USITT Board Member Tony Hardin Honored by the University of Kentucky

November 20, 2019

A portrait unveiling of University of Kentucky civil rights pioneer Lyman T. Johnson highlighted the 29th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Banquet held on October 11, 2019.  

The UK Alumni Association honored students and alumni during the awards ceremony as part of the University’s Homecoming Celebration. Among the award winners was Tony Hardin, board member and head of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee of USITT.  

The UK College of Fine Arts nominated Hardin, who is an African American alum, for the Torch of Excellence award which recognizes individuals whose faith, hard work and determination have positively affected the lives of people on the University of Kentucky campus, the city, state or nation. The award was presented to Hardin in recognition of his outstanding service to the entertainment industry advancing the dialogue and taking actions to address equity, diversity and inclusion issues.  

“I am honored to receive the Torch of Excellence award in Lyman T. Johnson's memory during the 70th Anniversary of Integration on the University of Kentucky campus,” Hardin said. “I will remain true to his legacy of being a servant-leader for the campus, the people of Lexington, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Professor Tony Hardin earned his B.F.A. in Technical Theatre from the University of Kentucky, and his M.F.A. from the University of Virginia in Scenic Design. Prior to returning to the Commonwealth, he was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. In 2002, he left Longwood to become a part of the University of Kentucky faculty. As an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Kentucky, Hardin has taught courses in scenic design, lighting design, projection design, and scene painting.

In addition to teaching, he served his Department, College, and the University in a variety of roles including Director of Undergraduate Studies, serving on Undergraduate Council, and was a member of the External Review Committee for UK General Education, now called UKCore. He was recently named an SEC Academic Leadership Development Fellow and is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Theatre & Dance in the College of Fine Arts. Professionally, Hardin has significant experience as a Scenic, Lighting, and Projections designer in a variety of venues around the country, designing either scenery, lighting, or projections for over 150 theatre and opera productions in a variety of venues around the United States.

For more information about the Torch of Excellence Awards visit the University of Kentucky website.