Chick-fil-A®, Inc. Leader Passes Baton to Cedarville Graduates

by Public Relations

Dan T. Cathy, president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A®, Inc. passed the baton of leadership to nearly 650 graduates at Cedarville University’s 114th commencement ceremony on May 1, 2010.

Cathy told the University’s graduating class that running the race of life is about the hand-off. "You can be the best runner in the world, but if you drop the baton," shared Cathy while holding the hollow relay rod and a Bible in his hands, "you will ultimately lose the race." He challenged the class to "not drop the baton" by keeping their lives focused on serving God and others.

Cedarville President Dr. Bill Brown presented Cathy with the University’s Medal of Honor. This was only the 12th time the medal has been awarded by the University. "Dan’s life is marked by excellence, integrity, servant leadership and a clear testimony for Jesus Christ," shared Brown.

In 1967, Cathy’s father, S. Truett Cathy, founded what is now one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses ( Cathy combines a unique approach to leadership with heartfelt hospitality to personally convey his enthusiasm for service to over 50,000 employees. As president, Cathy has a personal goal to see the company fulfill its corporate purpose: "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."

The Class of 2010 donated fifteen thousand dollars toward the development of the "Five Loaves" scholarship. The class gift will be used to support students with financial needs.

Also during commencement, two graduates were honored with the University’s most prestigious student award. The President’s Trophy, the highest honor for a graduating senior, recognizes leadership, ministry, community and campus involvement, athletic performance, and academic achievement. The 2010 recipients were Jonathan Walburg, electronic media major from Shafer, Minn., and Clara Gebert, international studies-social science major from New Cumberland, Pa.

The Faculty Scholarship Award was presented to six students for maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages throughout their college careers. The recipients were Leanna Baumer, history and political science major from Hartville, Mo.; Bradley Colas, criminal justice major from Vestal, N.Y.; Angela Eldridge, graphic design major from Bowling Green, Ky.; Noah Richard Van Zandt, electrical engineering major from Bloomington, Ill.; John Weston, molecular and cellular biology major from Morral, Ohio; and Rachel York, communication studies major from Larkspur, Colo.

Located in Cedarville, Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs. Featuring a worldwide Christian ministries program, the University offers more than 100 areas of study to 3,000 students. Visit the University website at