The Honorable L. Preston Bryant Jr. '86
The United States Army has conferred upon Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources
L. Preston Bryant Jr. ’86 its Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. The announcement
was issued by Governor Timothy M. Kaine on Monday, January 4, 2010.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Army has recognized Preston Bryant for his leadership
on initiatives that have benefited both the Commonwealth and many of the Army’s
military installations and operations in Virginia,” said Governor Kaine. “Working
with a team that is second to none, Secretary Bryant has played a central role in
preserving open space around key military bases, helped ensure environmentally-responsible
expansions, and improved collaboration between agencies and the Army Corps of Engineers.
I congratulate him for receiving this high honor by the Army.”
Under the leadership of Secretary Bryant, the Commonwealth has conserved open space
lands around military bases such as Fort A.P. Hill and Fort Pickett and advanced
expansions at Fort Belvoir and Fort Lee. In the past four years, Virginia has also
established closer collaboration between state environmental agencies and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense facilities in Virginia and planned
the preservation and future use of historic Fort Monroe, which will revert to state
ownership upon its closure due to BRAC action in 2011.
“On behalf of the Randolph-Macon community, we couldn’t be prouder of Secretary
Bryant,” said R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren. “We are thrilled that he is receiving
this exemplary honor for his commitment and dedication to protecting our environment
and preserving the quality of life that we value so highly. He is a humble public
servant and an excellent role model for our students.”
The Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal is one of the highest
public service awards it bestows. It is conferred by the Secretary of the Army or
a major command on rare occasion to civilians who make a substantial contribution
or whose service is significant to an Army major command. The award was presented
to Secretary Bryant by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Addison D. Davis IV,
on behalf of Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.
Bryant has served in the cabinet of Governor Kaine since 2006. As secretary, Bryant
oversees all state environmental, historical and wildlife agencies. He also leads
Kaine’s sustainability efforts and chaired the Governor’s year-long commission on
climate change. Since 2007, Bryant has served as chairman of the Fort Monroe Federal
Area Development Authority. From 1996-2006, he was an elected member of the Virginia
House of Delegates, representing the City of Lynchburg and Amherst County.
In September 2008, Bryant was appointed by President Obama as chair of the National
Capital Planning Commission. The NCPC is the central planning agency for all federal
lands and buildings in Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The commission conducts environmental studies, oversees stewardships for historic
buildings, conserves open space and parks, and plans all new buildings, memorials,
museums and monuments on federal lands in the national capital area.
Bryant graduated 1986 from Randolph-Macon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree
in English. He earned his Master of Humanities degree at the University of Richmond
in 1988 and his Master of Arts degree in Modern British Literature at the University
of London in 1990.
Bryant has provided leadership to Randolph-Macon as a member on the Board of Associates
and delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2007. In November 2008, he
was awarded the Society of Alumni’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at the R-MC “Macon
Connections” event at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Bryant is also
an ardent supporter of the college’s environmental studies program.