2019 Distinguished Graduates Honored

The U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association honored the 2019 recipients of its Distinguished Graduate Award in a ceremony in Alumni Hall on 22 March. Look for extensive interviews with Dr. J. Phillip London ’59; ADM Robert J. Natter ’67, USN (Ret.); Col Walter P. Havenstein ’71, USMCR (Ret.); ADM Robert F. Willard ’73, USN (Ret.); and CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence ’81, USN (Ret.) in the April/May 2019 issue of Shipmate. Congratulations to:

Dr. J. Phillip London ’59 
Dr. J. Phillip “Jack” London ’59 was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK, the descendant of colonial pioneers and prairie farmers. Inspired by his family’s military service and a friend’s midshipman brother, he went to Annapolis, where he was the 15th Company Commander. Following graduation, he trained in Pensacola, FL, as a naval aviator and later served as an anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilot, including in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. READ FULL BIO

Admiral Robert J. Natter ’67, USN (Ret.) 
Born in Trussville, AL, Admiral Robert J. Natter ’67, USN, (Ret.), grew up in a family with a profound commitment to military service. All six of his brothers served in uniform, while his two sisters married servicemen. Admiral Natter enlisted in the Naval Reserve at 17 and attended bootcamp before following two older brothers to the Naval Academy. READ FULL BIO… 

Colonel Walter P. Havenstein ’71, USMCR (Ret.) 
The son of Commander Paul Havenstein ’44, USN (Ret.), Colonel Walter P. Havenstein ’71, USMCR (Ret.), was born in Annapolis, MD, and drawn to the Academy from an early age. He chose a different path than his father, heading to the Marine Corps where he specialized in tactical communications and systems acquisitions management. READ FULL BIO

Admiral Robert F. Willard ’73, USN (Ret.) 
Admiral Robert F. Willard ’73, USN (Ret.), came to the Naval Academy from East Longmeadow, MA, where he was a successful student-athlete. At Navy, he played linebacker on the undefeated plebe football team and defensive end for the varsity, lettering each year. As a first class midshipman, he served as a Regimental Sub-Commander and received the “Military Order of World Wars” prize for academic achievement. READ FULL BIO

Captain Wendy B. Lawrence ’81, USN (Ret.) 
A member of only the second class in Naval Academy history to include women, Captain Wendy B. Lawrence ’81, USN (Ret.), was the daughter and granddaughter of Naval Academy graduates and spent much of her childhood without her father, a prisoner of war in Vietnam who later became the Academy’s 49th Superintendent and a Distinguished Graduate himself. READ FULL BIO

Each year, we honor distinguished graduates because of their demonstrated and unselfish commitment to a lifetime of service, their personal character and the significant contributions they have made to the Navy and Marine Corps or as leaders in industry or government. The 2019 Distinguished Graduate Award Ceremony was held on Friday, 22 March in Alumni Hall, USNA. 

Congratulations to the 2019 Distinguished Graduates!