Owensboro businessman Terry Woodward said the education he received at the University of Kentucky helped shape his life and professional career.

On Friday, the university will award Woodward with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree during its 2022 commencement ceremony at Rupp Arena. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

“I’m grateful to the University of Kentucky for giving me this degree,” Woodward said. “This is the highest honor they can give their graduates, so it feels pretty special.”

Woodward is one of two UK alumni to be given the honor this year, because of how they “have distinguished themselves in their careers and community service,” according to a release sent by UK.

Kris Kimel will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during Saturday’s UK commencement ceremony. He graduated from the UK College of Social Work and spent most of his career working in STEM education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the release said.

Woodward said he is humbled to be given this honor and that it is “very much appreciated.”

“I love the University of Kentucky,” he said, adding that his time spent there gave him the confidence and education he needed to be successful in all aspects of his life.

Woodward graduated from UK in 1963 with a degree in commerce. After working in Versailles for a year, he returned to Owensboro and began working for his father’s company, Wax Works.

The UK release cited Woodward’s “lifelong record of strengthening his community” for creating a “substantial economic impact” on Owensboro over the last several decades.

“His community impact extends to his philanthropic efforts to help students follow his footsteps at his alma mater,” the release said. “His financial gifts for scholarships and funding for the expansion of Gatton College of Business and Economics facility demonstrate his commitment to the development of education for students on campus.”

Woodward was inducted into the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in 1999. He also holds an honorary doctorate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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