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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.

Edwin M. Cooperman

Edwin M. “Ed” Cooperman has contributed immensely to the future of law, medicine and other important social interests through his avid support of The Ohio State University. Since earning his J.D. degree from The Ohio State University in 1967, he has been a truly exemplary alumni ambassador for the University, demonstrating immense generosity with his time, talents, counsel and financial resources.

Since 1997, Ed has provided invaluable leadership and counsel as a member of The Ohio State University Foundation Board and he serves on the Nominating Committee charged with recruiting and selecting new board members. He is also currently co-chair of the National Major Gift Committee for New York and has participated on the Southeastern Major Gift Committee. 

Ed has served the Moritz College of Law in numerous capacities, and Dean Nancy Rogers credits him with helping to create the college’s momentum toward becoming one of the nation’s top law schools. Ed’s personal involvement in shaping and guiding the Moritz College’s $30 million Investing in Momentum campaign has been essential to the success it is currently enjoying. After leading the college’s campaign planning and feasibility study, Ed became chair of the national campaign committee. In addition to making a gift to complete Moritz’s Barrister Club project, he has elevated his existing Designated Professorship to a Chair in order to retain a nationally renowned criminal law scholar. As well, he has served on Moritz College of Law national alumni advisory group for 15 years, and for the past two years has assisted with refining the college’s communications/public relations strategic plan and increasing national media coverage of the law faculty.

Ed’s generosity extends to The Ohio State University Medical Center.  As one of the first members of the committee charged with raising funds to build and support the Ross Heart Hospital, he worked diligently to identify and enlist other members to the committee. Ed has also lent invaluable support to Ohio State’s ATI Equine Program, including donating first-rate horses and raising awareness of the program through advocacy and active involvement.

Whether by lending his advice on important issues, hosting events for university friends and donors, serving on committees or contributing personally to Ohio State, Ed Cooperman has demonstrated a dedication to Ohio State that is an inspiration for all.

Alice Galloway

Alice Galloway has been a dedicated volunteer, friend and contributor to Ohio State Marion for more than 50 years, and with her late husband, Joe, is widely recognized as a founder of the campus.

A respected educator who graduated from Ohio State in 1947 as a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, Alice has worked to advance Ohio State Marion in every way possible since its beginning in 1957. Starting in its early days as an afternoon/evening program in Harding High School, she was instrumental in establishing campus life and student activities, and she and her husband were among the chaperones at the first “semi-formal” dance for students co-sponsored by the Mothers Club, to which she belonged.

With her husband, Alice helped solicit contributions from individuals and organizations throughout Central Ohio to purchase the land that would become Ohio State’s Marion campus and construct its first building. The $240,000 raised in excess of that campaign’s goal was used to establish scholarships for students to attend college on the Marion campus.

Since then, Alice has graciously served the campus in a variety of ways on an “on-call” basis, and she is a charter member of an organization of community volunteers called the Buckeye Backers. Alice was a member of the campus’ Golden Anniversary Planning Committee in 2006, and for the celebration created the impressive “Condensed, Eclectic, Grassroots Chronicle of the History of Ohio State Marion,” nearly 130 pages of historical highlights. A longtime member of the Ohio State Alumni Association and the association’s Marion County chapter, she also established an endowed scholarship in honor of her late daughter, Susan Galloway Swavel, who began her college education as a student at Ohio State Marion.

Alice Galloway received the Ralph Howard Service Award in 2001 in recognition of the tireless efforts and energy she has contributed to Ohio State Marion “under the radar,” out of love for the institution and for helping students to be successful. Her lifetime of passion and selfless dedication to Ohio State illustrates the many ways a single individual can make a world of difference to others.

Anne K. Jeffrey

For more than 35 years, Anne K. “Nancy” Jeffrey has been a leader in the development of local health and social service systems and an unwavering supporter of The Ohio State University and the Ohio State University Medical Center.

