Hoback was recommended for the honor by former Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam, not long before Branam died unexpectedly in April, the Institute says. Branam cited Hoback's leadership in the railroad industry and praised his 26-year, $120 million history of reinvestment and renovation of Indiana Rail Road's infrastructure.
Hoback called the honorary degree the "greatest, most humbling" distinction of his career and cited the many relationships – starting with Branam – he has developed with Rose-Hulman graduates who occupy leadership positions in a variety of industries.
"Matt was a terrific person and a dynamic, enthusiastic leader, and his loss is simply tragic," said Hoback. "His legacy will be carried on by the many Rose-Hulman graduates who are leaders in industry today and make a profound impression regarding the quality and significance of an education from the school.
"It is clear that Rose-Hulman is keenly attuned to the railroad industry's significance to our national infrastructure and economy, and I'm hopeful that more graduates are inspired to make their careers in railroading."