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NGS Awards Honorary Doctorate of Letters to Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught

Falmouth, Mass., November 5, 2015 – The National Graduate School of Quality Management (NGS) Board of Trustees is proud to announce that Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught will receive the College’s highest honor – the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters in recognition of her lifelong accomplishments in service to our country and as an advocate for education.  This is only the fifth time in the College’s 22-year history that the Board has awarded its Honorary Doctorate.  The award will be presented during the Women Veterans Interactive Conference held on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center at the National Harbor in Maryland.

General Vaught, who served 28 years with the U.S. Air Force from 1957-1985, has been the voice of the millions of women who have served and sacrificed selflessly for our country and was elected in 1987 as the President of the Board of Directors of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation.  In this capacity, she oversaw the construction and now the operation and maintenance of the Women’s Memorial and its 33,000 sq. ft. education center at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery.  The Memorial is the nation’s only major memorial to honor the service of America’s some 3 million servicewomen, past and present.  She continues to advocate for lifelong learning and professional and personal growth through education.

Brigadier General Vaught has held many other posts, including as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dr. Robert Teller Foundation and the National Women’s History Museum as well as service on numerous non-profits, giving her time and talents to benefit others.

Her numerous military decorations and awards include both the Defense and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals (the nation’s highest peacetime awards), Air Force Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two awards of the Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

One of the most-decorated military women in U.S. history at the time of her retirement, General Vaught’s distinctive achievements include:

  • 1983 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, University of Illinois;
  • Recipient of the 1985 Woman Who Made A Difference Award, International Women’s Forum;
  • First and only woman for some 22 years to be selected for promotion to Brigadier General in the comptroller career field;
  • First woman to head a board of directors of a major credit union;
  • First woman to command a unit receiving the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the nation’s highest peacetime unit award, 1985;
  • First woman to deploy with a Strategic Air Command bombardment wing on an operational deployment, 1966-67;
  • 1998 Living Legacy Patriot Award, Women’s International Center;
  • 1998 Medal of Honor, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution;
  • 1998 Veteran Advocate of the Year, National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs;
  • 1998 Women of Distinction Award, National Association of Women In Education;
  • 1998 VFW James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award;
  • 1999 Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award, The Chapel of Four Chaplains;
  • 2000 National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee;
  • 2003 National Women’s History Month Honoree;
  • 2013 White House Champion of Change Honoree.

NGS President and CEO, Dr. Clint Miner said: “NGS is proud to demonstrate its long-term and continued commitment to recognizing and supporting the men and women who protect our Country through their selfless service.  Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught epitomizes the leadership, courage, and selfless service that place her in the elite company of the previous national leaders who have been awarded this distinction.”

About The National Graduate School of Quality Management

The National Graduate School of Quality Management (NGS) is a regionally accredited, non-profit college that focuses on transformational leadership and quality management. It is uniquely positioned in the higher education community– offering programs focused on providing leaders and managers the tools they need to transform their organizations. For more information about NGS, visit www.ngs.edu.