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Thomas Haggai receives Honorary Degree from Cumberlands


Williamsburg, Ky. – During commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 4th, University of the Cumberlands (UC) presented Mr. Thomas Haggai with the Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.

Haggai has been the Chairman of IGA, Incorporated since 1976 and became the first non-food executive elected to the IGA Board. He has been instrumental in leading IGA into a global entity with over 6,000 Hometown Proud IGA’s in the U. S. and spread across 50 countries.

Over the years, Haggai has become a world renowned public speaker taking trips to several military bases around the world to speak as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy. At a time when Time Magazine cited the deficiencies within the Boy Scouts of America, Haggai was called upon to step in to restructure the world’s largest youth agency. He also served as an advisor to Colonel Frank Borman at Eastern Air Lines.

In addition, Haggai has served on numerous corporate boards including being a lifetime trustee at High Point University and a former member of the Advisory Board at Furman University. He hosted a daily national radio program called, “One Minute, Please” for more than 50 years and is a regular contributor to various magazines and periodicals and the author of several books, including How the Best Is Won and Today.

Haggai has received numerous honorary degrees and awards including the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Class of 1980 Religious Heritage of America’s Business and Professional Award, Horatio Alger’s “Norman Vincent Peal Award,” and in 2001 he was presented with the first “Thomas S. Haggai Award” established by IGA to honor those individuals exemplifying character, leadership and community service. The “Thomas S. Haggai IGA Hall of Fame” was also established in Australia in 2001.

He founded the THA Foundation in 1963 with 120 outstanding national business and professional leaders as Associates because of his commitment to youth and in recognition of the lifestyles of contemporary America and the need of institutional support. The Foundation awards generous college scholarships to nontraditional students returning to school in pursuit of certification as elementary school teachers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over 1,200 scholarships exceeding $3 million dollars.

Haggai and his wide, Buren, currently reside in Jamestown, North Carolina. They have three daughters, one son, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.