Arts benefactor Richard Ford receives
Manchester College honorary degree
Manchester College on Sept. 15 celebrated Wabash resident Richard E.
Ford for his life work as a philanthropist and preserver of the
humanities and fine arts at home and abroad.
College President Jo Young Switzer presented Ford with the honorary
degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. “Richard Ford has enriched the
county, the state and the nation with his commitment to the humanities,”
Switzer told the audience of community leaders from Wabash and North
Manchester, and family and friends of the Fords in the College’s Wine
Recital Hall. “He connects people who want their communities to thrive
and come alive.”
The degree ceremony was preceded with a performance by acclaimed
international pianist James Giles, a member of the faculty of
Northwestern University and a friend of Richard Ford.
"Manchester College and my family have a long history," Ford told the
audience, and noted his family’s association with several presidents of
Ford was presented for the degree by 13th President Parker G.
Marden, who remarked on Ford’s service on the boards and advisory
councils for arts and humanities organizations that touch thousands of
lives, including as chair of the National Trust for Historic
Ford’s service enriches the Wabash Valley Music Association and the
Historic Landmark Foundation of Indiana, and it stretches across the
ocean to the American Museum in Britain. He generously supports the
Ballet Internationale as well as the Wabash County Historical
Museum and the Indiana State Museum.
A life member and former Chair of The Honeywell Foundation, Ford also
holds a directorship with the Indianapolis Museum of Art and advises the
Faberge Arts Foundation. His interests and service span the arts, from
presidencies of the American Pianists Association to the Wabash Valley
Dance Theatre. The Indianapolis Opera Company and the Indianapolis
Symphony Orchestra know him well for his trusteeship and philanthropy.
A 1961 business graduate of Indiana University, Ford was a director in
the family business his grandfather Edwin Ford founded, The Ford Meter
Box Company, from 1978 to 2001. He is recipient of two Sagamores of the
Wabash, and has been honored as a Distinguished Citizen of Indianapolis
and of Wabash. He also is “Living Legend” of the Indiana Historical