LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2023) — Nearly 40 University of Kentucky alumni and students will be honored during the 32nd annual Lyman T. Johnson Awards Luncheon 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom on UK’s campus.
UK’s academic colleges and units select at least one Black alumnus 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. At least one Black student who displays outstanding academic achievement and the ability to impact the lives of others is nominated to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer award.
Tickets for the Lyman T. Johnson Awards Luncheon are $40 for individuals and $500 for a reserved VIP table of eight. The luncheon features Shelli Freeland Eddie, a graduate of UK’s College of Arts and Sciences and the J. David Rosenberg College of Law, who will present the keynote. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.ukalumni.net/ltj.
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 2008 in his name to provide financial assistance to students of color in their pursuit of higher education.
The list of awardees by college are as follows:
Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Torch of Excellence — Christopher Chance
Torch Bearer – Harrison Goode
College of Arts and Sciences
Torch of Excellence — Eric Smaw
Torch Bearer — Sam Carrick
Torch Bearer — Sherelle Roberts
Gatton College of Business and Economics
Torch of Excellence — Marilyn F. Clark
Torch Bearer — Jordan Droege
College of Communication and Information
Torch of Excellence — Celeste Warren
Torch Bearer — Nigel Taylor
College of Dentistry
Torch of Excellence — Kwane Watson
Torch Bearer — Jocelyn Murtha
College of Design
Torch of Excellence — Irvin Shaifa
Torch Bearer — Julia Lutete
College of Education
Torch of Excellence — Falynn Thompson
Torch Bearer — Enrika Wright
Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering
Torch of Excellence — William D. Thomas
Torch Bearer — Clifton Grady
College of Fine Arts
Torch of Excellence — Angel Laketa Moore
Torch Bearer — Michael Daniels
The Graduate School
Torch of Excellence — Natalie Gibson
Torch Bearer — Kayla Woodson
College of Health Sciences
Torch of Excellence — Harold Dennis Jr.
Torch Bearer — Kinya Embry
J. David Rosenberg College of Law
Torch of Excellence — Carolyn Ann Greene
Torch Bearer — Desmond Varner Jr.
Lewis Honors College
Torch of Excellence — Eseosa Ighodaro
Torch Bearer — Zora Woolfolk
College of Medicine
Torch of Excellence — Kimerli Plumb-Moore
Torch Bearer — Kendall Noble Halcomb
Torch Bearer — Jamila Tucker
College of Nursing
Torch of Excellence — Shirre Hodges
Torch Bearer — Chloe Kellom
College of Pharmacy
Torch of Excellence — Pheli Roberts
Torch Bearer — Kristen Crowe
College of Public Health
Torch of Excellence — Ahmad Alexander
Torch Bearer — Destiny Cozart
College of Social Work
Torch of Excellence — Elaine Wilson
Torch Bearer — Rujeko Machinga-Asaolu
For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit www.ukalumni.net 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.