Bentons Honored at University of Mount Olive

MOUNT OLIVE- During the University of Mount Olive Alumni Celebration Day, Alumnus Dr. Ken Benton was given the Tillman Business Award for extraordinary service and support. The award was presented by Melinda Holland, director of the Annual Fund at UMO.

Benton grew up in Goldsboro, NC, where he attended public schools. He graduated from Campbell University with a B.A. in English. After teaching for three years in the schools at Fort Bragg, NC, Benton served as a school administrator with Cumberland County schools for 18 years. He then taught at the college level and was headmaster of a private school. While working as a school administrator, Benton completed his M.Ed. and Education Specialist degrees at East Carolina University and his doctorate at Duke University. In 1997, he received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Mount Olive (formerly Mount Olive College).  He also earned a religion degree from UMO in 2011.

As an educator, Benton has been active in state and local professional organizations. He has served as president of the Tenth District NCAE Principals’ Division. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators after serving as president of the organization’s Fourth District.  He was elected president of the association’s Principals’ Commission and served as president-elect of NCASA in 1986. Benton was also named “Administrator of the Year” by NCAE-OP.

In 1989, Benton and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Benton, founded Academics Plus Learning Center in Dunn, NC. This edu-business was established to supplement the educational activities of the public schools and private enterprises. In 1990, Academics Plus was incorporated and moved to Goldsboro, NC.

Today, Academics Plus, Inc. is an approved SES provider in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. In the 2008-2009 academic year, Academics Plus provided supplemental educational services to approximately 4,000 students in North Carolina and Virginia.

Benton is also the pastor of Shady Grove O.F.W.B. Church in Spivey’s Corner.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit