By Alana Hu
Union University’s 15th annual scholarship banquet will feature Robert M. Gates, former U.S. secretary of defense and president of Texas A&M University, on Oct. 4 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
A native of Kansas, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, eventually rising to serve as director from 1991 to 1993. Gates also was chairman of several corporate boards before President George W. Bush appointed him as secretary of defense in 2006.
Gates continued to serve in the administration of President Barack Obama and is the only defense secretary in American history to serve under presidents from different political parties.
Gates was recognized by “Time” magazine as one of the year’s most influential people in 2007 and was named one of America’s Best Leaders by “U.S. News & World Report” in 2008.
In 2011, Gates retired and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. He has also received the National Security Medal and the Presidential Citizens Medal.
Gates was awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal twice and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal three times by the CIA.
He was named the 24th Chancellor of the College of William and Mary in 2011 and now lives in Skagit County, Wash., with his wife, Becky.