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Cumberlands Announces Honorary Degrees & Sullivan Winners during Founders Day/King Celebration


Judge Sara Combs is presented with the Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from UC President Jim Taylor.

Williamsburg, Ky. – On Monday, January 16th, University of the Cumberlands (UC) held its annual Founders Day Convocation. The ceremony was used as a time of reflection and remembrance of the University’s heritage as well as a time to remember and pay tribute to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

During the ceremony UC also awarded the Mary Mildred Sullivan and Algernon Sydney Sullivan awards to seniors Sabrina Smith (London, Ky.) and Donte Paul (Cave City, Ky.). These awards are given each year to a female and male student in recognition of their academic and spiritual excellence and their dedication to serve others.


Roy Dowdy is presented with the Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from UC President Jim Taylor.

UC also awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Law degrees to Sara Combs and Roy Dowdy.

Sara Walter Combs was the first woman to serve on the Commonwealth’s highest court. She serves as Judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals, 7th District, 1st Division in Stanton, Kentucky, and served as its Chief Judge from June 2004 to May 2010. Judge Combs is the widow of former Governor Bert T. Combs, a Cumberlands alumnus. Students at UC receive educational opportunities because of the fund that was created in his name, The Bert T. Combs Scholarship Program. Students that receive this scholarship were invited to welcome Judge Combs and have a photo opportunity with her.

Roy Dowdy was born in Rhine, Georgia. At age ten, Roy moved to Fitzgerald, Georgia where at age 12 he watched the construction of a Broadcast Radio Station. Mr. Dowdy’s radio career was born that day and spanned over 30 years with active involvement in management/ ownership operations. Mr. Dowdy is now retired from the communications industry and is currently living in Florida.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.