Shajuana Ditto of Brandenburg, Ky., second from left, receives the student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Campbellsville University's undergraduate commencement. Making the presentation were from left: Dr. Michael V. Carter, president; Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
Mark Johnson of Campbellsville, second from left, chief executive director of Citizens Bank and Trust, receives the community Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Campbellsville University's undergraduate commencement. Making the presentation were from left: Dr. Michael V. Carter, president; Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
CU Awards Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards to Johnson, Ditto
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - Campbellsville University presented Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation Awards to Mark Johnson, chief executive officer of Citizens Bank and Trust in Campbellsville; and Shajuana Ditto, a graduate from Brandenburg, Ky., at commencement May 9 in Powell Athletic Center.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards have been presented at CU for the seventh consecutive year.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, in granting the awards, explained that CU was selected in 2002 to participate in this "very prestigious awards program that honors the memory and legacy of the late Algernon Sydney Sullivan through the Foundation named in his honor."
He said there are some 50 colleges and universities in the South that are approved by the Sullivan Foundation to annually present these awards to one graduating senior and to one adult community member.
Sullivan was a lawyer, devout Christian, mediator, powerful and appealing orator, a courageous citizen during perilous times, a noted philanthropist and devoted family man, Carter said.
In the words of a friend, Sullivan "reached out both hands in constant helpfulness to others." In 1890, three years after his death, a memorial committee was formed - former President Grover Cleveland was among the group's members. The members charged themselves with keeping alive the traits of Mr. Sullivan, Carter said.
The original group passed along the task to the New York Southern Society, which later passed on the torch of remembering Sullivan's ideals to the Sullivan Foundation formed in 1934.
Carter presented the awards to Johnson and Ditto, along with assistance by Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, and Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs.
Johnson received the award in recognition of his service to Campbellsville University and the greater community; his accomplishments in the banking industry; his commitment to his family and Christian faith; his record of civic leadership; and his many contributions to this institution and this community, according to Carter.
Carter said Johnson was "a true servant of humanity in many ways - as a banker, a visionary civic leader, church member, husband and father."
Johnson has been the chief executive officer of Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Campbellsville since 2000 and the president of Citizens Bank and Trust since 1995. He previously served as executive vice president of the bank for several years beginning in 1990.
He also served as assistant vice president of Citizens Fidelity Bank and Trust Company of Lexington and has served in several other positions in private business. He is a graduate of Bowling Green High School, attended Centre College in Danville and received a bachelor of science in accounting degree from the University of Kentucky. He also is a graduate of the graduate school of banking of the south at Louisiana State University.
Carter said Johnson has been a community leader and involved in a number of organizations including being a member of the initial circle of Omicron Delta Kappa; managing trustee of the Dr. William H. Olson Scholarship Trust; chairman of the Campbellsville-Taylor County Industrial Foundation, Inc.; chairman of the Campbellsville-Taylor County Industrial Development Authority; past president of the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce; Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2008; past member of the Tourism Commission; member of the Kiwanis Club; member of the Campbellsville University Advisory Board; Eagle Scout; and active member, along with his wife and family, of Campbellsville Christian Church.
Under his leadership, Citizens Bank and Trust has enjoyed the ranking of being in the top 15 percent ranking among its national peer group for over ten years and has been recognized as a pioneer in the effective use of technology and innovative processes in the banking industry, Carter said.
He and his wife, Lateshia, who is a registered nurse, are the parents of two teenage daughters, Lauren and Meredith, who are involved in the high school sports of soccer, tennis and swimming.
Johnson enjoys working on his farm, and he and his family enjoy outdoor sports and are known for frequenting the great western national parks of our nation.
Johnson recently wrote, "I enjoy working with the Campbellsville school systems 'Few Good Men and Women Reading' program."
"I always enjoy the opportunity to work with the goal of furthering Christian principles through our actions - personally and professionally."
Carter said, "Selecting a student recipient for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is always a daunting task in view of the many outstanding men and women in each class who walk across the stage to receive degrees."
He said the CU class of 2009 contains a number of students who are deserving of such an award, but "The recipient of this year's Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is one who characterizes the very best of this fine group of servant leaders, and she is indeed a worthy and deserving recipient."
Ditto is a native of Brandenburg, Ky., and is a 2005 graduate of Meade County High School. She is the daughter of John and Lawanna Ditto.
"Shajuana exemplifies the characteristics of servant leadership and Christian commitment that are in line with the Sullivan Award and the life of Mr. Sullivan," Carter said.
During her four years at Campbellsville University, Carter said Ditto has made a "major and very positive impact upon the CU family."
"Her smile, warm spirit, involvement in several organizations on campus, and work ethic leave an indelible and lasting imprint upon the faculty, staff, coaches and student body of this institution," he said.
Ditto has served in a number of leadership positions on campus and in the community including: CU resident assistant, FIRST CLASS mentor, involvement in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, working in the Big Brother Big Sister organization, freshman class president, Student Government Association President this year, and working as a Sunday School teacher for teenagers at Campbellsville's First Baptist Church for three years. She is involved in music ministry in her church work and on the CU campus as a member of the gospel choir assembled by the African American Leadership Council.
She received a bachelor's of science degree in sports ministry and athletic coaching and will begin work at Campbellsville University soon as an admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions.
While at Campbellsville University, she was named the 2006 second runner-up in the football Homecoming queen contest, was named CU football Homecoming queen in 2007, received the female student Servant Leadership Award in 2008, and named to "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges" in 2009.
She previously served as SGA vice president and was involved with the Upward Basketball and Lady Tigers Volleyball team.
When receiving her student Servant Leadership Award in 2008, Ditto defined a servant leader as "serving others in every way possible, knowing the way, showing the way, and going the way." She said she will "continue to seek God's direction to serve others."
Ditto said CU has definitely helped her find her calling, and she recalls September 15, 2008, during the Rick Gage Crusade, when over 50 football players gave their lives to Christ during a FIRST CLASS chapel service, as "an amazing experience."
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report's 2009 "America's Best Colleges," CU is ranked 22nd in "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America's Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.