Currently she is chair of the OSU-Harding Behavioral Health Board’s board of trustees and an ex-officio trustee of University Hospitals. Her continued participation with Harding Hospital long before, during and after its absorption into the OSU Health System, has helped maintain a consistent vision that continues to guide this important institution toward excellence. In 2003, she chaired the OSUMC fundraising effort for the George T. Harding III, M.D., Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, which raised more than $1.5 million to establish the department’s first chair.

In 2005, Nancy and her husband, Tad, became co-chairs of the Medical Center’s Power to Change Lives Campaign. Their interest in mental health also led them to become chairs of the Neurosciences Campaign Committee, which thanks to Nancy’s dedicated involvement has raised more than $18 million in just three years. Nancy, who received the OSU John B. Gerlach Sr. Development Volunteer Award in 2002, continues to be an invaluable volunteer for the OSUMC campaign.  She has introduced many new donors to the center’s programs and projects and lent insight to the entire fundraising process by participating in key stewardship efforts.

Nancy and Tad have done much to advance the cause of quality mental health services for youth, including establishing the Jeffrey Fellowship in Academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at OSU and a similar endowment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The Jeffreys have also been gracious supporters to WOSU, Women & Philanthropy, and the Moritz College of Law, Fisher College of Business, Wexner Center, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, James Fund for Life and Chadwick Arboretum.

With her boundless energy, creativity and caring nature, Nancy Jeffrey has given hope to countless children and families struggling with mental disorders and inspired an entire community through her support of Ohio State.

Award presented: Spring Quarter Commencement, June 10, 2007

Bruce W. Lavash

Few supporters of The Ohio State University have been involved in a wider scope of activities than Bruce W. Lavash. An Ohio State alumnus with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, he has provided service to many units across campus, including the
College of Engineering, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience, the University Honors and Scholars Center and the Office of Enrollment Services and Undergraduate Education.

Bruce has been a major and enthusiastic friend of programming initiatives that have been key to improving the University’s undergraduate student profile. As a member of the University Honors External Advisory Committee, he has provided invaluable insight, creative ideas and workable solutions for strengthening Ohio State’s honors program and marketing the value of an honors education.

As Procter & Gamble’s lead recruiter at Ohio State, he has been highly effective at connecting many of the University’s top engineering graduates with one of the world’s premier corporations. He has also been influential in P&G funding decisions that have provided significant financial support for college and university programs, including the outstanding Women in Engineering and Minority Engineering programs.

He is personally involved in many campus activities, including the organizing of sponsorship prizes in the annual Fundamentals of Engineering Honors Program robot competition; serving as a judge and speaker at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum; and participating in the First Year Experience Leadership Collaborative as a mentor to bright, talented students.

A frequent visitor to campus, Bruce has given guest lectures to the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s senior capstone class, and each year, he conducts seminars in leadership, problem-solving and communications for Ohio State students with a team of professionals from P&G. Off campus, he is also active as president of the house board of Ohio State’s Theta Tau fraternity.

Few individuals have provided the outstanding level and diversity of support as Bruce Lavash. Whether on matters of curriculum, industry-related concerns or financial support for university priorities, he has been a generous contributor of his time, talent and resources. In his many activities on behalf of the University and its students, Bruce has demonstrated dedication and service at the highest personal levels.

Corbett A. Price

Corbett A. Price has demonstrated a deep commitment to equal opportunity and democratic ideals through his service and support of The Ohio State University.

Corbett, who received his master’s of health administration degree from the University, provided the lead gift for endowing a professorship in Health Sciences Management and Policy. His keen interest in the University’s diversity mission inspired him to provide key support to establish the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at the University. He has generously established scholarships and other financial assistance to African American and Hispanic American students studying health care management, and created a scholarship in Fisher College of Business that will help tremendously with efforts to recruit some of the best and brightest minority students to the college’s graduate programs.

