Spirit Of Excellence

We empower youth to overcome adversity through education.

Spirit of Excellence Award Recipients

 The Spirit of Excellence Award is presented to individuals in the community who exemplify an active voluntary commitment to education, human/community service, and leadership. Previous recipients include: 

2020 Theresa Feller, Lincoln Foundation
2019 Dr. F. Bruce Williams, Senior Pastor of Bates Memorial Baptist Church
2018 Amy & Steve Trager, Community Volunteer and Chairman and CEO of Republic Bank
2017 Cathe Dykstra, Chief Possibility Officer and President & CEO of Family Scholar House
2016 Diane L.Porter, community leader, retired educator, and member of Jefferson County Board of Education
2015 Christina Lee Brown, philanthropist and co-founder of Festival of Faiths and Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil
2014 Robert and Deborah Blair, founders of the West End School
2013 Kathy Cooksie Neal, President of The Kentucky Minority Scholarship Fund, and Gerald Neal, Attorney and Kentucky State Senator
2012 Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer
2011 Mary Gwen Wheeler, Interim Director of 55,000 Degrees and Mayor Jerry Abramson’s Senior Advisor on Education.
2010 Lonnie and Muhammad Ali, Centennial Spirit of Excellence Award George Unseld, Metro Councilman, Spirit of Excellence Award (posthumously)
2009 Laura Douglas, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, E.ON U.S.
2008 Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, MA, Director of Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness, and Associate Professor at the University of Louisville School of Public Health
2007 Brenda G. Hart, Engineering Education Director, and Director of Student Affairs, University of Louisville Speed Scientific School
2006 Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, Senior Pastor St. Stephen Church and President, Simmons College of Kentucky
2004 Hank Wagner Retired President/CEO, Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services
2003 Alice K. Houston and Wade Houston Entrepreneurs
2002 Harriet B. Porter and Woodford R. Porter, Sr. Retired Entrepreneurs
2001 Lee B. Thomas, Jr. Universal Woods Inc.
2000 Dr. Samuel Robinson President Emeritus, Lincoln Foundation
1999 Barbara S. Miller, Retired Librarian and Civic Leader Michael N. Harreld, Regional President, PNC Bank of Kentucky
1998 Ed Hamilton, Nationally Renowned Artist/Sculptor
1997 Bettie and Charlie Johnson, Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists Owsley Brown Frazier, Retired Vice Chairman, Brown-Forman Corporation
1996 George King, Entrepreneur
1995 Sharon Porter Robinson, President, Educational Policy and Leadership Institute – Education Testing Service