LBCC Alum Peter Gravett selected 2015 Distinguished Award Honoree
2015-08-11 · By Editor
Long Beach City College graduate Major General Peter Gravett (Ret.) has been selected by the Community College League of California as a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree.
Gravett was one of four honorees statewide chosen for the Distinguished Alumni award, which recognizes career accomplishments and community service among community college graduates. The award will be presented at the League’s Annual Convention in San Francisco in November.
“Major General Gravett has served our community, our state and our country with distinction for decades,” said LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “This is a well-deserved recognition and we are proud that he is a product of Long Beach City College.”
Gravett has more than 40 years of military service, 22 years concurrently with the Los Angeles Police Department and served most recently as the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I would not be where I am today without LBCC,” said Gravett. “The College gave me a high-quality education with the flexibility to pursue my career in law enforcement. I am delighted to represent LBCC as a Distinguished Alumni.”
Gravett began his military career when he joined the U.S. Army after high school. After he left active duty with the Army he continued his military service in the California Army National Guard while serving in the LAPD. Gravett completed his associate’s degree at LBCC while working full-time as a police officer. He later earned his bachelor’s degree from CSU Long Beach and master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
In the California National Guard, he served as Commanding General of the 40th Infantry Division from 1999 to 2002. He was promoted to the two-star rank of Major General, becoming the first African-American National Guard division commander. Throughout his career Gravett has earned more than 20 awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.
During his LAPD career, he rose to the rank of watch commander and received the department’s highest award, the Medal of Valor. Gravett served as Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs from 2011 to 2015, and was inducted into LBCC’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
Other LBCC alumni recognized by the League in past years include former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill, the Molina Family of Molina Health Care, comedian Paul Rodriguez and the late singer Jenni Rivera.