Washington University receives Secret Service’s highest honor for debate support

Secret Service award
Participating in the Secret Service awards ceremony were (from left) Robert Hall; WUPD Chief Mark Glenn; Tom Freesmeier; Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton; Steve Givens, chair of the university’s Presidential Debate Steering Committee; Kristina Schmidt; Lt. Frank Selvaggio; and Andrew Koch. (Photo: Joe Angeles/Washington University)

The U.S. Secret Service awarded its Director’s Award, the agency’s highest honor, to Washington University in St. Louis for its support during this year’s presidential debate.

Washington University hosted the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Oct. 9 in the university’s Athletic Complex.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton accepted the award from Kristina Schmidt, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s St. Louis Field Office, during a ceremony held Dec. 21 in Brookings Hall.

Schmidt read a letter from Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy, in which he thanked the chancellor and Washington University’s leadership for being a primary partner in the planning and execution of the protective mission for the presidential debate.

“The Washington University Police Department was involved in every aspect of the security plan. Staff from the Facilities Planning and Management Department and the Athletic Department provided valuable support that contributed greatly to our protective operations,” Clancy wrote. “Without question, the leadership played a critical role throughout this event.”

Schmidt, along with Tom Freesmeier, assistant to the special agent in charge, also presented the Director’s Honor Award, the agency’s second highest recognition, to four university staff members for their “outstanding assistance and support on behalf of the protective responsibilities of the United States Secret Service.”

Receiving the recognition were Mark Glenn, chief of the Washington University Police Department; Lt. Frank Selvaggio, WUPD’s patrol bureau commander; Robert Hall, director of maintenance operations; and Andrew Koch, Athletics facility manager.

“The word ‘no’ is not in your vocabulary,” Freesmeier told the recipients. “You always found a way to make things work. We couldn’t have done it operationally without the help of everyone here.”

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