Roy Henry Drinkard, a native of Falkville who has served as a University Trustee since 2000, was presented with a framed degree and hooded with academic regalia by Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University Chancellor.
“Through his countless contributions as a businessman and as a dedicated community leader, Mr. Roy Drinkard has made the State of Alabama a better place,” Dr. Hawkins said. “As a member of our Board of Trustees, his commitment to sound fiscal management and student service has made Troy University a better place. We are pleased to be able to honor him in this fashion today with this honorary degree.”
Currently residing in Cullman, Drinkard is president and chief executive officer of Drinkard Development, which provides management, leasing and maintenance services for commercial properties.
“Mr. Drinkard’s numerous contributions range from being a distinguished member of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ having served with honor and valor as a United States Marine during World War II, to promoting economic development of his community and state and his immeasurable counsel and influence as a respected member of the Troy University Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Earl Ingram, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
More than 300 students, representing 20 states and nine nations, took part in Friday’s commencement ceremony. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and former prisoner of war Leo Thorsness delivered the keynote address.
Thorsness, a retired Air Force colonel and combat pilot, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 19, 1967 in the skies near Hanoi, Vietnam, flying his F105F into an enemy dogfight after destroying enemy surface-to-air missile sites. He was shot down 11 days later and survived six years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.
Thorsness and his wife, Gaylee, now reside in Madison, Ala.