Dear faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends:

It brings me great sadness to report a loss to our KSU family. Dr. Harold Benson, a giant in the history of Kentucky State University, has passed away.

He earned a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in extension education from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Benson was known as one of the most visionary administrators in the 1890 Land Grant system. In regard to his work at KSU, it has been said that Dr. Benson pushed a rock to the top of a mountain and then some of us were helicoptered in.

His efforts led him to be the longest tenured Land Grant Director for 36 years, directing the Extension program from 1975 – 2011 and the research program from 1985 – 2011. His foresight and legacy led to the development of the College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems at Kentucky State University. His accomplishments at Kentucky State University could fill volumes.

Please join me in remembering the life and work of Dr. Benson, while mourning the loss of our friend, colleague, mentor, and professor.

In sadness,


Aaron Thompson, Ph.D.

Interim President

Kentucky State University