By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations at Campbellsville University, is a recipient of the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from the Kentucky Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission.
The commission awards the Leadership Award to individuals who embody King’s life and work, and who have made an exemplary contribution toward his legacy of service.
“During my career in the church, higher education and civic engagement, I have felt a call to the ministry of building bridges across lines of race, ethnicity, language, gender and economic status and to help tear down walls and barriers that have too long separated the human race,” Chowning said.
Chowning became involved in fundraising with Campbellsville University in 1989 and became a member of the university’s Board of Trustees in 1992.
He continued on the board for the next seven years, serving as chair in 1996 and 1997. He became a full-time employee at Campbellsville University in February 1998.
“This award reminds me that we must continue to work on the mission of Dr. King as he worked for justice, empowerment and educational opportunity for all people. We must continue that work in 2022 and beyond,” Chowning said.
“It is a daily undertaking, and we must persevere in our efforts to work toward these goals.”
Chowning taught as an adjunct instructor for several years in the university political science department and has served as chair of the university’s diversity committee, strategic planning and University Council.
Chowning has been involved in many endeavors at Campbellsville University including race reconciliation and establishing Dialogue on Race, a project dear to his heart. He has served as a leader of Greater Campbellsville United, whose focus is to create an environment of equality and opportunity for all residents of Campbellsville-Taylor County and the heartland region of Kentucky.
He has been senior pastor at Saloma Baptist Church since 1994. He is married to Cathy Pence Chowning, and they have four children: Laura and Kaleb Chowning, Emily England and Kacey Chowning-Boils, and four grandchildren: Jacey and Jacob Milby and Haley and Kenzi England.