Dolly Parton to receive honorary doctorate from UT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Entertainer and philanthropist Dolly Parton will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee.

Pending Board of Trustees approval, Parton will receive a doctorate of humane and musical letters during spring commencement May 8, honoring her not only for her role as a musician and entertainer but also for her work as an advocate for education.

In 1996, she founded the Imagination Library program in her native Sevier County, providing children with a new book every month from birth to 5 years of age. That program now has grown to serve 1,000 communities in all of Tennessee and parts of 46 other states, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The only other honorary doctorate UT has bestowed went to former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr. -- also a Tennessee native -- in May 2005.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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