By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, Campbellsville Junior College 1949 alumnus and Campbellsville University Board of Trustees member as well as chancellor at the University of Richmond, will speak at Campbellsville University’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 12 in Powell Athletic Center, 203 Tiger Way, Campbellsville.
Heilman will present his grandson, Nick van der Meer of Richmond, Va., his diploma at the noon ceremony. Heilman will also speak at the 9 a.m. undergraduate ceremony.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said, “We are honored to have Dr. Heilman speak at our two undergraduate ceremonies. He has distinguished himself as a higher education leader, scholar and Christian servant. He is an eloquent speaker who will have wonderful wisdom to give our graduates.
“To hear Dr. Heilman is such a joy, and we are excited he is able to share his life stories to our students who will be graduating as Christian servant leaders after leaving the university.”
Campbellsville University will graduate a total of 655 students in five ceremonies. Other ceremonies will be Friday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Ransdell Chapel, 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville. There will also be a ceremony in August for all graduate students who will finish their degrees in August.
Heilman has served as a member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees over 25 years. He was the driving force for the construction of the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex with a third building being planned.
A groundbreaking was held April 24 for the Betty Dobbins Heilman Wellness Center being built on the campus across from the president’s home that is also named for his late wife, Betty Dobbins Heilman, who was a 1948 graduate of Campbellsville Junior College.
Heilman became chancellor at the University of Richmond on Oct.1, 1988 after serving as president and chief executive officer for approximately 17 years. Prior to beginning his long association with the University of Richmond in 1971, he had served as president of Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. from 1966.
A U.S. Marine during the World War II Pacific Campaign, Heilman serves as a spokesman for The Greatest Generations Foundation which, since 2004, has paid homage to the American War Veterans who fought in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.
Heilman is well known for riding his motorcycle across country as The Greatest Generations Foundation spokesman.
After his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, he received his bachelor of arts, master of arts and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.
He was educated at Campbellsville Junior College, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, the University of Omaha, the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee. His bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are from Peabody College with majors in business administration, higher education administration and English.
Before his presidencies, he held teaching positions and served as chief business and financial officer at several colleges and universities as well as vice president of administration at George Peabody College, vice president and dean of Kentucky Southern College and coordinator of higher education for the State of Tennessee.
He holds honorary degrees from Campbellsville University, University of Richmond, Wake Forest University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Campbell University, James Madison University, Bridgewater College, College of the Ozarks and an honorary professorship from Tatung Institute of Technology in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Heilman has taught at Belmont University, Kentucky Wesleyan College and George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
Heilman is a founding member of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, an emeritus board member and former chairman of the Board of Marine Military Academy in Texas, member of the Board of Visitors and past chairman of the Board of the Marine Corps University at Quantico, secretary of the Board of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and member of the Marines’ Memorial Association.
He has also served on the Advisory Review Board of the Service Academies, the board of directors of the National Defense University Foundation Inc. and a member of the board of directors of the Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation.
His autobiography “An Interruption That Lasted a Lifetime: My First Eighty Years” was published in September 2008.
He was married to the late Betty June Dobbins, a 1949 Campbellsville graduate. They have five children, including Tim Heilman, who serves as director of development at Campbellsville University; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
That Saturday, May 12 will feature bachelor of science degree students receiving their diplomas at 9 a.m. All other bachelor and associate degrees (bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of science in business administration, bachelor of social work, bachelor of science in nursing, associate of science and associate degree in nursing) will be conferred at noon.
At the 2 p.m. Friday, May 11 ceremony, all master’s degree students, except the School of Business, Economics and Technology, will receive diplomas. At the 4 p.m. ceremony, the School of Business master degrees in master of business administration, master in management and leadership, master of science in information technology management and professional master of business administration will be presented.
All degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 10,000 students offering over 90 programs of study including 20 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Summersville and Liberty, all in Kentucky, and one in Costa Mesa and the Silicon Valley in California and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.