May 21, 2013
For Immediate Release
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A plaque, celebrating his wisdom and insight in creating the Campbellsville University Church Relations Council in 1978, was given to former CU president, Dr. W.R. “Randy” Davenport in a ceremony Friday, May 17 in his home in Campbellsville.
Dr. W.R. “Randy” Davenport, right, president of Campbellsville University from 1969 to 1988, was honored by Dr. Michael V. Carter, current president, for Davenport’s leadership in establishing the university’s Church Relations Council. Also at the ceremony at Davenport’s home were top, from left, Dr. Charles Hedrick, one of the first members of the CRC, and John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at CU. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, read the plaque to Davenport and his wife, Janet, in their living room, surrounded by Dr. Charles Hedrick, one of the original members of the CRC, and John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at CU.
Carter said, “Dr. Randy Davenport led Campbellsville University for almost two decades and provided strong leadership during an important era. His understanding of the importance of Christian higher education has enabled CU to move forward as a vibrant university in the 21st century.”
Carter said CU is “building on the solid foundation of donor support that Dr. Davenport put in place during his presidency.”
He said, “In addition to establishing the Church Relations Council which remains an important support group for CU, Dr. Davenport began the President’s Club for donor recognition and initiated a number of other efforts which have continued to enhance the Christ-centered mission of CU. We are very grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Davenport for their dedication and lives of servant leadership.”
The plaque expressed “appreciation and recognition” to Davenport for CRC’s creation during his presidency of CU from 1969 to 1988.
It reads: “The CRC has served the university with wisdom, financial support and helpful suggestions and input over the years as a vital connection between the university and churches who support the education of all young adults.”
Davenport, who is recovering from back problems and who is confined temporarily to a wheelchair, said, “How delightful! Thank you so much.”
He said he and his wife and family have been “most humbled” by the many prayers, cards and Gideon Bibles presented in his honor during his illness.
Mrs. Davenport said, “The Lord has done wonderful things, and he shows us we have a lot to be grateful for.”
Hedrick, who continues to serve on the Church Relations Council, said, “Over the years the CRC has made valuable input and suggestions to the university that have been helpful.
“If it were not for Dr. Davenport’s vision for this council and the wisdom he used in selecting the original members of this board, valuable input and contributions to the university would have been missed.”
Hedrick said he wanted the CRC to recognize Davenport now because they wanted to “recognize Dr. Davenport’s valuable contributions in leadership he provided during a period of time the college could have declined to such a low point, and the college could have faced the possibility of no longer being feasible to continue.”
He said the CRC wanted to present the plaque of appreciation to Davenport to show him their “concern and compassion.” He said, “He was there for us, and we need to be there for him.”
In a closing prayer, Carter talked of “these two precious people of whom we care deeply.”
Carter said the Davenports have touched thousands of lives through their work with Campbellsville University and the Gideons. He praised their “insight, drive and commitment to the Lord.”
Davenport, 87, has been a life-long educator having served in Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana and Michigan. He received his A.B. degree in chemistry from the University of Louisville, his master of science in education from the University of Arkansas and his Ed.D. in educational administration and supervision from the University of Arkansas.
He has served with Gideons, on the local and international levels, including as past international president of The Gideons International.
The Davenports have four children, three of whom graduated from Campbellsville University, and are: Marty (’74), Dr. Mary (’76) and Dr. Susan Davenport (’78) and Liz Wilson.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.