VINCENNES, Ind. - Phil Rath, long-time Vincennes resident and
Vincennes University’s Vice President for Financial Services and
Government Relations, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Walter
A. Davis Memorial Citation for Service by the Vincennes University
Rath has served Vincennes University and the greater Vincennes
and Knox County region with distinction for more than 35 years. His
deep love for Vincennes University and his hometown of Vincennes is
evidenced by the energy and effort he has committed to making both
better for current and future generations.
The public is invited to attend a reception in his honor on
June 4, 6:00 p.m. (EDT), at VU’s Green Activities Center. Tickets are
$15 and are available at the Dayson Foundation and Alumni Center.
Reservations may be made by calling 812-888-4354.
ABOUT THE RECIPIENT
Rath grew up in Vincennes and graduated from Rivet High School
in 1974. He then enrolled at VU where he was a member of the men's
varsity basketball team. He completed his associate degree in Business
Administration in 1976 and transferred to Indiana University, where he
earned a baccalaureate degree in Accounting. Phil became a certified
public accountant and earned his MBA from Ball State University.
He began his professional career at Colgate-Palmolive and
returned to Vincennes in 1983 to serve as the Controller at Vincennes University.
Rath’s efforts and impact on the community are evidenced in the
transformation of the Vincennes Campus over the past 20 years. As Vice
President for Financial Services and Government Relations, he has
overseen numerous capital projects and renovations worth more than
$250 million. He has led the construction or renovation of nearly
every building on VU’s campuses - most notably the Red Skelton
Performing Arts Center; Recreational Sports Facility; Indiana Center
for Applied Technology; Jasper Academic Building; John Deere Training
Facility; Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and
Logistics; Aquatic Center; Jasper Center for Technology, Innovation,
and Manufacturing; Homeland Security Building; Art and Design Center;
Jefferson Student Center; Confined Space Training Facility; and Updike
Hall Center for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. He continues to
lead VU through its multimillion dollar renovation of the Learning
Resource Center that will transform the library into a
state-of-the-art, technology-driven academic support facility.
Rath has been instrumental in helping Vincennes University
evolve from a single campus to a statewide institution of higher
education and his knowledge of VU and its history have made him a
great leader. He oversees the areas of Budget and Accounting,
Management Information Center, Student Financial Aid, Bursar,
Procurement and Risk Management, Human Resources, Grants, University
Primary Care Center, Center for Research and Innovation, Architectural
Services, Facilities, Old Post Bookstore, and the Campus Police Department.
At the state level, Rath has established a reputation as a
tireless advocate for Vincennes University and the Vincennes
community. He is a sought-after expert on educational legislation as
well as other legislation relating to economic development and fiscal
policy. His presence in the halls of the State Capitol has served to
raise Vincennes University’s profile among state government leaders
and to influence policy for the betterment of countless Hoosier households.
Rath’s efforts have extended well beyond the University. He has
been involved in significant efforts to improve the economic and
quality of life aspects of the community. As chair of the YMCA Board,
he led a successful fundraising effort for the Bettye McCormick Senior
Citizen Center. A long-standing member of the Knox County Development
Corporation Board, Rath previously served as chair of the Board and
currently serves as vice chair.
Rath has been a leader in attracting new businesses and
positioning Knox County as an attractive area to locate. One of his
most visionary projects was the ambitious plan to renovate the
historic Kimmell Park, located along the banks of the Wabash River.
Phil worked closely with city officials and with several government
agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Indiana
Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Natural
Resources, and others, to oversee the work on the park and the
accompanying construction on the park entrance and levee. He also
worked with the Utility Services Board to help connect the park to the
George Rogers Clark Memorial by creating the pedestrian-friendly
riverfront walkway. Since Kimmell Park's reopening in 2017, it has
been widely recognized as a quality-of-life asset that the community
will benefit from for many generations to come.
As current chair of the Regional Development Authority for the
Wabash River Region, Rath has led efforts to work regionally with
communities in Knox, Sullivan, and Vigo counties to increase tourism,
housing, entrepreneurship, and quality of place. Under his leadership,
the Wabash Valley RDA was successful in receiving funding from the
Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The funds will benefit the
Turn to the River project in Terre Haute, the future Grouseland
Visitors Center, and the planned $15 million housing development which
will be known as the French Village in Vincennes.
Rath and his wife Marianne (Hulen) have three children - Mitch,
Todd, and Jennifer - and are the proud grandparents of Keaton, Noah,
Baylor, Campbell, Bristol, Brecken, Sadie, and Greyson.
Congratulatory messages may be sent to Rath in care of the VU
Alumni Office, 1002 N. First St., Vincennes, IN 47591.
ABOUT THE AWARD
The Walter A. Davis Memorial Citation for Service is named for
former VU President Walter A. Davis, who served from 1924-50. The
award is presented annually to a VU alumnus or resident of the greater
VU Community and recognizes civic leadership and contributions, in
addition to professional achievements.
Recipients are selected from nominations submitted by alumni
and the public, with the final selection made by a committee comprised
of a member of the VU Board of Trustees, a former recipient, a
representative of the public, and alumni.