Mitch Hart named a Distinguished Graduate by U.S. Naval Academy

Mitch Hart, who endowed the Hart Leadership Program thirty years ago, was recently named one of five recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Graduate Award by the Naval Academy Alumni Association. They included the following bio in the award announcement:

Milledge A. “Mitch” Hart III graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1956. He is the founder or co-founder of seven companies, including Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and The Home Depot. Following Marine service in Oklahoma and Okinawa, Hart embarked on a career in business with IBM, then joined with fellow alumnus H. Ross Perot (’53) to co-found information technology equipment and services giant Electronic Data Systems, from which Hart retired as president in 1977. The following year he founded Rmax Operating, an insulation manufacturer where he remains chairman, and co-founded The Home Depot, which became the second-largest retailer in the United States.

As a business leader, Hart instituted innovative programs supporting employee reservists and National Guard members called to active duty, as well as those designed to provide new career opportunities for veterans. He and his wife, Linda, have also demonstrated significant support for several colleges and universities, most notably Duke University, Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the U.S. Naval Academy, where they provided for a considerable expansion of and continue to support and play active roles in the Naval Academy Leadership Conference. Their generosity also helped establish Duke University’s Hart Leadership Program, the SMU Hart Global Leaders Forum, and the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership at SMU. Hart remains active in the business community as chairman of The Hart Group, a Dallas-based diversified group of companies he formed in 1983. In addition to volunteer leadership positions at Duke and SMU, Hart has also provided volunteer leadership to Texas Southern University and the Baylor Health Care System Foundation. In 1999, he was named Outstanding Philanthropist by the National Society of Fundraising Executives-Dallas.

You can find the full award announcement with the other 2017 Distinguished Graduates on the U.S. Naval Academy website here.You can also read more about Mitch’s involvement with the Hart Leadership Program under Our History.