By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Two Campbellsville University employees, Dr. Milton Rogers and Dr. John Chowning, were honored at the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Banquet June 21 at the Taylor County Cooperative Extension Office.
Also, Dr. Pat Cowherd, dean of the CU School of Business, Economics and Technology, was welcomed as the new chamber president.
Rogers, professor of biology, who retired at the end of the academic year, was awarded the Educator of the Year Award, and Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations, was given the Outstanding Chamber Investor Award.
Rogers, who taught at CU 45 years, said, “It was a great honor to be nominated and selected as the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year for 2018. It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to work in this community.
“I came to Campbellsville College 45 years ago to teach biology and related topics, bringing with me, my wife, Diane, and our three young children, David, Sally and Tom. We established our lives in Campbellsville, and we found a good life here.
“Our children grew up in a nurturing, encouraging community provided by the people of Campbellsville, and Diane completed her career at Taylor County High School as a biology teacher and guidance counselor. The people and the businesses of the city have supported Campbellsville University, and together we have all prospered.
“My teaching career has been rewarding, and it has been fulfilling to teach and mentor students and then to watch them be successful in their careers. Many of these former students live and work in and around Campbellsville, and they contribute to our remarkable community.
“My heartfelt thanks to the Chamber for recognizing my contributions to education and to our community.”
Rogers received his Bachelor of Science in Composite Science Education and his Ph.D. in Botany and Cell Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and completed postdoctoral work at Iowa State University.
He has served as chair of the CU faculty, as biology lead professor, as co-sponsor of Sigma Zeta, math and science honor society, and has held many other roles and published numerous articles. He has won Campbellsville University’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the Challenger Award and the Servant Leadership Award.
A former student of Rogers said, “Not only was Dr. Rogers a great professor and mentor to me, but he also was my mother’s professor. If it had not been for the kindness he showed my mother when she was a student, I might not be the soon-to-be Dr. Blaire Arnold.”
Rogers and his wife, Diane Norfleet Nichols Rogers, who also worked in the Office of Alumni and Public Relations at CU, have three children: David Rogers, a chemical engineer at Clariant in Louisville, Ky.; Sally Culley, a commercial litigation lawyer in Orlando, Fla., and Dr. Tom Rogers, a physician in Campbellsville, and eight grandchildren.
Chowning’s award is meant to recognize and applaud those investors who have sacrificed time, service and resources in order to better the community alongside the chamber of commerce.
Chad Shively, a chamber board of directors member, said, “Our honoree tonight has contributed so much to this community, as well as on regional, state and national levels.”
He said Chowning had “displayed a sense of commitment to our community through his dedication to assisting others and the willingness to donate, time, money and effort to community activities.”
He said Chowning has “modeled strong leadership and humility, making it nearly impossible to measure the impact he has had on this community.”
Chowning, who was unable to attend the banquet, said later, ““It is certainly a great honor to receive the Outstanding Chamber Investor of the Year Award from the chamber of commerce. I was very surprised and know there are many others deserving of such recognition.
“As an individual member for many years and having been one of those representing Campbellsville University in chamber activities, I have witnessed the many contributions made by the organization and the members.
“The Chamber’s mission is to represent the interests of businesses and commercial enterprises, and the overall economy, of our community and region. We are all called to serve and promote the betterment and advancement of Campbellsville-Taylor County and this heartland of Kentucky region.
“Let me express my appreciation for this award as we all work together to move our community forward.”
Chowning has been associated with Campbellsville University for 25 years including serving on the university’s Board of Trustees as a member and chair.
He is the founding director of CU’s Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy and helped established CU’s Center for Bivocational and Small Church Ministry.
He has served three terms on the Kentucky State Board of Elections and as chair and vice chair and member of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center, a charter member and former chair of The Center for Rural Development and one of the founding members of Team Taylor County. He continues to serve on the Campbellsville-Taylor County Economic Development Board.
He has served as pastor of Saloma Baptist Church since 1994 and is an active member and former secretary of the Taylor County Ministerial Association. He has been recognized for his leadership in racial and ethnic reconciliation ministry.
He has a Master’s of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Transylvania University and as associate of arts degree from Lindsey Wilson College. He has also done post-graduate work.
He has won several awards including the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 1998.
His wife, Cathy, is a licensed physical therapist employed at Grandview Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility. He has four children: Kacey Chowning-Boils, branch manager of Community Trust Bank in Greensburg, Ky.; Kaleb Chowning, research and communications coordinator at Campbellsville University; Emily England, a physical therapist assistant at Grandview; and Laura Chowning, community engagement coordinator with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. They have four grandchildren.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 10,000 students offering over 90 programs of study including 20 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Summersville and Liberty, all in Kentucky, and one in Costa Mesa and the Silicon Valley in California, and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.