Two-time Georgetown College trustee Bill Kuegel, who will receive an honorary doctorate Sunday, and daughter Marcia Kuegel Carpenter, the Graduate Education Commencement speaker. Here they are pictured at the 2006 Kentucky Derby.

Those in attendance at Sunday’s Graduate Education Commencement (Aug. 16) in Alumni Gym at Georgetown College will hear speaker Marcia Kuegel Carpenter challenge the 281 Master of Arts recipients to be “statesmen for education” and insist on “real accountability.”

What these committed teachers will be privileged to see, however, is one of Kentucky’s true education “statesmen” in a tender moment as she helps Georgetown president Bill Crouch confer the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon her father, William Martin Kuegel, Sr.

Kuegel, who served two terms as a Georgetown College trustee (once in the early ‘90s and other ending in ’07), is already touched by this honor. “It never entered my mind I’d get an honorary doctorate,” Kuegel said by telephone from Owensboro. “Georgetown meant a lot to me as a very green (kid) from Daviess County and first person in the family to go to college. Everyone on up to the president is so concerned for you – back then as now.”

Then, to have his educator-daughter as part of the ceremony is icing on the cake. “Having Marcia up there will be as great a thrill as getting the doctorate I think,” he said.

Carpenter, who has been a guidance counselor for Daviess County Schools since ’96, is not only thrilled about Sunday’s ceremony, but also to talk about her father’s inspiration.

“Dad insisted that my brother and I take advantage of every opportunity that we could,” she wrote in an e-mail. “If we started something, we could never quit. When I was ten years old, he told us we would participate in the 4-H public speaking contest every year we were eligible. We did. Most important, Dad walked the talk. One day Dad saw that a Dale Carnegie course was coming to town. He came in from milking the cows, cleaned up and went to every session. He took me with him. He won Most Improved each night.”

“He is a life-long learner. He is like a sponge.”

“The tables turned on dad a couple of years ago. I completed Leadership Kentucky in 2004. When I came home, I told dad he would really enjoy it. He replied that it might be best to let younger people fill those spots. I told him, ‘Remember what you taught us about taking advantage of your opportunities. I will complete the paper work and if you are selected you should go.’ He agreed. He was selected. At age 82, he is one of the oldest participants in Leadership Kentucky.”

“He inspired a love of learning in us and it is a natural progression that I try to do the same with my students.”

BELOW is more about a special father and daughter:

Commencement Speaker Marcia Kuegel Carpenter

Marcia Carpenter has devoted her life to the field of education. After attending Centre College in Danville, Mrs. Carpenter completed her bachelors degree in secondary education and masters degree in educational psychology and counseling at the University of Kentucky. She has a masters of instruction degree in economics from the University of Delaware and she has completed 36 hours in counseling and administration at Western Kentucky University.

Mrs. Carpenter was named the first chairperson of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

She has served as a teacher in high schools in Florida and Alabama and on the councils of economic education of the University of Alabama and the University of Louisville.

She returned home to Kentucky in 1995 to become part of the administrative staff of Owensboro Community and Technical College, then became a guidance counselor at Daviess County Public Schools in Owensboro a year later.

She is the also the daughter of the late Carrie Lee Newman Kuegel.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient William Martin Kuegel, Sr.

Perhaps few life stories capture the essence of the Greatest Generation more than the one lived by Bill Kuegel. Reared in the rich farm country of Western Kentucky by devoted and caring parents, Bill was one of six children. Bill and his siblings learned to appreciate the dignity and rewards of hard work in that loving home. The seeds planted in their young hearts yielded a rich and lasting harvest that has impacted others throughout Kentucky and beyond.

Bill was a member of the first graduating class of Sorgho School in Daviess County and entered Georgetown College as a freshman as the winds of World War II were beginning to intensify. In 1944, Bill left Georgetown to join the Marine Corps.

Following the war, Bill returned home to Kentucky and married the love of his life, Carrie Lee Newman. They would spend 58 years together and would be the proud parents of Rod Kuegel and Marcia Carpenter. Bill and Carrie Lee also were blessed with four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Bill has devoted his life to scores of worthwhile organizations and agencies. Besides being a member of the Georgetown College board of trustees, he has served on such boards as the Owensboro Tourist Commission, Owensboro Riverport Authority, Agricultural Board of the University of Kentucky, Leadership Owensboro, and many others. Additionally, he has been a member of the Governor’s Council on Agriculture and president of the Burley Auction Warehouse Association.

He was named Kentucky’s Outstanding Leader in Agriculture, Man of the Year by Progressive Farmer Magazine, and Owensboro’s Outstanding Farmer by that city’s Chamber of Commerce.

A member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church for more than seventy-five years, Bill has been a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and Sunday school teacher.

While his accomplishments and honors are many and impressive, Bill Kuegel remains true to the core principles established so many years ago. He is a caring and compassionate follower of Jesus Christ.

Because Bill Kuegel’s life serves as an inspiring reminder that hard work, tireless devotion, and a deep and abiding Christian faith can make the American Dream a reality, and because he has shown exceptional dedication to this institution, we at Georgetown College will recognize William Martin Kuegel, Sr., with the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.