have saved a combined $547 million worth of costs for lodging and transportation during trying times.
Since 2011, the Fisher House Foundation has collaborated with the Department of Defense to provide air travel and hotel lodging to bring together families and service members when a Fisher House is unavailable.
Among the long list of recognitions, Fisher has also been honored by the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army for his years of service during national security efforts.
“As my friend, I was thrilled to learn he was nominated for this award,ˮ USMA 1975 graduate Robert McDonald said. “Having Ken Fisher’s name on the Thayer Award plaque and displaying his portrait in the Thayer Award Room will forever associate him with West Point.ˮ
And so, as he stood in between Gilland and McDonald, watching the Corps of Cadets march on the Plain, Fisher said he was confident that the Class of 2023 would commission as second lieutenants and lead the Nation into a safeguarded future.
“I think this country is in excellent hands because this group of cadets will join the Long Gray Line and continue to commit to excellence and the defense of our Nation,ˮ Fisher said.
During the banquet, Fisher addressed the crowd describing how it took months to come up with the right words to express his appreciation for the award.
“It remains difficult to imagine that my name will be added to the list that includes former U.S. presidents, generals, cabinet secretaries, diplomats, astronauts — all giants from different walks of life who devoted their lives to serving this Nation,ˮ Fisher added.
As the banquet culminated, Class of 2023 Cadet Lauren Drysdale presented Fisher with a Cadet Bust on the behalf of the Corps of Cadets for his distinguished national service.
“On behalf of the West Point team and the Corps of Cadets, thank you, sir, for your lifetime of selfless service to the millions of men and women who have worn the cloth for our Nation and their families and for inspiring us to do good,ˮ Gilland concluded.
|Date Posted:||10.12.2022 10:21|
|Location:||WEST POINT, NY, US|
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