Campus News

Lyman T. Johnson Awards Luncheon set for Oct. 14

The 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence and Torch Bearer award recipients. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2022) — Join the Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Constituency Group and the Office for Institutional Diversity for an afternoon celebrating the 2021 and 2022 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence and Torch Bearer award recipients. The luncheon will take place at noon Friday, Oct. 14, in the Bill Gatton Student Center on UK’s campus.

The 2021 ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, leading to the combined ceremony this year.  

More than 60 alumni and students will be honored during the 31st annual awards ceremony. The University of Kentucky's academic colleges and units select at least one Black alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence award. These colleges and units also select at least one Black student who displays outstanding academic achievement and the ability to impact the lives of others to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer award.

Tickets for the luncheon are $40 for individuals and $500 for a reserved table of eight and can be purchased by visiting

Lyman T. Johnson was a pioneer who challenged the status quo in his landmark court case which opened the University of Kentucky to Black students in 1949. He dedicated his life to fighting against segregation and racial inequalities in Kentucky. The Lyman T. Johnson African American Constituency Group established an endowed scholarship in his name to provide financial assistance to students of color in their pursuit of higher education.

The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit or call 800-269-2586.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.