CENTRE ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR FOR 2007
ANITA M. BRITTON
While the phrase “pay it forward” has been popularized on screen and in the media in recent years, it is really an old concept and the same sentiment that is captured in the phrase “giving back.” At the heart of this concept is the notion that the most appropriate way to express gratitude for the blessings of life is to invest in others, especially future generations. Few people better illustrate the desire to give back by paying forward than does our 2007 Associate of the Year, Anita M. Britton.
A member of Centre’s Class of 1976, Anita is not shy about letting people know that she was, as she says, “the first of her people to go to college.” Nor is she hesitant in claiming that attending Centre College was a transformational experience for her. Anita flourished at Centre, where in addition to majoring in psychology, she was co-editor of the student newspaper, a cheerleader, and sweetheart of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
After working at the College and for the Fayette Urban County Government, Anita attended the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating with distinction in 1982. She has become one of Kentucky’s most accomplished and respected attorneys. A partner in the firm Stoll Keenon Ogden and an expert in family law, Anita has chaired the family law practice section of the Kentucky Bar Association and has served as chair of the Kentucky Bar Convention.
Beyond her practice and professional activities, Anita has a passion for her civic and charitable affiliations. She has been a board member and president of the Humane Society, president of the Kiwanis Club, inaugural chair of Bluegrass Women United, and president of the Lexington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She has also served as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, whose Winners Circle Award she received in 2005.
In addition, Anita manages to be available whenever Centre calls. She has been an exceptional volunteer for the College, serving several terms on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors and, most recently, as president of the Association. Anita is not only generous with her time but also with her resources and has endowed a scholarship at Centre in memory of her parents.
Anita is supported in all these efforts by her husband, Stuart Bennett. She, Stuart, and various animals, some of whom are pets, live on a small farm in Woodford County.
Anita often says that she was “a rough piece of cloth” when she came to Centre. If that was true, that rough piece of cloth has become a banner that flies proudly for Centre College every day. In grateful recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of her alma mater and her leadership in many causes that contribute to the quality of life for others, we are pleased to recognize Anita M. Britton as the Centre Associate of the Year for 2007.