Campus News

Commissioners of Lyman T. Johnson Portrait Recognized at UK Basketball Game

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 31, 2020) ­— Last October, during the University of Kentucky's annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards luncheon, Imar Lyman Hutchins, a Washington, D.C.-based artist and grandson of Johnson, unveiled a portrait he created of his grandfather, who was the first African American to attend UK in 1949, after a successful legal challenge.

Commissioned by the university as part of this year's commemoration of 70 years of integration, the collage portrait of Johnson is titled "I lived half of my life in the darkness, and half in the light."

During the Wednesday, Jan. 29 men's basketball game at Rupp Arena, UK honored Vice President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price, UK Art Museum Director Stuart Horodner and UK Alumni Association President Taunya Phillips for their part in making this important art project possible. 

The piece will be housed at Louisville’s Muhammad Ali Center through April 19 before returning to its permanent home at Lyman T. Johnson Hall on UK's campus. The Big Blue Nation is proud of their efforts to remember the legacy of Lyman T. Johnson so that the university can work to create a sense of belonging for every member of the Wildcat family.



photo of Sonja Feist-Price, second from left, Stuart Horodner, Taunya Phillips, on the floor of Rupp Arena.
Elaine Wilson (left), Sonja Feist-Price, Stuart Horodner and Taunya Phillips were recognized in Rupp Arena. Chet White | UK Athletics Photo.

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.