Asbury University president honored

Published 12:16 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

From staff reports

Asbury University’s President Sandra C. Gray’s commitment to both the University and the Jessamine County community is evident to many. So evident, in fact, Gray recently accepted two awards from Kentucky organizations for the deep impact she’s had on not just the Asbury community, but also the greater Central Kentucky community.

Last month, Gray was honored at the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce Annual Award Dinner. The masquerade-themed ceremony was held on Jan. 17 at the RJ Corman Railroad Group in Nicholasville. Here, Gray was given the award for Outstanding Business Leader of the Year.

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Award winners are selected based on several characteristics including an established leadership ability and success within the county’s business sector, an evident support of the county and its positive growth as well as having demonstrated high standards of business, customer service and Jessamine County community pride.

At the dinner, Gray and other business leaders who strive to make Jessamine County a great place to live, work and play were honored.

Executive Director of the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce Ronda May was quick to praise Gray for her impact on the community as a whole and noted she will be deeply missed by many in Jessamine County.

“Dr. Gray has exhibited such wonderful direction and drive for the University, which overall impacts the county as a whole, (through) her leadership in taking Asbury to the next level, especially when it went from being a college to a university, and now in the growth and the expansion that’s happening on campus,” May said.

On Feb. 5, Gray was also honored at the Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Annual Vision Awards Breakfast where she received the Vision Award for Excellence in Education. The breakfast was held at the Marriott Resort Griffin Gate in Lexington where guests enjoyed a special farm-to-table meal, networking and local food exhibits.

President of Bluegrass Tomorrow Rob Rumpke and his committee were impressed by the ways in which the university grew during Gray’s time as president.

“Sandra Gray has done so much in her tenure for education and the economy in Jessamine County, the region and of course Asbury University,” Rumpke said. “The committee felt that the lifetime achievements by Dr. Gray at Asbury were formidable, especially the addition of the Miller Center for Communication Arts, the new Baseball complex, the new School of Business and Pitts Center for Public Policy, (as well as) the significant growth in enrollment and graduation rates which leads directly to a better workforce in Jessamine County and the Bluegrass Region. It is so obvious that Dr. Gray so deeply cares about Asbury and the state of education in our Commonwealth and we have been blessed to have her engaged participation in the improvement of education and development of our youth.”

Gray was chosen for the award due to her demonstrated engagement in higher education within the state of Kentucky and a faithful commitment to its improvement.

“It is an honor to receive these awards on behalf of Asbury University,” Gray said. “We are a community, working together, so these recognitions belong to the entire community, students, faculty, staff and administration. We all seek to be about our work faithfully, each day, without thought of recognition. So, honestly, both came as a great surprise. It is humbling for sure. I am thankful for our friends throughout Kentucky who partner with us to advance our mission.”