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Rutherford receives honorary degree from Cumberlands

Wayne Rutherford, judge/executive of Pike County, recently received an honorary doctorate degree from University of the Cumberlands.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (May 2, 2012) — University of the Cumberlands (UC) honored Wayne T. Rutherford with a Doctor of Law degree during the 53rd annual Honor’s Day Ceremonies in the O. Wayne Rollins Center.

Rutherford is serving an unprecedented sixth term as Pike County Judge/Executive. A graduate of Pikeville High School, Rutherford attended Pikeville College, Eastern Kentucky School of Law Enforcement and the University of Kentucky School of Social Work. He has also completed an economic development course at the University of Kentucky Economic Development Institute and attended forestry courses at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Perhaps the most innovative achievement of his career was his role in creating Kentucky’s coal severance tax. Rutherford pioneered the idea for and lobbied legislators and local government officials to support the tax, which became a reality with legislative approval in 1972. Over the years, this tax has paid for much-needed infrastructure and economic development in counties that for so long received no compensation for the mining of their precious natural resources.

Rutherford gives back to the community in many ways. For his efforts, he has received such honors as Kentucky Department of Natural resources Environmental Award, Kentucky Council of Crime and Delinquency Award, U. S. Agency for International Development Appreciation and Contribution Award, Kentucky Coal Coalition Appreciation Award, Pikeville/Pike County Airport Board Leadership Award, and Kentucky Genealogical Society’s Outstanding Service to Genealogy Award.

He and his wife Pat have three children and five grandchildren.