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University of the Cumberlands Confers 321 degrees and two honorary degrees


Mr. Jesse Correll was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Dr. Jim Taylor at University of the Cumberlands on Saturday, May 7th.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky - On May 7, 321 University of the Cumberlands students participated in the campus’ annual commencement ceremonies; the largest class in Cumberlands’ illustrious history. During the ceremony, 229 baccalaureate degrees, 74 master degrees and 18 doctorate degrees were presented.

All Cumberlands students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service before graduation, and those who choose to complete a minimum of 200 service hours are named Hutton Scholars at Commencement. The class of 2011 contributed a total of 26,080 hours of service to their communities. Fifty-five graduating seniors were designated Hutton Scholars.


Dr. William Fleming was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Dr. Jim Taylor at University of the Cumberlands on Saturday, May 7th.

Kate Sexton (Knoxville, TN) was named the Presidential Scholar for her accomplishments in research. Sexton was recognized for her research paper “A Story That’s Truer Than True: A Linguistic Exploration of Lee Smith’s Oral History”.

The George S. Munro Memorial Prize in Pre-Medical Studies was awarded to Patrick Ball (Wallins Creek, KY). The award is given in recognition of academic excellence and effort to the graduating senior pre-medical student who has achieved the highest grade-point average through his or her college career.

The H. N. and Frances Berger Awards for the outstanding female and male members of the graduating class went to Jacob Moak (Prestonsburg, KY) and Debra Iles-Jones (Cincinnati, OH). Each year, these awards honor students who have exhibited sound academic achievement combined with superior leadership and service to the college community and the larger community as a whole.

During the ceremony, Cadet Todd Olson (Corbin, KY) was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army.

The University presented honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees to Mr. Jesse Correll and Dr. William Fleming.

Mr. Correll, a native of Somerset, Ky., is the founder and chairman of the board for First Southern Bancorp, Inc. First Southern, founded in 1983, is based in Stanford, Kentucky and is the parent company of First Southern National Bank. First Southern National Bank, with assets of $700 million, is a strong regional bank with 24 locations and more than 230 team members in 11 Kentucky counties. Correll is an entrepreneur at heart and a creative visionary leader. He has a passion for giving to others, thanks in part to the influence of those around him, including his parents, Ward and the late Regina Correll, and his late brother, Vince.

Dr. William Fleming has served on the staff of University of Nebraska Medical Center – Omaha 1976-1996; the Veterans Administration Hospital – Omaha 1976-2002; Children’s Hospital – Omaha 1977 – Present Emeritus; Clarkson Hospital – Omaha 1980-2002; Saint Joseph Hospital – Omaha 1982-2002; and Methodist Hospital – Omaha 1985 – Present Emeritus.

During his career Dr. Fleming has served on a number of committees. He also served two years in the Army, and was awarded a bronze star for his service in Vietnam. Dr. Fleming says since retiring from the operating room in 2003, he has stayed very busy working with small companies. In fact for over twenty years, Dr. Fleming has been active in helping to develop small companies, and is presently involved with six, ranging from two employees to over a hundred.