The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association has named alumnus Gen. Bryan P. Fenton as the winner of the 2023 Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award. The honor was presented on Saturday (Sept. 23) during the Ohio State home football weekend.
One of the Alumni Association’s most prestigious honors, the Corby Award is bestowed upon Notre Dame graduates who have distinguished themselves in military service. The award is named for the University’s third president, who served as chaplain of the Irish Brigade during the U.S. Civil War.
A four-star officer, Fenton currently serves as the 13th commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. USSOCOM is the unified combatant command that oversees all special operations, including the special operations component commands of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, for the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The Corby Award is one manifestation of how Notre Dame highlights and reaffirms the value of service — in any form — to your community, our nation and the world,” Fenton said. “The legacy of ‘God, Country, Notre Dame’ and ‘What would you fight for?’ is felt all over this campus, by ND students, faculty and alumni. I am honored to be associated with this award and the legacy of service it represents.”
Prior to assuming command of USSOCOM, Fenton served as the commander of Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Liberty, North Carolina. Fenton’s other assignments as general officer include senior military assistant to the U.S. secretary of defense; deputy commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; commander, Special Operations Command Pacific; and deputy commanding general — Operations, 25th Infantry Division.
Fenton deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq and participated in operations in Bosnia, Somalia, Yemen, the Philippines and Colombia. He served in multiple military combatant commands including U.S. Southern Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
A graduate of the class of 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Fenton was also a senior manager assistant to former Notre Dame football head coach Lou Holtz, and in 2017 was the recipient of the Monogram Club's Edward “Moose” Krause Distinguished Service Award. He holds a master’s degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and was the 2009 Army Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Fenton and his wife, Dawn, have two daughters, both cadets of the Notre Dame Army ROTC program: Nora (class of 2021) and Cecelia (class of 2024).