A New Jersey firefighter, whose son is a Holy Family University student and also a firefighter, recently received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the Northeast school during graduation ceremonies.
Randy J. Coddington, a captain in the Irvington, N.J., fire department, was nominated by his son, Randy D. Coddington, who is a volunteer firefighter along with his dad in the family’s hometown, Hillsborough, N.J.
“It was a surprise to him,” the younger Coddington said in a phone interview Monday. “He always says he doesn’t do what he does for a thank you.”
The elder Coddington is the chief officer of the Hillsborough volunteer fire department, according to a Holy Family news release. He’s been a professional for 23 years and a volunteer for 27 years, his son said.
Randy D. Coddington, 23, is studying fire science and public safety administration at Holy Family. He’s been a volunteer firefighter in his home town for six years.
According to President Sister Francesca Onley, the nomination of an honorary degree recipient by a current student of his/her own parent is the first time this has happened in her 32-year tenure at the helm.
“It was unusual for Holy Family to do this,” Sister Francesca said, “but the Honorary Degree Committee felt that it strongly conveyed our mission, with the nominee being both a family member and a first responder.” ••