McConnell Scholar Katie Hayden receives prestigious Cardinal Award

By Kara Beth Poe and Madelin Shelton
McConnell Scholar Katie Hayden receives prestigious Cardinal Award

Katie Hayden ('24) (left) with the Cardinal Award

Louisville, Ky. (January 31, 2024) - McConnell Scholar Katie Hayden (‘24) was recently honored with the Cardinal Award.

The award, established in 1969, is given to only two graduating seniors for their academic achievements and service to the University and broader Louisville community.

“I am honored to be a part of the long-standing tradition of the Cardinal Award here at UofL!” Hayden said. “I am so thankful to have the opportunity and ability to serve UofL through leadership roles in various organizations that allow me to give back to the Cardinal Community that has given me so much." 

Recipients are selected for the award after interviewing with a panel of UofL staff members.

“We are incredibly proud of Katie and her dedication to leadership and service throughout her undergraduate career,” said McConnell Center Director Dr. Gary Gregg. “She joins the many McConnell Scholars before her who have acted as servant leaders both on and off campus.”


Hayden is not the first McConnell Scholar to receive the Cardinal Award. Past McConnell Scholar winners include: 

2017: Jason Jewell

2016: Kevin Grout

2013: Max Morley

2010: Robert Works

2008: Toree Edwards

2003: John Daniel

2002: Shannon Rickett

1998: Holli Norton

1997: Shauna Cole


From Owensboro, Ky., Hayden is a senior McConnell Scholar studying neuroscience and political science at the University of Louisville. She serves as student body president of the Student Government Association and programing director of the raiseRED Dance Marathon. After graduation, Hayden plans to attend the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.

The McConnell Scholars Program is a prestigious leadership and scholarship program at the University of Louisville open to graduating Kentucky high school seniors with a strong demonstrated record of leadership, scholarship, and service. Around ten students are added each year with a maximum of 40 McConnell Scholars in the program at one time.