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Updike To Receive Honorary Doctorate At Vincennes University Commencement
Updated April 26, 2016 5:43 AM | Filed under: Education
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(VINCENNES) - Vincennes University will award an honorary doctorate in Business to William E. (Bill) Updike, Indianapolis, during commencement ceremonies on April 30, 2 p.m. EDT, at the P.E. Complex.

"We are delighted to honor Bill's exemplary service to Vincennes University. He has brought honor and distinction to VU through his exceptional business career, service to the VU Foundation, and a most generous gift that will greatly enhance VU's instruction in science, engineering, and mathematics for many decades," said VU President Chuck

A 1968 VU alumnus, Updike beamed with pride in August 2015 as it was announced that his family had made a $2 million lead gift for VU's Center for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, an 85,740 square-foot facility that will be named Updike Hall in honor of his family.

VU has long had a special place in Updike's heart, for it was at VU that Bill met his wife Elizabeth, a Vincennes native. His associate degree from VU in Business also laid the foundation for his success at Indiana State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Marketing.

A native of Indianapolis, where he now lives, Bill recalls considering multiple choices about where to go to college after graduating from Arlington High School in 1965. In hindsight, he is glad he selected VU.

He says he enjoyed every minute of his time at VU and particularly liked the instructors. Memories of his student days are what motivate Bill to do what he can to continue VU's legacy of service to students for future generations.

Speaking at the groundbreaking for Updike Hall, Bill said, "It is one of the best universities in Indiana and it needs all the support it can get. I'm glad I am able to do what I can and I would like to see other people, who are able, to step forward."

Initially after college, Bill was a salesman in the construction materials business, using that experience to pursue his dream of becoming self-employed. He founded CMA Supply Company in June 1978 in Indianapolis, serving as president and owner as it expanded to Fort Wayne, Louisville, Cincinnati, South Bend, and Toledo. Now retired, Bill developed the company into an important part of the construction industry in the Midwest.

Grateful for the preparation for success he achieved in college, Updike served from 2001 to 2013 as a member of the VU Foundation Board, continuing his service today as an emeritus member. He also has a similar record of service on the ISU Foundation Board.

Recalling his good relationships with past VU presidents Isaac K. Beckes, Phillip Summers, and Dick Helton, as well as current President Chuck Johnson, Updike says he likes the direction VU is going. So when he was approached about supporting VU's biggest building project, Bill did not hesitate to lend his generous help.

In addition to his support for VU, Bill has long been a strong supporter of ISU's College of Technology construction programs, and he is the recipient of ISU's 2006 distinguished "Partner in Excellence" award.

Bill says his family shares his enthusiasm for backing VU's signature construction project. That includes his wife Elizabeth and their children Michael and Emily and their grandchildren. He says he plans to do what he can to help VU so it can continue to help students, just as it helped him.

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