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Elizabethtown resident, Roy Rich, receives honorary doctorate at Campbellsville University commencement

Elizabethtown resident, Roy Rich, receives honorary doctorate at Campbellsville University commencement
Henry Lee, left, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, and Dr. Donna Hedge- path, provost and vice president for academic affairs, drape the honorary doctorate hood on Roy Rich of Elizabethtown, Ky. at commencement Aug. 23. Dr. Michael V. Carter, right, Campbellsville University president, reads biographical information about Rich who received an honorary Doctorate of Environmental Entrepreneurial Leadership. (CU Photo by Joshua Williams)

By Amber Meade, communications assistant, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “My prayer is that August 23, 2019 be a day that you will look back on as a day of achievement and one where you felt a blessed sense of appreciation for all those who have worked to help make this day possible for you,” said Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, during the August 2019 commencement.

Not only did 2,208 people graduate from Campbellsville University this August, but another achievement was bestowed at the ceremony as well. Roy Rich of Elizabethtown, Ky., owner/manager of E-town Exterminating Co. Inc., located in Elizabethtown, was given an honorary Doctorate of Environmental Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Rich, a member of Campbellsville University’s Advancement Board, is a 1967 graduate of Campbellsville University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in sociology. He received the Campbellsville University Derby Rose Gala Award for Distinguished Service for his involvement in the advancement board’s efforts to raise funds for the Campbellsville University Scholarship Fund.

In a statement from Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, chancellor at the University of Richmond and former president, in recognition of Rich, as he received his honorary degree at Campbellsville University, Heilman said, “This statement to now Dr. Roy Rich acknowledges my deep respect and appreciation for him as a dedicated graduate and spokesman for his alma mater.

“I know what an honor it is to receive an honorary degree from one’s alma mater because I am one of those who has received such a degree from this institution.”

Continuing, Heilman said, “I acknowledge my being acquainted with Roy, who is always communicating his respect and appreciation for Campbellsville and citing wherever he goes, his goodwill toward and support of his alma mater. I acknowledge my friendship with him, his good work in his church and community, his financial support and his service physically, spiritually, and in every other way to Campbellsville University.

“To you, now Dr. Roy Rich, know that receiving this degree makes you even more aware of the college’s significance and your responsibility to her in your interest and commitment in the years ahead.”

Rich served from 1982 through 2008 on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Pest Control Advisory Board and served as chairman of that board for 22 of the 26 years he served.

Many know Rich through his entrepreneurial leadership in the pest control business: E-town Pest Control. One of his lasting contributions has been his work in helping establish a “short course” at the University of Kentucky, which has been described as one of the best pest control conferences in the country.

Rich, along with the late Dr. Pass, who was a leading entomologist at the University of Kentucky, started this training in 1970 and it continues in 2019. This has become the standard for training pest control experts.

Rich worked for eight years in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture as director of pesticides prior to serving on the board, giving him great perspective to serve on the board.  During his service, Kentucky became the first and most aggressive state to install certification guidelines on employees of pest control companies.

He was a leader in putting in place regulations on how and when pesticides could be used in schools and churches and when notifications had to be sent to parents. He fought hard to protect the children and residents of Kentucky.

Rich was married for 52 and a half years to the late Brenda Rich. They are the parents of two children, Gina Stillwell and Shawn Rich, and the grandparents of four grandchildren and one deceased granddaughter, Chelsea Stillwell. He is an active member of Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.

He is also a member of the Elizabethtown Lions Club, Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce, Homebuilders Association of Kentucky, Board of the Alzheimer’s Association, a member of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association and Campbellsville University Alumni Association and a supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

A man from modest beginnings, Rich grew up with his two sisters, Brenda Stull and Donna Austin. Both were present for the ceremony.

“My dad was a coal miner from western Kentucky who taught me how to be a hard worker and how to be humble,” Rich said.

“I try to give credit to everyone in my family for the work I have been able to do for the university.”

“In closing, I want to thank Dr. Bruce Heilman and Dr. Carter for presenting me with this accomplishment.”

During the presentation, Carter said, “The greatest honor and recognition by a university is the granting of the honorary doctorate degree. The honorary degree is given to those individuals who have displayed excellence in leadership, made extraordinary contributions to humanity, and distinguished themselves in their respective fields.

“Certainly, Mr. Roy Rich has met the requirements that have been established by the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees in awarding an honorary doctorate degree.”

With that, Carter conferred upon Rich the honorary Doctorate of Environmental Entrepreneurial Leadership, with “all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereto.”

Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region.  The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.