When Stephen Eisenhauer's football career ended with Navy's season-ending loss to Army in 1953, he assumed that his football-related honors were done.
"It was just time to go on," said Eisenhauer, who was a first-team All-American offensive linemen in 1952-53.
Today, 39 years after unstrapping his leather helmet for the last time, Eisenhauer, 60, will be in Durham, N.C., to be recognized for his accomplishments one more time. He will inducted into the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
"This is wonderful, perhaps the biggest honor I've ever received," said Eisenhauer, who carried a 3.28 grade-point average at Navy.
After graduating in 1954, Eisenhauer was a Designated Naval Aviator in 1956 and the winner of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his participation in Lebanon in 1958. In 1966-67, he served in Vietnam, flying 120 combat missions and winning numerous medals.
After returning from Vietnam, Eisenhauer received a master's degree from George Washington University in 1971. He did his thesis on the Head Start program for children, which helped lead to congressional grants for the program.
Eisenhauer retired from the Marine Corps in 1975 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
For the past eight years, Eisenhauer, who lives in Fairfax, Va., has worked as a military consultant for a Virginia company that makes flight simulators.
The GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame was started in 1988 to honor former academic All-Americans who have achieved in professional endeavors and contributed to their community.