U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen ’69, L.H.D.’01 was recently honored with the United States Navy’s highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service Award. Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus made the presentation in a ceremony in his office in Washington, D.C.
“As an Army draftee many years ago, it never crossed my mind that the United States Navy would see fit to honor my service,” Frelinghuysen is quoted about the event on his office’s website. “But I am truly honored to receive the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. Supporting our sailors and Marines–past and present–has been, and will remain, a priority for me.”
The Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, established in 1951, is presented by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy to civilians for “specific courageous or heroic acts or exceptionally outstanding service of substantial and long-term benefit to the Navy, Marine Corps, or Department of the Navy as a whole.”
In presenting him with the award, Mabus noted Frelinghuysen’s role in providing necessary resources for the Navy and Marine Corps as well as his support for the quality of life of individuals of the Department of the Navy and advocacy for the Navy’s shipbuilding programs.
At Hobart, Freylinghuysen majored in American history, was named a Druid and was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity.
He has remained active at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since his graduation, including hosting students in the Washington, D.C. program, “A Day on the Hill.” He has provided outstanding leadership in fund raising efforts as a past chair of the alumni phonathon, past chair of the Hobart Alumni Fund, class agent, a leader of the reunion gift committee, and a member of the Capital Campaign steering committee. In recognition to his commitment to HWS, he has twice been honored with the Alumni Citation Award, and received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Colleges in 2001.
Frelinghuysen serves as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Defense and with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has served on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors since 2008.