Distinguished Graduate Award | 2018 Recipient
The Distinguished Graduate Award recognizes graduates who’ve made extraordinary contributions to the nation and their community. It honors character, accomplishment, and service that represent the university’s mission of service and leadership in a diverse global society.
Kevin Dougherty is a 2018 AMU graduate with a Master of Arts in Transportation and Logistics Management. He received his bachelor's in TLMT with honors from AMU in 2015.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin served 22 years as a Navy Seabee and was selected to serve on the USS Constitution in Boston, MA, where he completed his twilight tour as a ship's carpenter and crewman. After traveling the world as a sailor, he crossed the nation’s highways many times as a professional truck driver with his best friend Janine, his wife.
Kevin is employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a Voluntary Service Specialist and Events Coordinator. There he improves the lives of hospitalized veterans by taking them out of the confines of the hospital to activities and events where they are honored, celebrated, revered and cherished for their service and sacrifice.
One of his recent events was a trip to Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Kevin assembled a team of seven buses, support staff, volunteers, drivers, wheelchair transportation, medical clearances, and security for over 100 Vietnam Veterans to help them experience the gratitude and welcome home they should have had long ago.
For the 75th Anniversary of the Navy Seabees, Kevin organized a trip to the USS Constitution. Among his passengers were a 93-year-old WWII combat veteran who had fought at Normandy and a 100-year-old female veteran. He got them safely aboard despite the lack of handicap access. Once on the ship, they were honored by crew and visitors in a manner befitting the Greatest Generation.
For the past nine years, Kevin and his wife volunteered to organize seven dances a year. Each month they decorate the gym, bring in a volunteer orchestra and kick up the Veterans' wheelchair tires for a magical night of fun and respite from the weary routine of hospital life. Kevin can often be found spreading joy by singing, playing the guitar and writing songs for the Veterans. While it is never easy to see them pass, he is there by request at their memorial services to pay his respect with music he has written about them. He has performed his original music for President George H. Bush; sang the National Anthem for Walter Cronkite, the Boston Red Sox, the Celtics, and numerous other events and ceremonies.