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Gray '69 receives ABA Spirit of Excellence Award

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA —The American Bar Association (ABA) recently honored Major General (ret.) Kenneth D. Gray with its 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award.

A 1969 graduate of WVU Law, Gray was the first African-American general in the history of the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

The ABA presents the Spirit of Excellence Award to attorneys who display a strong commitment to promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, both in their workplace and at the national, state, or local level.

Gray received the award in a February 3 ceremony at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

During his 30-year military career, Gray was commander of the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency and chief judge of the U.S. Army Court of Military Review. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1991 and to major general in 1993, and he served as assistant judge advocate general of the Army.

Gray’s military honors and decorations include the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal, with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; and Army Staff Identification Badge.

In 1991, the WVU Law presented Gray with its highest honor, the Justitia Officium Award. He is also a member of the  WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Following his military service, Gray served 16 years as vice president for student affairs at WVU until his retirement in 2013.

The Kenneth D. Gray Student Leadership Award remains one of WVU’s most prestigious student honors. It is given to students who demonstrate exemplary critical thinking, creativity, and positive leadership.

Gray is a native of McDowell County, West Virginia, and was recognized as a Distinguished West Virginian by governors Gaston Caperton and Cecil Underwood.

He received his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College in 1966.



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