VU awards honorary degrees to distinguished legislators

VU awards honorary degrees to distinguished legislators

VU Board of Trustees Honorary Degree Recipients, Dr. Tim Brown and Luke Kenley.

May 04, 2023

VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University has awarded former legislators Dr. Tim Brown and Luke Kenley honorary doctorates in recognition of their public service.

They received their honorary degrees during Spring Commencement at the Vincennes Campus on Saturday, April 29.

According to VU Board of Trustees Chair John Stachura, "It is truly an honor to recognize these two individuals. They have made outstanding contributions to Hoosiers and our communities. They are magnificent champions of the state of Indiana and are shining examples of generosity, selfless leadership, and dedication to serving others."

The University confers honorary degrees to individuals who have made significant contributions to society through outstanding achievements.

VU Trustee Don Villwock and Luke Kenley
VU Trustee Don Villwock and Luke Kenley

Kenley represented District 20 and Hoosiers in Hamilton County from 1992 to 2017. He served as Chairman of Appropriation for nearly a decade and was a thought leader on several legislative committees, including Tax and Fiscal Policy, Education, and Career Development. He championed key investments in education, state student aid programs, and campus infrastructure. He recently served as co-chair of the Governor’s Public Health Commission. 

Kenley earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University. His professional experiences include practicing law, serving as a City Court Judge, owner of Kenley’s Supermarkets, and other commercial real estate in the Noblesville area. Kenley and his wife, Sally, have three children and split their time between Noblesville and his ranch in Texas.

Kenley said it was an honor to receive the notable accolade.
"As Indiana’s oldest university, Vincennes University, its leadership, faculty, and staff have constantly strived over these many years to keep track of the career needs of the world's changing business needs, and has always worked to develop education programs relevant to those needs," Kenley said. "Vincennes University is truly a leader for Indiana as a premier transfer institution and is a leader in innovative career programming for its students."

VU Trustee Don Villwock and Dr. Tim Brown
VU Trustee Don Villwock and Dr. Tim Brown

Brown represented District 41 and Hoosiers in Montgomery, Boone, and Tippecanoe counties from 1994 to 2022. He served as Chairman of the Public Health Committee and the Statutory Committee on Ethics. In 2013, he assumed the role of the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. As chairman, he authored five state budget bills and traveled the state as a member of the Budget Committee. During his tenure, there were significant investments in career and technical education and workforce training.

Brown worked for many years as an emergency room doctor for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Crawfordsville. He earned an M.D. from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. He has won numerous awards for his contributions to public health and adults with disabilities. Brown resides in Crawfordsville with his wife, Jan, and has four daughters.

For Brown, it is an honor to be recognized by a higher education institution that is vital to the state’s economy and its employers.

"VU is vibrant and well-positioned to serve people and students," Brown said. "The University responds quickly to the needs and desires of both students and businesses." 

See a Photo Gallery of the honorees and Spring Commencement

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