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Alma Bennett

November 5, 2012

Dr. Alma Bennett, 71, died Oct. 18, 2012 in Anderson, S.C.

A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at the Mizpah Cemetery in Durant with the Rev. Joseph Sherrard officiating.
A memorial service also has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University.
Southern Funeral Home of Lexington is in charge of arrangements.

The daughter of the late A.G. Bennett and Caroline Weir Bennett, Dr. Alma Bennett was born in Booneville on Nov. 28, 1940. In 1952, Alma and her family moved to Starkville. Alma received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 1963 from Belhaven College in Jackson, a Master of Science degree in English from Radford University in Virginia and spent two additional years studying piano and musicology at Indiana University.

For 20 years, Alma taught piano performance, theory and history in the United States, Libya and Japan while also pursuing a career as a professional pianist. In 1991, combining her interests in music, art and literature, she achieved her Ph.D in Humanities at the University of Texas in Dallas.

A member of Clemson University’s faculty since 1991, Dr. Bennett was known as a generous scholar and mentor. Author of a biography of the writer Mary Gordon, she also edited a collection of conversations with Gordon and published numerous articles on subjects as wide-ranging as Dante and the photographic artist Cindy Sherman. She also edited two volumes for Clemson University: Women and Clemson University by Jerome Reel and a collection of biographical essays on Thomas Green Clemson.

For these and other services to Clemson University she won the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Calhoun Honors College, the Gentry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities, the Clemson University National Scholar Award of Distinction as well as the Class of 1939 Award. Dr. Bennett was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as many professional organizations, and served as President of the National Association for Humanities Education.

Alma is survived by her brother, George Bennett (Sara Ann) of Starkville; niece, Laurie Bennett Johnson (Chip) of Hernando; nephew, Robert Bennett (Lisa) of Savannah, Ga.; cousins, Cordelia Seawright Bealor (Jesse) of Lynn Haven, Fla, Jessi Seawright Ogburn (Joe) of Shelby, N.C., and Raye Bennett Morris of Abilene, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Capt. Robert H. Bennett of Starkville; and cousin, Lt. Kenneth Seawright of New Albany.

Memorials may be made to Palmer Home for Children, French Camp Academy or your charity of choice.

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