Rick Woodley and Kerrie Woodley FD ’89, of Laurens, were honored as “Parents of the Year” at Buena Vista University’s (BVU) Student Recognition Dinner held in April. The annual award recognizes parents whose qualities include support and dedication toward their student’s pursuits.
“There are so many other parents who are worthy of the award. It is very humbling and a great honor to be selected as ‘Parents of the Year,’” says Kerrie.
“We would just like to say ‘thank you’ for this award,” says Rick. “We are very fortunate our daughters were able to attend BVU and receive the education and opportunities they were provided with.”
Each year, BVU students submit nominations for the award by writing an essay to a panel of BVU faculty and staff members for review. The winning essay is based on content, creativity and composition. The Woodleys were nominated for the award by their daughter, Kacie, who graduated from BVU in May with a degree in marketing and accounting. Rick and Kerrie are also parents to Kylie, who graduated in May with a degree in biology.
“This award was a way for me to really say ‘thank you’ to my parents in a way that would mean something,” says Kacie. “They do so much and never receive any real recognition. I figured this was a great way for everyone to realize how great they are!”
“Our parents have always been supportive,” adds Kacie. “They made sure that Kylie and I had the resources to succeed at BVU from the start. They set expectations that made Kylie and I want to push ourselves in the classroom.”
Rick and Kerrie demonstrated their support by attending their daughters’ athletic events which often required them to be in separate locations. “We were excited when our daughters decided to play volleyball (Kacie) and golf (Kylie),” says Kerrie. “We followed their sports in high school and continued throughout college. I went to the volleyball tournaments on the weekends and Rick went to the golf tournaments. Occasionally, the athletic schedules didn’t conflict and we could both watch them on the weekends.”
After graduation in May, Kacie began working as a claims professional at Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Neb. Kylie was accepted into the master of physician assistant studies program at Union College in Lincoln, Neb. and will begin her studies in August.
“I think that a lot of what my parents did for us throughout our time at BVU can’t be quantified,” says Kacie. “I don’t think either of us would have made it this far without our parents there to push us, to challenge us, and to make us want to be better people.”