Major General Fortney to Receive Alumni Award

September 5, 2017

Portrait of Major General Michael Fortney.
Major General Michael Fortney will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award as part of homecoming on Sept. 22-23.

PLAINVIEW -- Wayland Baptist University’s Association of Former Students will honor career Air Forceman Major General Michael Fortney with the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017 at the homecoming celebration Sept. 22-23. The award will be presented as part of the homecoming banquet on Friday, Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Major Gen. Fortney will retire in October as vice commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, which prepares combat-ready forces for strategic deference, global strike and combat support. The command comprises 33,700 professionals on two bases and 11 active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve wings.

Enlisting in the military in 1978, Maj. Gen. Fortney started his service in photo reconnaissance as an interpreter before moving into leadership roles at the squadron, group and wing levels. He earned his bachelor’s degree with Wayland at the Hawaii campus in 1986.

Over a 39-year career, Maj. Gen. Fortney has received many honors, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Achievement Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Gen. Thomas S. Power Award for Air Force Best Missile Combat Crew Commander.

A native of San Antonio raised in Ohio, Maj. Gen. Fortney is married to Karen, who previously worked in the airline industry. The Fortneys have a son, Andy, married to Melissa, a grandson, Brenden, and two dogs.

“With Wayland’s storied history of service to America’s active-duty military and veterans, we are proud to be able to honor someone of Major General Fortney’s caliber with this award,” said Teresa Young, Director of Alumni Relations. “Maj. Gen. Fortney epitomizes the service and valor that Wayland military graduates represent, and we’re proud to count him as part of our family.”

For information on other homecoming events, visit or call the Office of Alumni Services at (806) 291-3600.