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UC presents Dr. Thomas S. Haggai with Leadership Award


Unable to attend the event, Dr. Jim Taylor, President of UC, accepted the award on Haggai’s behalf.

Williamsburg, KY.,- On April 1, University of the Cumberlands (UC) and the Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership presented “Logical Leadership” with keynote speaker, Dr. Ben Carson, Sr. M.D.. Several thousand people attended the event to hear the emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics give his inspiring testimony.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored seven individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating an excellence to their community and nation and for serving as a role model to others by taking active steps to pursue noble goals and high ethical standards.

Dr. Thomas S. Haggai was one of the honored guests to receive the Leadership Award. Unable to attend the event, Dr. Jim Taylor, President of UC, accepted the award on Haggai’s behalf.

Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA, Incorporated since 1976, and the first non-food executive elected to the IGA Board, has been instrumental in leading IGA into a global entity. Over 6,000 Hometown Proud IGA’s can be found in the U.S. and in 50 countries outside the U.S.

Public speaking has played a major role in all of Dr. Haggai’s achievements. He has done considerable military speaking at bases around the world as well as many appearances at the United States Air Force Academy.

At a time when Time Magazine cited the deficiencies within the Boy Scouts of America, Tom Haggai was called upon to step in to restructure the largest youth agency in the Free World. He is a lifetime trustee at High Point University and is a former member of the Advisory Board at Furman University. Haggai is a regular contributor to various magazines and periodicals and the author of several books, including How the Best Is Won and Today.

Dr. 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.

Because of his commitment to youth and in recognition of the lifestyles of contemporary America and the need to institutional support, Tom Haggai founded THA Foundation in 1963 with 120 outstanding national business and professional leaders as Associates. The Foundation awards generous college scholarship 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.

Dr. Haggai and his wife, Buren, 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; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit