Award Recipient

J. Caleb Boggs

Awarded: Distinguished Achievement Award

U.S. Senator; Governor of Delaware; Member of Congress

Article from the Fall 1983 issue of The Kappa Alpha Journal

J. Caleb Boggs
Award for Distinguished Achievement

“I must say the years spent as a KA at the University of Delaware were some of the happiest years of my life.” These were the words of former Delaware Congressman, Governor, and Senator J . Caleb Boggs as he addressed the Order’s 60th Convention this summer in Springfield, Missouri.

“From a personal perspective, my experiences as a KA are among those most treasured in my life.” – J. Caleb Boggs, 1983 KA Convention

Brother Boggs served as Convention Banquet speaker where he was also presented the Order’s Distinguished Achievement Award. This marked only the ninth time that a member has received the Order’s high honor. Established in 1947, the award has previously gone to George C. Marshall, deceased, General of the Armies and Secretary of State: Carl Vinson, deceased, longtime member of Congress from Georgia; J . Edgar Hoover, deceased, Director of the F.B.I. ; General Lemuel C. Shepherd; former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps; Robert W. Woodruff, former Chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Company; Ovid W. Pierce, author and educator from North Carolina; Dean Rusk, former Secretary of State: and Carl Albert, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.

Mr. Boggs has served Kappa Alpha throughout his years as a member. He was No. I of his Beta Epsilon Chapter at the University of Delaware. He is also a former Preceptor of the Wood Province Court of Honor the Order’s oldest Court. Following receipt of his undergraduate degree at Delaware, Brother Boggs later received a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington. In addition to his membership in the Order, Boggs is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Fraternity and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity.

A highly decorated W.W. II veteran, Boggs received five campaign stars, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with cluster, and French Croix de Guerre with Palm. He is a colonel USAR, retired, and brigadier general, retired, of the Delaware National Guard.

Brother Boggs was elected as U.S. Representative at Large from Delaware to the 80th, 81st, and 82nd Congresses from 1947 to 1953. He was elected Governor of Delaware for two 4-year terms 1953 to 1961, and was elected chairman of the National Governors Conference in 1959 and president of the Council of State Governments in 1960. He served as U.S. Senator from Delaware 1961 to 1973.

Boggs is a lifelong resident of Delaware. Born on a farm in Kent County in 1909, he was educated in the public schools of Delaware and today still makes his home, with wife Elizabeth, near Wilmington.

In his Convention address, Boggs endorsed the Order by stating, “In each chapter we have great KA’s. They may not be famous, but they embody the ideals and principles of our Order. They have meaning and purpose in their lives. Association with them in the chapter and on the campus enriches our college education and our life.”

Ironic meetings have drawn our last two Distinguished Achievement Award winners together. Caleb Boggs and Carl Albert first met in Atlanta in 1930. Both were attending a meeting of college student council presidents. Just over sixteen years elapsed before the two were reunited, this time as new members of our nation’s 80th Congress.

Another meeting brought Boggs into contact with the Order’s first recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award. Serving the 6th Armored Division in France in 1944, Boggs was one of the officers presented to a touring Chief of Staff George Marshall. Boggs still has a photo taken at the time, shaking hands with Marshall. Boggs was present three years later when Marshall received the Order’s highest award.

In closing his Convention speech, Brother Boggs stated, “Those many years that have passed since my time as an undergraduate brother have often been spent in reflection and continued appreciation of the ideals of our Order. They continue to mean so much to me. Kappa Alpha remains in my heart and indeed it is my sincere hope that it will forever remain in yours.”