CU graduate, trustee, 86, rides 6,000 miles on his Harley

CU graduate, trustee, 86, rides 6,000 miles on his Harley

May 17, 2013
For Immediate Release

Dr. Joseph Owens, left, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, visits with Dr.
E. Bruce Heilman, member of the trustees, as he continues his 6,000 mile trip
on his Harley-Davidson. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, a Campbellsville University alumnus, member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, is scheduled to arrive home in Virginia tomorrow, May 18, after riding 6,000 miles on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle over 17 states.

Heilman, who will be 87 on July 16, completed six states he had not visited on his Harley since his extensive travels celebrating his birthdays in his 80s. His ride through Tennessee, Arkansas, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska and Iowa completed the lower 48.

Heilman, who rode alone, left a message for his friends through his secretary Fran Hill. It is below. Here’s a link to a story with Dr. Heilman on YouTube:

He will be met at the University of Richmond tomorrow with a photographer from WTVR-TV and a clip can be seen at

“On Saturday, May 18th, I anticipate arriving at the lake on the campus of the University of Richmond at 1:00 p.m. following a journey of 6,000 miles over 17 states including the six I had not visited on my Harley since my extensive travels celebrating birthdays in my 80s. This one will be my 87th and the ride through Tennessee, Arkansas, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska and Iowa complete the lower 48.

“Including the other states (13), I traveled through to reach these six; I had some special and unusual new experiences.A major and unanticipated visit I could not have anticipated in the springtime of May 8th & 9th was on I-70 from the Border of Utah to Denver, Colorado. A picture of my motorcycle covered with snow tells the story – Sleet, Hail, Rain, Ice and Snow were all a part of what I never want again on two wheels.

“I realize that my friends of the First Riders are off early Saturday, the 18th for a ride which I will miss so I will join them another time. Thanks for following my travels so that I may share what each mile offers in expanding my personal horizons.

“I concluded my appointments along the way with a homecoming of Marines on the coast of Carolina where I was engaged to speak. Little did they know that I would travel 6,000 miles by motorcycle to fulfill the commitment.”

Dr. E. Bruce Heilman gets ready to leave from CU
on his motorcycle April 23. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Joan C. McKinney)


Heilman is chancellor and former president of the University of Richmond. He is married to Betty Dobbins Heilman, for whom the Betty Dobbins Heilman, CU’s president’s home, is named.

The E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex on CU’s campus is also named in his honor.

Heilman is a 1949 graduate of Campbellsville, and Mrs. Heilman graduated in 1948.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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