Geneva College presented the 2012 “Life G” award to Dr. Roy Blackwood during the annual Founder’s Day dinner on Saturday, April 14.
The “Life G” is the highest alumni honor and is presented each year to a Geneva graduate. The recipient is recognized for service above self, who embodies the principles for which Geneva College stands, and whose efforts on behalf of the college, the community and the nation have been exemplary. The award also serves as a means of honoring alumni for exemplifying Geneva’s standards, mission and commitment to servant-leadership.
Dr. Blackwood was born in 1925 and raised in New Concord, Ohio. He attended Muskingum College before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1942. He served in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres aboard the U.S.S. Petrof Bay as a Navigator and Division Officer during the Second World War. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946 and enrolled at Geneva College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. As a student at Geneva, he was involved as a cheerleader and a manager for the first tour of the CoviChords men’s quartet.
Dr. Blackwood then went on to receive his Master of Divinity degree from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1951, and attained his Ph.D. in History, Theology and Political Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1963.
He then was ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, North America in 1951. He ministered in Bloomington, Indiana, then as a Pastor of Second Reformed Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis from 1964-2009. He was actively involved in several church plants around Indiana, including Indianapolis, West Lafayette, Muncie and Columbus as he taught Church History and the History of Music from time to time.
During the time of his pastoral ministry, Dr. Blackwood served as a conference speaker for the Navigators, an associate staff member and board member of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, a lecturer and counselor for members of the Indiana state government, a lecturer for the Thomas F. Staley Foundation, a coordinator and board member for the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a board member for the Indiana Biblical Counseling Center, a member of the American Scientific Affiliation, a member of the Council to the Constitutional Revision Committee in Russia, and a member of the Foundations Committee for Heritage Christian School. He also participated in mission trips and lectures in Scotland, Ireland, Cyprus, Lebanon, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Australia. Later in 2009, Dr. Blackwood and Dr. Michael Lefebvre published William Symington: Penman of the Scottish Covenanters.
Though he was much involved in his other commitments, Dr. Blackwood found time to offer his gifts and graces at Geneva. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1965 to 1996, on the Spiritual Resources Committee and the Education Committee. He was also a member of the Board of Corporators. In 1981, he was given the Distinguished Service Award by Geneva College and the Faithful Servant Award by Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2009.
Dr. Blackwood married Margaret E. (Margie) Graham ’48 in 1948, and they were married for almost 63 years until she went to be with the Lord of November 16, 2011. He and his wife raised three children: Bill, Beth (Brodie) ’79, and Bob ’79. Dr. Blackwood also has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).