Benefield is the third generation of his family to earn a degree from Northwestern State receiving a Bachelor of General Studies at Friday’s fall commencement. He was among 822 graduates at Friday’s ceremonies.
Benefield’s grandparents, Billy Benefield Sr. and Dorothy Benefield graduated from Northwestern State in the 1950’s. His parents Billy Benefield Jr. and Carolyn Benefield, along with an aunt Julie Benefield Johnson, earned degrees in the 1980’s. A great aunt, Lucille T. Carnahan, graduated from Louisiana State Normal School (now Northwestern State) in 1928 and was a longtime faculty member. In all, 17 members of the family are Northwestern State graduates.
Along with receiving a quality education, Benefield took advantage of opportunities to develop other skills through campus extracurricular activities. Benefield was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, serving as the chapter’s president in 2012. Benefield was also a member of Demon Volunteers in Progress for two years.
Demon Volunteers in Progress assist the university’s Freshman Connection program, which serves as a campus orientation program for incoming freshmen.
Benefield has worked for Natchitoches businessman Johnny Antoon for two and a half years, one of countless NSU students who worked their way through college under Antoon’s guidance. Many of Antoon’s former employees have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields.
“Working for Mr. Johnny has been a wonderful experience,” said Benefield. “He treats everyone who works for him so well that I am willing to do whatever is needed plus more to help him out. A lot of people have worked for him over the past 40 years and I am glad to have been able to be part of that group.”