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Dr. Jim Taylor congratulates Mrs. Patricia Bennett on her honorary doctorate of Business Administration on Monday April 25, 2011 at University of Cumberlands Honors Day Convocation.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky- University of the Cumberlands was proud to present Dr. Patricia P. Bennett with an honorary doctorate of Business Administration on Monday April 25, 2011 during the fifty-second annual Honors Day Convocation.

Mrs. Bennett, a native of Harlan County, was born the oldest of three children to Curtis S. and Estle G. Parsons in Barbourville, Kentucky. The importance of education was instilled early within Mrs. Bennett from her parents, both teachers. After being graduated from Evarts High School, she furthered her education at Ward Belmont in Nashville, Union College, University of Arkansas correspondence, and Southeast Community College.

Upon the passing of her husband of fifty years, Clyde V. Bennett, Jr., Mrs. Bennett became a hands-on CEO of the family business in 2000. The business, which began in 1912, eventually included mining operations, coal sales, real estate, construction, mine supply, and retail clothing.

To Mrs. Bennett, her life has been more than mere business success. “It has been my blessing that it has been within my ability to help others attain their goals,” she said.

"Mrs. Bennett is most deserving of the recognition she received when we awarded her the honorary Doctor of Administration degree,” said Cumberlands President Dr. Jim Taylor. “In fact, the award was too long in coming in light of her and her family's vast contributions to the area not only by providing employment for hundreds of individuals and economic stimulus for the area, but also for her willingness to help meet tremendous human and educational need through financial support of our University, our programs, and our students.”

Patricia Parsons Bennett and her late husband Clyde were previously recognized by University of the Cumberlands by having the former Gray Brick Building renamed in honor of their support of the University, their communities, the nation, and humanity.

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.