- IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (1989)
- Honorary Degree (1967)
- Doctor of Laws
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Presenter: Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr.
Roy C. Echols was born in rural West Texas. At the age of 14, he traveled alone to Dallas to find work and send money back to his family. Echols got a job at Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. in 1919. His career with Bell took him to many parts of the States, until he settled in Indiana in 1954 as the vice president and general manager of Indiana Bell.
Throughout his career, he continued rising through the company. In 1958, he became the vice president of operations for American Telephone & Telegraph Co. and was the Indiana Bell president from 1960 to 1968. He then served on the board of directors from 1972 until 1990.
Echols continued working in his retirement as a business consultant and insurance underwriter.