Professional News

Lyman T. Johnson Awards Announced

2018 recipients of Lyman T. Johnson Awards
Lyman T. Johnson
Lyman M. Johnson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2018) Awards and an endowed scholarship fund announcement highlighted the 28th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Dinner on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field.

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group honored students and alumni during the awards ceremony as part of the 2018 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration.

UK’s academic colleges and units select one African-American 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 received the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These units also choose an African-American student within their respective colleges/departments whose academic achievement and ability to impact the lives of others would warrant them to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award.

The group’s establishment of the Lyman T. Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund was also announced. The scholarship, which has an initial fundraising goal of $70,000 by the 70 Years Reunion that will be held during Homecoming 2019 to honor the 70 years of integration at the University of Kentucky, will provide minority students financial assistance in their pursuit of higher education.

William H. Wilson, a retired educational television and higher education leader, emceed the event. Lyman M. Johnson, son of Lyman T. Johnson, was the evening’s keynote speaker. The UK Black Voices Gospel Choir, under the leadership of President Sterling Crayton and direction of Monique Shanks, provided entertainment.

In addition, UK President Eli Capilouto, UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price and Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group President Lee Jackson all spoke.

“The Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Dinner is in its 28th year and continues to serve as an important opportunity for the University of Kentucky’s colleges and units to recognize the significant achievements of its African-American students and alumni,” Jackson said. “This year’s event was particularly special because of the partnership between the Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni group, the UK Alumni Association and the UK Office for Institutional Diversity. Through these partnerships, and with the support of many of UK’s colleges and units, this special night honored Lyman T. Johnson’s legacy at the University of Kentucky and acknowledged the many men and women of color who work every day to continue carrying the torch of diversity and inclusion on our campus, in our local community and across the world.” 

The UK Office for Institutional Diversity, UK Provost’s Office and the UK Alumni Association, along with a number of colleges and campus units, were honored to partner on this awards program.

“Institutional Diversity was proud to partner with the UK Alumni Association and the LTJ Alumni Group to expand the size and prominence of UK’s annual LTJ Banquet,” Feist-Price said. “With participation from many UK colleges, UK HealthCare and UK Athletics, we were able to highlight the extraordinary accomplishments of outstanding African-American alumni and student leaders who make our university and Commonwealth stronger.”

Award winners were:

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Torch Bearer: Carley Fort 

Torch of Excellence: Quentin Tyler

College of Arts and Sciences

Torch Bearer: Cassie Bradley (humanities), Isaiah Brown (math and natural sciences) and Kortni Dubose (social sciences)

Torch of Excellence: Arnold Farr

Gatton College of Business and Economics​

Torch Bearer: Lauryn McNair

Torch of Excellence: Samuel Delaney

College of Communication and Information

Torch Bearer: Maria Jones

Torch of Excellence: Shawn Long

College of Dentistry

Torch Bearer: Lisa Kwarteng                            

Torch of Excellence: Dr. Zindell Richardson

College of Education

Torch Bearer: Angelo Lacoude

Torch of Excellence: MiKeiya Morrow

College of Engineering

Torch Bearer: Chelsea Elizabeth Robinson 

Torch of Excellence: Taunya Phillips

College of Fine Arts

Torch Bearer: David Foster

Torch of Excellence: Terry Adkins (posthumously)

College of Health Sciences

Torch Bearer: Kennedy Guess

Torch of Excellence: Andy Duclos​

College of Law

Torch Bearer: Christian Rice

Torch of Excellence: T. Fitz Johnson

UK Libraries

Torch Bearer: Javoughn Brown

College of Medicine

Torch Bearer: Eseosa Ighodaro

Torch of Excellence: Dr. Wendy Jackson

College of Nursing

Torch Bearer: Nana Ntodi

Torch of Excellence: Alalia J. Mack

College of Pharmacy

Torch Bearer: Kirstyn Hill

Torch of Excellence: Adebayo Ogunniyi​

College of Public Health

Torch Bearer: Tsage Douglas

Torch of Excellence: Timothy N. Crawford

College of Social Work

Torch Bearer: Daniel Beasley

Torch of Excellence: Doris Wilkinson

The Graduate School

Torch of Excellence: Nigel Vinegar

Lewis Honors College

Torch Bearer: Maya Woolfolk

Torch of Excellence: La Tasha Buckner

For information, contact Hannah Simms at 859-257-7174 or email

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