Colorado State University will confer honorary doctoral degrees on two prominent business leaders at its fall 2004 commencement ceremonies this week.
Alumnus and longtime supporter Richard L. Robinson of Denver will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at Moby Arena during the Graduate School commencement. Kathryn C. Hach-Darrow will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 at Moby Arena during the College of Natural Sciences commencement.
"Both these leaders are prominent in the business world and in their communities, and Colorado State is honored to recognize them for their exceptional contributions in industry and community service," said Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley.
Robinson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from Colorado State in 1951, is recognized as a business leader and philanthropist. He is co-CEO of Robinson Dairy along with his brother, Edward, a 1954 Colorado State graduate, and he is part of a family legacy that has produced agricultural products for five generations.
Robinson joined Robinson Dairy in 1954 after serving as an Army lieutenant from 1952-54 in the Korean War, during which time he earned Silver Star and Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart for wounds received during battle. He and Edward led the company to preeminence in the dairy industry with a full line of top-quality dairy products and specialty foods.
Robinson has an extraordinary record of leadership in business and community activities, with at least 35 current and former directorships of such diverse organizations as the AMC Cancer Research Center and Hospital, Rose Community Foundations, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Mile High United Way and Urban League of Metro Denver. He also has been a generous benefactor and major force behind Colorado State’s development activities. He was the founding chairman of the Development Council, a lead donor in university priority campaigns, a staunch supporter of athletics, and from 1983 to 1990, he led the State Board of Agriculture, now known as the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.
Hach-Darrow is widely known as a successful entrepreneur, a role model for women in business and a philanthropist. Raised on a small farm in Missouri, she attended college in both Missouri and at Iowa State University, where she majored in food science. She met and married Clifford Hach at Iowa State. In 1948, Hach Chemical Company had its fledgling start. While Clifford Hach developed the analytical chemistry portion of the business, Kathryn Hach marketed the business and oversaw the company’s activities. By 1968, the company had developed a complete water analysis product line and was a publicly held corporation. In the 1970s, the company relocated to Loveland, Colo., where it continued to develop and market highly simplified analytical methodologies and equipment for use in the water treatment business. By 1999, 1,000 people were employed by Hach and sales had risen to $150 million.
Hach-Darrow served as Hach’s CEO and as chairman of its board. She was the first woman director of the American Water Works Association and later served on numerous AWWA committees. Hach-Darrow is a founding member of the Committee of 200 Executive Women, and in 1993, she received the Woman of the Year Award from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also is a member of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of licensed women pilots. Hach-Darrow has been flying planes for 50 years and has accumulated more than 7,000 hours of flying time.
Currently, Hach-Darrow serves on the Executive Committee of Northwood University and is the Chairman of Trustees for the Hach Scientific Foundation. In the latter position, she directs the foundation’s mission to foster and support science, scientific education and endeavors that encourage the youth of America to pursue a positive exploration of the sciences.