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Gosser, McKinley receive Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards

June 17, 2015
For Immediate Release


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Campbellsville University presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation Awards to Dr. Donnie Gosser, an associate member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees; and Ellie McKinley, a May graduate from Campbellsville, at her recent commencements.

This is the 12th consecutive year the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards have been presented to a student and to a member of the community.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, explained 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 61 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 with former President Grover Cleveland among the group’s members. The members charged themselves with keeping alive the traits of 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.

Gosser has served on the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees for a number of years. He is a retired businessman and former owner of the Hub City Electric company.

He is an active member of Severns Valley Baptist Church where he has long been involved in all facets of the life and ministries of that church.

Carter said, “His involvement in the church and at CU, as well as many other organizations, has been that of true Christian servant leadership. He displays a spirit of humility and service to others and is a very wise individual who brings great insight to the work of the CU Board of Trustees.”

Carter said Gosser and his family have been strong supporters of the institution in many ways as evidenced by the existence of the Gosser Fine Arts Center and Gosser Gymnasium on the CU campus.

“The Gosser family has given sacrificially to Campbellsville University and has demonstrated a great love for the cause of Christian higher education and the students who have studied here through the years,” Carter said.

Gosser graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1960 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. Campbellsville University presented him with an honorary doctorate degree in May 2007 when he received the doctor of humane letters degree.

Gosser is married to Anna Gosser, and they are the parents of Deborah Gosser and Anita Gosser Hall. They have three grandchildren.

McKinley graduated from Campbellsville University with a bachelor’s degree with a double major in public relations and Spanish. The daughter of Mark and Vickie McKinley of Campbellsville, she is a graduate of Taylor County High School.

During her time at CU, McKinley has been involved in a number of organizations on campus. She has been very active in CU life, she has served as the student representative on the search committee for the new vice president for academic affairs and held the position of vice president of student activities during fall 2014 and spring 2015.

She was the recipient of a number of awards at the recent CU honors convocation, has participated in live broadcasts for WLCU during the Derby Rose Gala in spring 2014 as a guest host and served as producer of this year’s live broadcast. She has produced radio board shifts, commercials and PSAs for WLCU 88.7 radio.

Her membership includes being a member of Campbellsville University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) where she has served as treasurer and president and member of the following honor societies: Alpha Chi National Honors Society, Lambda Pi Eta, Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish honor society) and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

McKinley has been involved in a number of other roles on campus such as serving as a LINC student worker in May and August of 2012 and 2013. She studied abroad in Spain during June 2014 and served as an intern in the Office of University Communications from September to December 2012.

Carter said, “McKinley is known across the campus as a servant leader who works well with all campus groups while being a strong advocate of student interests. She always displays a smile and is the first to volunteer to do more than her part in any activity. She has made a very positive contribution to the life of the Campbellsville University family.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is