MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/29/14) — Madisonville Community College has announced that Joe Ben Tucker of Muhlenberg County will receive an Honorary Associate in Humane Letters degree from the college during the May 9 commencement exercises at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts.
Tucker is the third person in MCC’s 46-year history to receive such a distinction; he joins the late 10th District State Representative Joseph “Eddie” Ballard of Madisonville and the late MCC Associate Professor of History Dr. Bill Winstead of Dixon. Mr. Tucker is owner and CEO of Tucker Funeral Homes of Central City, Sacramento and Beechmont, and has been a college advocate and effective Madisonville College Foundation member for two decades.
Tucker’s college work began in 1994 when he worked in partnership with the college advancement office, the Everly Brothers Foundation and the City of Central City to provide a land donation of 21 acres for a future MCC campus in eastern Muhlenberg County. From 1995 to 1999, Tucker was part of a ten-member campaign committee chaired by Dennis Kirtley and John Stovall that raised $3 million for construction of a 22,000 square foot multi-service facility that is now known as the P.A and Pauline Shaver Education Center. The Center continues to offer credit classes and local job-specific workforce training to over 450 individuals from Muhlenberg, Ohio, McLean, Butler and Todd counties each semester.
Since the Muhlenberg facility was dedicated in August 2001, Tucker has continued as one of MCC’s best ambassadors, serving as Vice-Chairman of the Madisonville College Foundation for the past 10 years. He is a source of support and common sense vision for regional advancement efforts, and has assisted MCC in obtaining two major gifts of at least $750,000 each.
These endowed gifts now support student success through scholarships for both adult allied health program and School Counts students attending MCC, tutorial wage funding in the Irene Sadler Learning Center, and funding for arts programming outreach to Muhlenberg County elementary schools in cooperation with Martin Hall.
MCC Advancement Director John Peters shared, “Joe Ben’s efforts have strengthened post-secondary education throughout western Kentucky. He has always given good, sound advice during Foundation meetings and makes sure that Muhlenberg County remains a vital part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Many college students can thank Joe Ben for making a college degree a little more affordable. He is certainly deserving of an honorary degree from Madisonville Community College.”
Tucker reiterated his support of the county’s post-secondary success, saying “Muhlenberg County is so blessed to have the Shaver Center here. It truly is making life-changing experiences and creating jobs for people.”Joe Ben and his wife Carolyn live in Central City; they are the parents of 4 children, Tim (Leigh), Tracy (Gary), Tonya (Brad), and Ted, as well as 9 grandchildren.
Information provided by Joyce Riggs, MCC
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