Monday, December 22, 2003
U.S. Navy secretary receives honorary degree
Gordon England, secretary of the Navy, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Business Administration ceremony Dec. 20 at the Recreation and Athletics Center. England also spoke at the ceremony about "Doing the Hard Work of Democracy."
In April, the Oakland University Board of Trustees approved a resolution to award the honorary degree to England, who at the time was deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
England has been serving America in President George W. Bush’s administration since May 2001, when he became the 72nd secretary of the Navy. In January 2003, England assumed duties as the first deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Following nine months of work pulling together 22 organizations and more than 170,000 people into that new department, he returned to his duties with the Navy and Marine Corps as the 73rd secretary of the Navy.
As secretary of the Navy, England leads more than 800,000 sailors, Marines and civilians and manages a budget of more than $115 billion and a fleet of nearly 300 ships and more that 4,000 aircraft deployed around the world and engaged in the global war on terrorism.
During a distinguished business career, England held a number of leadership positions, including president of General Dynamics Aircraft Company and General Dynamics Land Systems Company, president of Lockheed Aircraft Company and later as executive vice president of General Dynamics Corporation, responsible for information systems and international programs.
While at G.D. Land Systems, England served on the Board of Advisers to Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science and was instrumental in securing grants that expanded the school's research capacity.
England’s technical expertise and business acumen are highly respected in the defense community, and he is dedicated to promoting the arts and sciences of technology and enhancing a range of cultural and civic enterprises.
England is a native of Baltimore, Md., and a 1961 graduate of the University of Maryland. He holds an MBA degree from Texas Christian University and has been active in numerous community and civic causes.
Honorary degrees are awarded in recognition of distinguished accomplishment and service within the scope of the arts, letters, sciences, professions and public service as recognized and supported by the university. The awarding of an honorary degree reaffirms Oakland University's scholarly, creative and humanitarian values.
Nearly 1,500 students received diplomas during OU's fall commencement exercises, which celebrated the university's August and December graduates. Apurva Patel (B.S. engineering) and Emma Greig (B.S. biology) each received the Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award.