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Former Coast Guard commandant Loy awarded Hauenstein Fellowship

  • Adm. Loy receives Hauenstien Fellowship Medal

Posted on April 29, 2016

Grand Valley's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies awarded one of the university's most prestigious honors, the Col. Ralph Hauenstein Fellowship medal, to Adm. James Loy, a former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Loy received the medal following his remarks at the April 27 graduation ceremony of the Hauenstein Center's Cook Leadership Academy.

The medal was presented by Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas; Megan Sall, member of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees; and Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center.

Whitney said the fellowship honors distinguished individuals whose leadership and public service have significantly influenced the course of the nation and world. 

"The fellowship is inspired by Col. Hauenstein’s extraordinary life, which exemplified the service and leadership that Grand Valley seeks to inspire in its students and graduates," Whitney said. 

Loy served as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002. During this time he improved the effectiveness of the Coast Guard by sharpening its readiness and ensuring it was prepared for the transition to modern ships and technology. In response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Loy helped the nation defend itself by dedicating more of the Coast Guard’s resources to port security, allowing the United States to focus on recovery. 

He also served in the Department of Transportation as the deputy undersecretary for security, the chief operating officer of the TSA, and then as undersecretary for security. Loy later served as the deputy secretary of Homeland Security from  2003-2005.

A career seagoing officer, Loy served as the Coast Guard chief of staff from 1996-1998. From 1994-1996, he was commander of the Coast Guard's Atlantic area, supervising U.S. forces during the mass Haitian and Cuban migrations of 1994, and leading Coast Guard forces participating in Operation Restore Democracy. In all, Loy served tours aboard six Coast Guard cutters, including command of a patrol boat in combat during the Vietnam War and command of major cutters in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

His military commendations and civilian honors are numerous, including the Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal, four Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star with Combat "V," the Combat Action Ribbon, the Naval Order of the United States’ Distinguished Sea Service Award, the Seaman’s Church Institute Silver Bell Award, the Navy League prestigious Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award, the Intrepid Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other distinctions.

Previous recipients of the Hauenstein Fellowship medal include Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Secretary of State James Baker, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and President Gerald R. Ford, posthumously.