category: Campus News

Carson-Newman awards honorary doctorate to Randy Boyd

Carson-Newman University President Charles A. Fowler, at left, and Board of Trustees member Chairman David Ogle, at right, hood University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd after surprising Boyd with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

(Aug. 7, 2020) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — During Aug. 7 virtual commencement ceremonies celebrating Spring 2020 graduates, Carson-Newman University awarded guest speaker Randy Boyd with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

Boyd, president of the University of Tennessee, delivered the commencement address for the nearly 400 Carson-Newman undergraduate students who would have normally walked the stage in early May. Due to COVID-19, the University delayed the ceremony until this month, but rising case counts prompted another change to an online-only format.

Following Boyd’s address, University President Charles A. Fowler surprised Boyd with the honorary doctorate, which recognizes Boyd’s commitment to his faith and service to others, including his work to make higher education affordable and accessible in Tennessee.

It was a joy to have UT President Randy Boyd join us for this occasion, and it was fitting for our Eagle family to honor him as one of our own,” Fowler said. “His work serving as special advisor for higher education under Gov. Bill Haslam brought about pivotal programs to assist students across the state, making him an example of the type of servant-leader our graduates aspire to be.”

Boyd was the architect for Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 as well as founder and chairman of Tennessee Achieves — all initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees and decreasing financial hardship.

He is additionally the founder of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business; chairman of Boyd Sports; owner of Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Red and Elizabethton Twins; former chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; and a founder and past co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and has over 2,700 students. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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