NKU Honors Lincoln Award Recipients Bob McDonald and Candace McGraw

Northern Kentucky University honors two community leaders who have shaped the face of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky through their vision, compassion and commitment to philanthropy.

Robert A. McDonald, Former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Former Chairman, President and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and Candace S. McGraw, CEO of the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport, will receive NKU’s Lincoln Award at a dinner on Thursday, June 29.

“Bob and Candace are outstanding examples of leaders who succeed by putting the needs of others before their own,” said Rich Boehne, NKU Board of Regents Chair and 2012 Lincoln Award Recipient. “Their dedication of time and talents to the betterment of our region inspires and empowers others to join the cause. They truly demonstrate the core attributes of the Lincoln Award.”

The Lincoln Award was established in 1992 to recognize and celebrate individuals in our community who exemplify the qualities of outstanding citizenship, notable achievement and distinguished service.

Bob McDonald was appointed to Secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 29, 2014 and served until January 2017. While in that role, he instituted re-organization initiatives and led development of a Blue Print for Excellence which focused on evolution of the VA as a model for national healthcare. Prior to joining the VA, McDonald was Chairman, President, and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). Under his leadership, P&G enhanced its product portfolio and expanded its marketing footprint. McDonald spearheaded the Cincinnati Business Committee’s Regional Innovation Task Force that focused on making the region a vibrant place to create, attract and retain businesses. He also has been engaged with Cincinnati area organizations like Music Hall, Cincinnati Museum Center and Cintrifuse.

Candace McGraw serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Since joining CVG, McGraw has focused on positioning the airport for the future by completing a 2035 Master Plan Study, consolidating operations into a renovated terminal facility and increasing carrier options. Through her work at CVG, McGraw has helped drive economic development by attracting companies, like Amazon and Wayfair, to invest in the region.

McGraw is active in the local community as well as the aviation industry. She is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati (Class 34) and serves on a number of community boards including the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Cincy CVB, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, United Way, and ArtsWave. McGraw has also been recognized as the “Best Boss in Northern Kentucky”, 2013; Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky, 2015; YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, 2015; C-Suite Award, CEO of the year, 2015; Women Who Mean Business, 2016 and Kentucky Aviation Association Manager of the Year.

“The Lincoln Award highlights leaders who make a difference and help create a lasting impact in the region,” said Gerry St. Amand, NKU Interim President. “I’m pleased to present Bob and Candace with the Lincoln Award on behalf of the University and the NKU Foundation.”

Over the last 26 years, 70 individuals have received the Lincoln Award. The dinner to honor McDonald and McGraw is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29 at NKU’s James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union Ballroom.

For ticket information, please call 859-572-5199.



Bob McDonald Bob McDonald
Candace McGraw Candace McGraw