HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - USM's President was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree this morning at William Carey's honors convocation ceremony.
"There is no person better deserving of being honored than Dr. Bennett," said William Carey's Provost, Dr. Scott Hummel. Dr. Hummel helped robe Dr. Bennett.
When Dr. Rodney Bennett heard about the damage the EF-3 tornado did to William Carey's campus in January, he rushed back to Hattiesburg from a meeting in Atlanta. By Noon, he was on WCU's campus inviting students and staff to use the University of Southern Mississippi. USM had just finished construction on their nursing building and Dr. Bennett lent the building to Carey's medical and physical therapy students.
"More than just offering assistance and making promises he and USM has followed through," said Dr. Hummel. "[Dr. Bennett] making it possible for Carey to come back."
Bennett is no stranger to disaster. When he filled the role as USM's president in 2013 a tornado had just destroyed the campus.
"It's kind of ironic," said William Carey's President, Dr. Tommy King. "His first duties were to clean up and rebuild."
"It was really nothing for us to do, it was what we needed to do for our sisters and for our brothers," said Bennett.