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James Privett Receives Leadership Award from University of the Cumberlands


Williamsburg, Ky. – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke to a crowded auditorium of over 3,000 University of the Cumberlands (UC) students, staff, and faculty, as well as friends from across the state of Kentucky, during the University’s 7th annual Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership event on Tuesday, April 3rd. Held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on the UC campus, Giuliani’s speech, “Principled Leadership in a Time of Crisis,” spoke on courage and the six principles of leadership; beliefs, optimism, courage, relentless preparation, teamwork and communication.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored eight individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating the essentials of exceptional leadership in a time of crisis. These individuals were chosen because they have shown extraordinary courage by responding with bravery during crisis and emergency situations or by showing compassion and generosity toward others.

James Privett was of the individuals that received a Principled Leadership Award for his commitment and motivation in providing outstanding service in response to crisis situations and his dedication to making the world a safer place to live.

Chief James Privett graduated from Whitley County High School and decided to continue in education by becoming certified in Emergency Medical Training which has greatly benefited the Williamsburg area. Over the years Privett has served the community in numerous capacities.

In 1978 he started his career with the Williamsburg Fire Department Fire and Rescue as a volunteer; in 1980 he began working fulltime. In 1992, Privett’s dedication earned him the ongoing role of Fire Chief. As the Fire Chief, he oversees a wide range of tasks to help ensure the safety of people in the city of Williamsburg and Whitley County County.

Following the closing of the rescue squad, Privett and his staff assumed coverage of the county areas in addition to that of the city’s. While supervising 5 fulltime firemen, 4 part time firemen, and 12 volunteers, Privett manages to respond to reported accidents with the city limits in a timely manner.

Privett also works as a Deputy Clerk for the Circuit Court Clerk, Gary Barton, and has done so since 1993. He is married to Rhonda Privett and has 5 children and 4 grandchildren.

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.