Chick-fil-A Founder to Receive Honorary Degree; Daughter to Speak at CIU

December 01, 2011

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Columbia International University (CIU) at commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 16.  Cathy’s daughter, Trudy Cathy White, a lay minister and former missionary will give the charge to the students.  The event begins at 11 a.m. in Shortess Chapel on the campus of CIU.  

Exercising a work ethic forged during the Great Depression and a business philosophy based on the Bible, S. Truett Cathy took an Atlanta diner and transformed it into Chick-fil-A, the second largest fast-food chicken restaurant chain in the United States.  Chick-fil-A has 1,600 locations that together produce $3.6 billion in annual sales.  Cathy’s business success has allowed him to pursue his passion of developing young leaders through the WinShape Foundation.  The non-profit organization includes camps, foster homes, wilderness leadership training and international partnerships. (               

Following in her father’s footsteps in reaching out to youth, Trudy Cathy White and her husband John are co-founders of the Lifeshape Foundation, which includes IMPACT 360, a gap year program based in Georgia for young adults who are between their high school and college careers.  IMPACT 360 has launched students from more than 19 states and several countries who are motivated to affect their college campuses with biblical truth, and the world by their example.  (    

Before founding Lifeshape Foundation, Mrs. White and her husband served for 20 years as missionaries to Brazil.  Mrs. White is also the author of the book, “Along the Way,” a collection of true-life stories.  In addition, she is the girl’s director at WinShape Camps in Georgia.    

In everything she does, Mrs. White is led by her commitment to obey God’s leadership, nurture family relationships and promote godly character in the next generation.  

The CIU commencement is open to the public.  CIU is located at 7435 Monticello Road in Columbia, two miles north of Interstate 20.