Wexners receive Reese medal

October 30, 2011

Les and Abigail Wexner

The Everett D. Reese Medal, established in 1984, is the highest award presented by The Ohio State University to recognize exceptional service in private philanthropy.

Abigail and Les Wexner were chosen to receive the 2011 Everett D. Reese Medal in recognition of their history of exemplary service and support.

The Wexners recently made one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever to a public university and the
largest in Ohio State's history. Their gift, a $100 million commitment, will primarily benefit The Ohio State University Medical Center and The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. It will also benefit Ohio State's Wexner Center for the Arts and select other university initiatives.

When announcing the gift, Mr. Wexner said, “Ohio State was there before I began my education and it would be there after I left. I was the beneficiary of things that happened almost 100 years before. A lot of people cared over a period of years, of decades, about building the institution. I benefited from their care.”

“We all have a responsibility to the community and to ourselves to live useful and productive lives, ethical lives, moral lives, to do the right thing,” said Mr. Wexner. “What I’ve thought about over the years is that this responsibility can’t be denied. No one comes to our door and asks what we’ve done. It comes from within, an internal place where you put time and money toward change. That’s an act of leadership.”

Les serves as chairman, president and CEO of Limited Brands. He is chairman of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees and was a founding member and the first chair of The Ohio State University Foundation. Abigail is the founder and chair of the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence. Under her leadership, the organization has mobilized community resources, raised community awareness, supported new initiatives for prevention and intervention, and increased community participation in the area of family violence. In 1998, Abigail created The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day, an equestrian show jumping event that has raised over $16 million to benefit the Coalition. She is also a member of the boards of Limited Brands, Pelotonia, and The Wexner Center Foundation.