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APSU nominee Ben Kimbrough receives 2004 Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy

During the quarterly board meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents April 2 at East Tennessee State University, Ben Kimbrough, Clarksville, was honored as the 2004 recipient of the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.
During the quarterly board meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents April 2 at East Tennessee State University, Ben Kimbrough, Clarksville, was honored as the 2004 recipient of the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

Kimbrough was nominated for the award by APSU President Sherry Hoppe. The Regents Award recipient is determined on the bases of giving generously of time and resources to a TBR institution, influencing others to become involved in fundraising and supporting higher education, combined with ethical leadership in philanthropy, exceptional civic responsibility and integrity.

Dr. Hoppe said, “There is a Chinese proverb that says, ‘He who gives flowers to others discovers the sweet scent remains on his own hands.' Long ago, Ben and Margaret Kimbrough discovered the joy that comes from giving to others.

“Our state, our community and our University have been blessed by the generosity of Ben Kimbrough. And I've been blessed to have him as my friend and adviser.”

In May 2003, the Kimbroughs jump-started APSU's first capital campaign with a pledge of $2 million from the couple's estate, plus $150,000 during the campaign.

Asked at that time about the gift, Kimbrough said, “Giving to Austin Peay is one way Margaret and I give back to the community that has given us so much.”

The Kimbroughs have “given back to the community” in many other ways, including their support of the Clarksville-Area YMCA Kimbrough Family Center. At Austin Peay, the building that houses the School of Business was named the Kimbrough Building in his honor.

A retired banking executive, Kimbrough is a member of the board of the Bank of America in Tennessee.

In 2000, in recognition of his support of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell, he was given an honorary lifetime appointment as Civilian Aide Emeritus to the Secretary of the Army, after serving since 1990 as Tennessee's Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.

Kimbrough is a highly respected community leader. He was past president of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the Montgomery County Industrial Development Board and past chair of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education.

He has served as a member of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education, and has chaired the Gateway Health Foundation. He is on the boards of directors of the Mid-Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Averitt Hardwoods International in Clarksville.

Among his many volunteer activities on behalf of Austin Peay, Kimbrough is on the steering committee of APSU's Changing Minds, Changing Lives Capital Campaign. He served as a member and past president of the APSU Foundation Board of Trustees, a member of the APSU Foundation Investment Committee and past president of the APSU National Alumni Association.

As evidence of his dedication to improving all of Tennessee higher education, Kimbrough may be the only person in the state to have been appointed vice chair of both the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. UT also received a financial pledge from Kimbrough comparable to the one he made to Austin Peay.

Hoppe said, “Time. Talent. Money. Friendship. Ben graciously shares all of these with Austin Peay, Clarksville and the state of Tennessee. For his countless good works, he has earned the respect and love of people throughout the state. I can think of no one more deserving of the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy than my friend, Ben Kimbrough.”
—Dennie Burke