March 27, 2012
For Immediate Release
Carolyn Bennett, widow of Dr. Bill Bennett, accepts the Distinguished Political Scientist Award from John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at Campbellsville University, who served as president of the Kentucky Political Science Association that presented the award. Also accepting the award was Bryan Bennett and his son, Will, son and grandson of the late Dr. Bill Bennett. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. William E. “Bill” Bennett, the late professor of political science at Campbellsville University from 1970 to 2006, was honored posthumously recently at the Kentucky Political Science Association (KPSA) 51st annual meeting at CU.
Bennett, who died in 2006 while still a professor at CU, was awarded the Distinguished Political Scientist Award during the banquet ending the conference. Bennett was a life-long member of KPSA.
John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, who served as 2011-12 president of KPSA, made the presentation to his widow, Carolyn Bennett; son, Bryan Bennett, and grandson, Will Bennett. He has another son, Aaron.
Chowning said those who knew Bennett are “better for it.” He said the award is given from time to time to a “political scientist whose contributions to the discipline and profession are regarded as outstanding and worthy of notice.”
Dr. Damon Eubank, chair of the Division of Social Science at CU and professor of history, was both a student of Bennett’s and a colleague when Eubank came to CU to teach.
Eubank said, “He could engage students, and he brought passion to teaching. He was an idealist who believed we could change the world through politics.”
Bennett was described as a “teacher and lover of learning.” He was also described as: “skilled,” “gifted,” “loved by students,” “eager to teach and have his students learn,” “great personal friend,” “dedicated and talented teacher,” “always going the extra mile,” “loyal and committed” and “competitive.”
Dr. Bennett taught around 6,000 students during his 36 years in the political science area at CU. He was called the true “Christian professor” and was awarded the Campbellsville University Distinguished Professor in 1996.
In addition to teaching, Bennett also served as cross-country coach at CU.
Bennett graduated from CU in 1968 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He received his master of arts in political science in 1971 from Western Kentucky University and his Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of Southern Mississippi.
He was a member of Little Vine Primitive Baptist Church and was a veteran of the Vietnam War.
He served on the Taylor County School Board, president of the Taylor County Academic Boosters and was a public lecturer with the Kentucky Endowment for the Humanities.
He belonged to several professional organizations including the Kentucky, Southern and National Political Science Associations, the National Association of Social Science Educators and Pi Gamma Mu, the Social Sciences Honor Society.
Bennett was involved in local and state politics, he liked to write non-fiction and grew fruit in his spare time.
“You are in college to learn,” Bennett once said. “You are not here to be taught. There is a crucial difference. To be taught you only have to sit still. To learn you must take an active role in your education.
“To see a student beam with delight when he or she discovers a new ideal is what it is all about.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.