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Three Locals to Receive Honorary Degrees at B-CU Commencement

Two local businessmen and a bishop with the African Methodist Episcopal Church will receive honorary degrees at Bethune-Cookman University’s fall commencement to be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday Dec. 14. in the Performing Arts Center. Charles Lydecker and Glenn Ritchey will receive the honorary doctor of business administration; Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson Jr. will receive the doctor of humane letters.

Lydecker, resident of Brown & Brown’s Retail Operations, is a 1985 graduate of American University with degrees in Political Science and Business Administration. He attended college on a full athletic scholarship as a member of the American University Swim Team.

Lydecker is Chairman of The Florida Birth Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA), a Director of Gateway Banks of Florida, and Stonewood Holdings, LLC (a Florida-based restaurant chain), and he is a member of the Board of Trustees of American University in Washington D.C. He has served two terms as Vice Chairman of the Florida Ethics Commission, Vice Chairman of the Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association, Chairman of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and an Executive Board Member of the Florida State Fair Authority.

Lydecker has also been recognized with numerous awards for his years of community and public service. He has received the coveted Lou Fuchs Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Marvin M. Samuels Leader of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce; Stafford H. Cassell

Alumni Athlete Award from his alma mater American University; and the Humanitarian Award from Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center.

Richardson was elected and consecrated the 115th Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1996 at Louisville, Kentucky. He was assigned to the 14th Episcopal District, which includes six countries in West Africa. In the 2000 - 2004 quadrennial, he served as chair of the Lay Commission and as a member of the World Methodist Council. 

Beginning in 2004, he served as the presiding bishop of the Second Episcopal District, which includes North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Prior to his election as a Bishop, Richardson was senior minister of the Bethel A. M. E. Church, Tallahassee.  

Richardson received the B.A. degree from the Florida A&M University (where he was noted as the head drum major of the famed Marching ‘100' Band). He received the Master of Divinity degree from the Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta and the Doctorate of Sacred Theology degree at the ITC through the Atlanta Theological Association. 

Ritchey recently completed his second term as Daytona Beach Mayor. In addition, Ritchey is President and CEO of one of the nation’s most successful automobile empires. He is also extremely active in the community.

He has served on the city’s Visioning Steering Committee, Economic Development Board and Board of Adjustments (past Chairman). He currently serves as a Trustee and is a member of the Facilities & Capital Planning and Finance committees for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Ritchey serves on the board of the Halifax Hospital Medical Center (past Chairman) is a current board member of the NASCAR Foundation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Gateway Bank of Florida, Futures Inc., Boys & Girls Club of Volusia and Flagler Counties, and Halifax Hospital Medical Center Foundation (past Chairman).

He has received the NAACP Humanitarian of the Year Award (2010), Martin Luther King Chairman’s Leadership Award (2011), Time Magazine Quality Automobile Dealer Award (1993), GM Dealer of the Year Award (2002 to 2012, ) and the Enterprise Award from the Halifax Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Ritchey is a graduate of the General Motors University of Automotive Management at Texas Christian University and the Wharton School of Electronic Media.

Office of the Provost

Beverly James
Director of Communications
PH: 386-481-2991

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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