Rhodes To Award Honorary Degree To Retired Bulab Holdings CEO Robert H. Buckman

Robert H. Buckman—who served as chairman of the board and CEO of Bulab Holdings, Inc., the holding company of Buckman Laboratories, from 1978 to 2000—will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the 164th Commencement of Rhodes College on Saturday, May 11. President William E. Troutt will preside over the ceremony.

The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in Fisher Garden on the Rhodes campus. Tickets are required for seating. In the event of rain, commencement will take place in the multi-sports forum of the Bryan Campus Life Center on campus. The program will be broadcast live in the McCallum Ballroom and Lynx Lair of the Bryan Campus Life Center, the lobby of Burrow Hall, and the Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall. It also will stream live from the Rhodes home page.

A member of the Rhodes College Board of Trustees for 27 years and a longtime Rhodes benefactor, Buckman earned a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1959 from Purdue University and an M.B.A. in business from the University of Chicago in 1961.

Buckman Laboratories was founded in 1945 in Memphis by Buckman’s father, Dr. Stanley J. Buckman, to mitigate microbial problems in the pulp and paper industry, and it has evolved into a global specialty chemical company. Robert Buckman assumed leadership of the company in 1978 and under his guidance, the company invested in expanding facilities worldwide and laid the groundwork for a computerized communications network to link all Buckman associate companies. In 1987, the company was restructured as Bulab Holdings, with Buckman Laboratories International, Inc. serving as the managing company over the subsidiaries.

Author of Building a Knowledge-Driven Organization, Buckman is an internationally renowned expert on knowledge sharing and management. Over the years, he has provided generous support to the Rhodes community including establishing the Stanley J. Buckman Distinguished Professorship of International Studies (in honor of his father); Mertie Willigar Buckman Chair in International Studies (in honor of his mother); and P. K. Seidman Distinguished Professorship of Political Economy (in honor of his friend P.K. Seidman). Rhodes’ Buckman Hall also is named in honor of the Buckman family.

In 1994, the Mertie W. Buckman International Internship Program was initiated by a generous gift from the Buckman family to provide outstanding international studies majors at Rhodes opportunities to work abroad during the summer months. In addition, the Robert Buckman Scholarships for Study Abroad were established in 2003 by Robert Buckman and his wife Joyce Mollerup to enable qualified students to study abroad, either for a semester or for a complete academic year, and to then participate in the development of international awareness at Rhodes upon their return.

“Our college has benefited in so many ways from Bob’s insight and leadership,” says President Troutt. “It is a privilege to honor him for all he has done to create opportunities for outstanding students.”