Archivist receives 2016 Chris Mattingly Award

April 27, 2016 – Deborah Skaggs Speth, archivist for the U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sec. of Labor Elaine L. Chao Archives, is the 19th recipient of the Chris Mattingly Award for Outstanding Community Leadership in Kentucky.
Archivist receives 2016 Chris Mattingly Award

Deborah Skaggs Speth


About the Chris 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.


About Deborah Skaggs Speth

Skaggs is the archivist for the U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Elaine L. Chao Archives. She celebrated her 40th year as an archivist, as well as her 17th year at the University of Louisville in 2015. Her experience as an archivist spans university, state government and private and consulting sectors.

Skaggs holds a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Louisville. She worked as an archivist at UofL under Dr. William J. Morison for 11 years before taking a position at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. She is a founding member of the Kentucky Council on Archives and was the Vice President of the Academy of Certified Archivists. She was also the first woman to serve as an officer of the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administration.

In 2001, Skaggs was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA, which is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archival profession. She has held her current position since 2009.

In addition to her work in the Archives, Skaggs plays in active role in the life of each McConnell Scholar, offering resume and CV help, leading etiquette seminars and being a mentor and friend, said Jacob Abrahmson, chair of the McConnell Scholars Program.


Previous Chris Mattingly Award Recipients

  • 2015 – GlyptusAnn Grider Jones, McConnell Center Communications, Recruitment & Research Coordinator
  • 2014 – Thomas Mackey, PhD, University of Louisville history professor; McConnell Center Fellow
  • 2013 – Ben Reno-Weber, Kentucky YMCA Youth Association Chief Executive Officer
  • 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