Corbett is a member of The Ohio State University Foundation board of directors, the Dean’s Advisory Board for Fisher College of Business, and the Eastern States Major Gifts Committee. In addition, he has been a consistent supporter of Ohio State activities in the New York and Washington, D.C. areas, and has given generously of his time by leading executive lunch meetings with groups of Fisher undergraduate and MBA students.

Through his commitment of time, financial support and expertise, Corbett Price has demonstrated a commitment to The Ohio State University that is a benefit to all.

Barbara J. Tootle

Both in her various staff capacities and as a tireless volunteer, Barbara J. “Barbie” Tootle has given her time and boundless energy to making Ohio State an outstanding institution for more than 35 years.

Throughout her esteemed career, Barbie has looked out for the needs of students and worked to ensure University policies, services and programming were supportive of students’ academic and personal successes. She has been a one-on-one mentor to hundreds of students and a persuasive advocate for thousands in her administrative and advisory roles. During the 11 years she served as coordinator of Greek Affairs, Barbie worked with students in 63 fraternities and sororities to strengthen connections with university administration and teach countless lessons on running a cohesive organization and “paying forward.”  She was a key contributor to the 1999 Greek Life Task Force that led directly to a larger, stronger, safer and more financially stable Greek community at the University.

Barbie, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio State, retired in 1999 having served three Ohio State presidents and remains active in many facets of the University. Her involvement in women’s athletics through the Ohio State Varsity “O” group is recognized by the Barbie Tootle Buckeye Spirit Award, with which the organization honors individuals who have demonstrated unconditional loyalty and support of women’s athletics as a Buckeye fan. Additionally, she is or has been involved with Chimes, Mortar Board, Pi Beta Phi and the Council on Student Affairs.

Since 2002, Barbie has been The Ohio State University Alumni Association representative on the Ohio Union Council, most notably contributing her time and energy to the planning and interim design of the University’s new union. She was instrumental in creating the Ohio Stater’s, Inc., and Ohio Union alumni societies that have helped reconnect hundreds of former student leaders with their alma mater. She continues to represent her alma mater by educating alumni at many alumni clubs and has been the featured speaker at several annual Alumni Leaders Conferences at the Alumni Association.

With her infectious and memorable spirit, Barbie Tootle is a living example of how one person can do immeasurable good by contributing to a creative learning environment and helping generations of students be successful.

George Paulson

In addition to his career as a prominent and eminent physician and academician at The Ohio State University, Dr. George Paulson has served as a tireless ambassador for the University, providing extraordinary service to his colleagues and community that has benefited both the University and the state of Ohio.

George joined the faculty of the College of Medicine in 1967 and earned an exemplary reputation as a clinician, teacher and investigator. Throughout his career at the university, he distinguished himself by embracing the community and helping the University develop meaningful relationships with practicing physicians throughout central Ohio. He served as chair of the Department of Neurology for eight years, and his prominence in his specialty was largely responsible for the University attracting a National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. He was also co-creator of a 500-level course on the history of Ohio State and was voted Teacher of the Year by the College of Medicine’s graduating class of 1971.

Alongside his work as physician and medical researcher, George essentially embarked on a second career on a volunteer basis, establishing himself as a thoughtful, reliable historian of local and national importance.

Considered an expert on the history of medicine at Ohio State and in Ohio, he has lectured extensively throughout the state on these topics and has authored several book-length studies, including a widely respected history of The Ohio State University College of Medicine that he wrote in retirement.

Since retiring from active teaching and clinical medicine, Dr. Paulson has maintained an active interest in the Heritage Center of the health sciences library, for which he has served on an advisory committee since its inception. He is also active with Friends of the Libraries, volunteers his expertise as a physician with Harding Hospital and other organizations, and has been instrumental in recruiting eminent speakers on the history of medicine.

Dr. George Paulson has been a loyal champion of Ohio State, distinguishing himself locally and nationally with achievements of the highest quality. For many people, he is a role model for service and good citizenship, a true embodiment of the extension mission that is central to Ohio State.

2008 Distinguished Service Award


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