The Mattingly Award

The Chris Mattingly Award for Outstanding Community Leadership in Kentucky was established to honor the memory of one of the first McConnell Scholars. Chris Mattingly, 21, died as a result of a car accident on Nov. 1, 1996. He had completed 104 hours towards a political science degree at the University of Louisville and was a member of the first McConnell Scholars' Leadership Council.

First presented in 1998, the Mattingly Award is given annually to an individual who reflects exceptional character and leadership benefitting the Commonwealth. McConnell Scholars nominate and vote to determine the recipient of the Mattingly Award.


Past Recipients:

  • 2018: Dr. Shiping Hua, Calvin and Helen Lang Distinguished Chair for Asian Studies 
  • 2017: Larry Cox, former State Director for Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • 2016: Deborah Skaggs Speth, Curator & Certified Archivist of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine L. Chao Archives
  • 2015: GlyptusAnn Grider Jones, Public Relations & Recruitment Coordinator for the McConnell Center
  • 2014: Dr. Thomas Mackey, professor of History at the University of Louisville
  • 2013: Ben Reno-Weber, CEO of the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association
  • 2012: Dr. Julie Bunck, professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville
  • 2011: Joe Dablow, Director of Planning and Operations in Undergraduate Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Louisville
  • 2010: David Jones, co-founder of Humana, Inc., and Louisville philanthropist and businessman
  • 2009: Dr. Henry Cunningham, Director of Student Engagement at the University of Louisville
  • 2008: Rebecca Jackson, former Jefferson County Judge-Executive and director of the WHAS Crusade for Children
  • 2007: Chris Kerrick, social studies teacher and track coach at Marshall County High School
  • 2006: Dr. Charlotte Beahan, history professor at Murray State University and Kentucky Institute for International Studies faculty member
  • 2005: Dr. Dale Billingsley, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and professor of English at the University of Louisville
  • 2004: Dr. John Kleber, history professor emeritus of Morehead State University and the McConnell Center's "Kentucky Fellow"
  • 2003: Carolyn White Shelton, guidance counselor at Russell High School
  • 2002: Joe Bringardner, Associate Executive Director for Programs and the Louisville Metro District Director for the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association
  • 2001: Jenny Sawyer, Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Louisville
  • 2000: Rodney Williams, former director of alumni affairs at the University of Louisville
  • 1999: Robert "Mike" Duncan, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former White House Assistant Director of Public Liaisons with President George H.W. Bush
  • 1998: Shirleen Sisney, Executive Director of the Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program