The first Knight Commander’s Accolades were awarded by then Knight Commander Henry J. Foresman (Beta Commission–VMI ’41) in 1967. He created the award to recognize excellence in leadership and service to the Order. The Executive Council subsequently passed a regulation creating and defining the award as such and stating that the award is given at the sole discretion of the Knight Commander.
In 1999, Former Knight Commander Dr. Idris R. Traylor, Jr. (Gamma Chi–Texas Tech ’70) designed, and the Executive Council authorized the creation of a jewel for this award. The jewel is a crimson cross, outlined in gold, with a golden knight on horseback, centered. It hangs from a ribbon collar of crimson and old gold. The jewel was first presented in 2001.
The Knight Commander’s Accolade is the highest individual honor an alumnus can receive. Over fifty-two years, fourteen Knight Commanders have conferred this high honor on just two hundred and thirty-five recipients for their excellence in leadership and service to the Order.