Campus News

UK Honors Outstanding Senior Students

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2020) — The University of Kentucky has honored two senior students with the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award at the virtual Lead Blue: Student Organizations Celebration and Award Ceremony on April 28. This year’s recipients were Michael Hamilton and Joe Walden.

The Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award was established in 1978 as the first award recognizing overall student leadership at UK. The award is named after former University of Kentucky President Otis A. Singletary.

Students nominated for this award have displayed outstanding leadership while attending the University of Kentucky, made significant contributions to academics and are dedicated to service through campus and community involvement.

Hamilton, a political science major in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the university’s student body president, a Lewis Honors College student and Chellgren Student Fellow, member of the DanceBlue Corporate Committee, voting member of the University Senate Council and member of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society.

Walden serves as chapter president of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, is a Chellgren Student Fellow, program director of Alternative Service Breaks, a student ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research, a 2019 homecoming royalty nominee and a double-major in psychology and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The two finalists for the award were Sally Martin, a double-major in marketing in the Gatton College of Business and Economics and media arts and studies in the College of Communication and Information, and College of Health Sciences human health sciences major Lucy Bowers.

The Office of Student Organizations and Activities began the campus tradition of awarding and honoring individual students and student organizations by creating the Lead Blue Awards to recognize the successes and accomplishments of student organizations, advisors and student leaders. 

To watch the virtual 2020 Lead Blue Award ceremony please visit

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.