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 and alumni nominate and vote to determine the recipient of the Mattingly Award.


Past Recipients:

  • 2023: Renee Shaw, Director of Public Affairs and Moderator at KET
  • 2022: Michael Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State
  • 2020: Neil Salyer, General Counsel, Emerald Energy & Exploration Land Company 
  • 2019: Dr. Andrew Rabin, University of Louisville English Professor
  • 2018: Dr. Shiping Hua, University of Louisville Political Science Professor and Calvin and Helen Lang Distinguished Chair for Asian Studies 
  • 2017: Larry Cox, former State Director for US Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • 2016: Deborah Skaggs Speth, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine L. Chao Archives Curator & Certified Archivist 
  • 2015: GlyptusAnn Grider Jones, McConnell Center Coordinator
  • 2014: Dr. Thomas Mackey, University of Louisville History Professor
  • 2013: Ben Reno-Weber, CEO of the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association
  • 2012: Dr. Julie Bunck, University of Louisville Political Science Professor
  • 2011: Joe Dablow, University of Louisville Director of Planning and Operations in Undergraduate Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • 2010: David Jones, co-founder of Humana, Inc., and Louisville philanthropist and businessman
  • 2009: Dr. Henry Cunningham, University of Louisville Director of Student Engagement
  • 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, Murray State University History Professor and Kentucky Institute for International Studies faculty member
  • 2005: Dr. Dale Billingsley, University of Louisville Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and English Professor
  • 2004: Dr. John Kleber, Morehead State University History Professor Emeritus and McConnell Center Kentucky Fellow
  • 2003: Carolyn White Shelton, Russell High School guidance counselor
  • 2002: Joe Bringardner, Associate Executive Director for Programs and the Louisville Metro District Director for the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association
  • 2001: Jenny Sawyer, University of Louisville Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions
  • 2000: Rodney Williams, former University of Louisville Director of Alumni Affairs
  • 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