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Ohio State University logo Recognizing Excellence

Distinguished Service Award

Alumni and other friends of The Ohio State University are a passionate lot. They remember their Ohio State ties, serving as ambassadors of the university around the world.

But a handful of alumni, retired faculty and administrators, and friends who have forged connections with the university truly stand out. It is for this outstanding group that university trustees established the Distinguished Service Award in 1952.

We are pleased to announce the following winners.

Recognizing Excellence at Ohio State

Current University Awards winners

Previous University Awards winners

Click on photo or scroll down the page to read winner's bio.

Herbert B. Asher

Herbert Asher has been a consistent source of inspiration to students and colleagues. Asher has put his knowledge and experience to work as the university’s state government lobbyist, building a great respect for and confidence in Ohio State among legislators and government officials. Asher served as counselor to the university president for seven years and undertook the development of the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, serving as its interim director the first two years. He also helped in establishing the Washington Academic Internship Program as well as the Living Learning Center and the high school internship program. In addition, he has worked with the Community Research Partners and served as president of the Board of Trustees from 2000-06. He has been continuously active in mentoring and guiding OSU students through his personal dedication to USG, for which he also has been an advisor. During his 36-year career and after, he has helped to shape the face of politics at Ohio State, in Ohio and around the nation.

Award presented: Autumn Quarter Commencement, December 9, 2007

Ted Beattie

Ted Beattie’s time, insight and financial support have all been crucial to helping make Ohio State an outstanding institution. Beattie has served as chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, served on the Provost’s External Advisory Board on Teaching and the advisory board for the School of Communication and is on the OSU Chicago Major Gifts Committee. He also has played an integral role in the “Affirm the Friendship” campaign, hosting fundraising events at the Shedd Aquarium of which he is President and CEO. In addition, Beattie has played a pivotal role in the creation of the strategic communication program in School of Communications. Through his service, Beattie has proven to be a distinguished and active supporter of OSU and has dedicated much of his time and talent to make the university the best it can be.

Award presented: Summer Quarter Commencement, August 26, 2007

James F. Patterson

James Patterson is an ardent supporter of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Described as an “enthusiastic salesman” for the university, Patterson has been instrumental in raising funds for FAES, resulting in several endowed chairs and the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, which is slated to open in 2008. Patterson served as a university trustee from 1994-2003 and as board chairman from 2002-03. He also served on the presidential search committee that brought William Kirwan to Ohio State and chaired the committee that brought President Karen Holbrook. Patterson is described as a visionary who is always looking forward. Through his unfailing courtesy, good will, drive, energy and intellect, Patterson has done exemplary service work for his committees as well as the university as a whole.

Award presented: Spring Quarter Commencement, June 10, 2007

Patricia Duke Robinson and Thomas E. Robinson

Patricia and Thomas Robinson are a real-life example of the power of volunteerism and philanthropy to make the world a better place. The Robinsons have given gifts to the Renovation of the William Oxley Thompson Library and are donors to the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Athletics, where they established the Thomas E. and Patricia A. Robinson Athletic Scholarship Endowment Fund. Both are active members of the Library Renovation Campaign committee and hosted a “farewell fiesta” to mark the beginning of construction of the new library. Patricia also has been a speaker at library events and serves as a member of the National Major Gift Council for Miami Valley. As outstanding volunteer leaders, members of boards and committees, extraordinary donors, compelling speakers, gracious hosts and enthusiastic Buckeye fans, the Robinsons form a great partnership that has served Ohio State with distinction in many capacities.

Award presented: Winter Quarter Commencement, March 16, 2008

William Rodney “Rod” Sharp

Rodney Sharp has enriched the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences with his ongoing counsel and research partnerships. Sharp has skillfully promoted and facilitated global partnerships such as Ohio State’s collaboration with the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil. He has also worked to identify partnership opportunities between OSU and Cairo University and continues to pursue new possibilities for global exchange in research and teaching. In addition, Sharp has served as an Arts and Sciences advisory committee member and has been a major player in helping to establish an internship opportunity in film studies for undergraduates. Through his varied service to the university, Sharp has brought particular strength to what it means to have a strong, nationally and internationally vibrant College of Biological Sciences. He has fostered an entrepreneurial spirit among Ohio State faculty and has helped to establish connections that provide students with excellent opportunities for research and training.

Award presented: Autumn Quarter Commencement, December 9, 2007

Judy Tuckerman

The impact of Judy Tuckerman’s contributions of time, resources, energy and leadership at Ohio State over the years is immeasurable. Tuckerman has worked hard in advancing the Wexner Center for the Arts. With her family, she has established the Tuckerman Family Endowment for Children’s Programs to sustain ongoing education programs offered by the Wexner Center, and since 1990 she has been an ambassador for the center. As member of its Donor Circles Council, which she has chaired since 1992, she has worked to raise more than $5 milion. Tuckerman also is a passionate supporter of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. She has served since 2002 as trustee of the James Foundation, and with her husband has been instrumental in launching the James Fund for Life — the first effort for community support of The James on an annual basis. Tuckerman and her husband also co-chair the Celebration for Life fundraiser for the hospital. In addition, the Tuckerman family has created the Tuckerman Family Breast Cancer Research Endowment. Tuckerman is described as a hands-on volunteer, always available for counsel and inspiration.

Award presented: Summer Quarter Commencement, August 26, 2007

Paul Young

Paul Young has made an indelible mark on Ohio State through his expertise, leadership and service. Young has served on numerous university committees, including the Council on Physical Environment, Council on Academic Affairs, Senate Steering Committee, Library Council and the Art and Memorial Committee. He also has served as president of the Faculty Club and member of its Board of Control. In addition, Young has led the way in developing a new course “Ohio State University: Its history and Its World” that teaches students about key developments in the campus design over the past 130 years. Through projects like the renovation of Mirror Lake, the restoration or Pomerene Hall and the preservation of the library tower, Young has been instrumental in enhancing and preserving the campus’ rich tradition and history. His service as coordinator for the development of the Campus Master Plan has helped to reshape and reinvigorate the physical environment of the campus, and he has worked tirelessly to make Ohio State a place that is people-friendly and fosters academic exploration, creating a great place to be educated.

Award presented: Spring Quarter Commencement, June 10, 2007

2007 Distinguished Service Award


Previous winners

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