Illinois Institute of Technology recently announced the 2018 Alumni Award winners. Psychology alumnus
Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez, Retired (PSYC ’55) was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award
After graduating from Illinois Institute of Technology on an ROTC scholarship, Diego Hernandez became a Naval Aviator and fighter pilot. In 1980, he became the first Hispanic to serve as Commanding Officer of a Navy aircraft carrier, taking command of USS John F. Kennedy and later becoming Commander of Naval Forces in the Caribbean Sea. He commanded the U.S. Third Fleet in the Pacific, transforming it from a training entity into a combat fleet facing the Siberian coast of the former Soviet Union. His final post was as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of United States Space Command as well as Vice Commander of NORAD, where he oversaw use of sophisticated satellites to detect Iraqi SCUD missiles during the Gulf War. At one time, Herandez was the highest ranking Hispanic on active duty. He is a former Illinois Tech trustee, and his military honors include The Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Navy Distinguished Service Medal. He previously received the Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award in 1988.
View the complete list of 2018 honorees. The university will honor all award recipients at the annual ceremony on Friday, April 20. Visit the Illinois Tech Alumni Association website to view the complete list of 2018 honorees and to RSVP for the awards ceremony.