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David and Holly Petraeus to Receive Inaugural Dickinson College President’s Award

Photo of a woman and man standing outdoors in front of a tree.

Holly Petraeus '74, P'04 and David Petraeus P'04.

Award Honors Lives of Leadership

Gen. David Petraeus P'04, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, the Surge in Iraq and U.S. Central Command, and Holly Petraeus '74, P'04, former head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will receive the inaugural Dickinson College President’s Award. The symbol of excellence and distinction is given by college President John E. Jones III '77, P'11, to individuals who lead lives of service, forge new paths in their fields, contribute meaningfully to the betterment of the world and inspire future generations. The Petraeuses will be honored during a special celebration hosted by Jones. The event, “Lives of Leadership: A Conversation With David Petraeus and Holly Petraeus,” will take place Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing of Gen. Petraeus’s newest work, Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare From 1945 to Ukraine, will follow the conversation. 

“The Petraeuses have led exemplary lives of service, both to their nation and to their community,” says President Jones. “We are delighted and honored that they will join us on campus, where we can celebrate their accomplishments and learn from their considerable experience.” 

Holly Petraeus was an English and French double major, summa cum laude and with honors in French. The Petraeuses’ daughter, Anne, graduated from Dickinson in 2004. 

“It’s a great honor to join my wife in being the inaugural recipients of the Dickinson College President’s Award, especially given how significant a role Dickinson has played in the lives of my wife and our daughter and me—and also given the wonderful values that Dickinson embraces and seeks to inculcate in its students,” says Gen. Petraeus.  

Gen. Petraeus has been a bastion of strategic leadership and tactical acumen. His commendable service to his nation, in theaters of conflict and arenas of policy, is an exemplar of steadfast commitment and exceptional diligence. His numerous awards include four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star for Valor, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal, two NATO Meritorious Service Medals and decorations from 14 foreign countries. He received an honorary doctorate from Dickinson in 2012

“To receive, along with my husband, the first Dickinson College President’s Award, is both a surprise and a great honor,” says Holly Petraeus. “Dickinson is a national treasure, and I am very grateful for my excellent liberal arts education there, which prepared me so well to serve as a public advocate for the military and their families.”    

Holly Petraeus has been a stalwart advocate for the military and their families. At the Better Business Bureau, she developed a nationwide military consumer education and advocacy program, BBB Military Line. In 2011 she was selected to be the first head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the newly created federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During her tenure, millions of dollars were returned to servicemembers, veterans and their families from companies that had broken the law in their dealings with them. She is a recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Colonel Roger H. C. Donlon Patriot Award. She is also an honorary Navy chief petty officer. 

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Published November 28, 2023