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Jul 8, 2022 2022-07

Gies alumna receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

On Thursday, July 7, 2022, Gies College of Business alumna and Brigadier General Wilma Vaught '52, USAF, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Vaught served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1985, becoming one of the most highly decorated military women in U.S. history at the time of her retirement. She was the first female in the Air Force to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the first female to deploy with a bomber unit, and the first female in the military to attain the rank of Brigadier General from the comptroller field.

Vaught also served as president of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, which established the memorial at the entrance to Arlington national Cemetery that honors all women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.

Watch the ceremony