2009 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.
Mildred L. Chavous profile picture

Mildred L. Chavous



Mildred Chavous served The Ohio State University both in the context of her community activities and as a staff member who excelled in her work. Mildred made exceptional contributions to the university and its alumni until her retirement in 1996 as Director of Graduation Services.

From the time she first started work as a counselor in Ohio State’s Graduate School in 1964 and through her time as director in the '90s, Mildred has been a major and enthusiastic proponent of the university by serving on many university-wide committees, advisory boards and commissions. She was a member of the University Senate Select Committee on Minorities and Women and the steering committee of the Critical Difference for Women Campaign; she has served on search committees for several vice presidents; and she was co-chair of Ohio State’s United Way Campaign.

She has also been a tireless and enthusiastic ambassador of the university while serving the greater Columbus community as well. Mildred has served on the boards of the Thurber House, the Central Ohio Health Association and the American Cancer Society. She’s been on the Ohio Humanities Council and its executive committee, the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Metropolitan Human Services Commission (as a founding member) and the League of Women Voters. She also was a founding member of the Twin Rivers chapter of Links, Inc., a national organization that responds to the needs and aspirations of black women in respect to civic, educational and cultural issues.

Mildred’s dedication and service to the community has been recognized by multiple organizations and governmental entities, including by proclamation of the mayor of Columbus, Columbus City Council, the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. She won Ohio State’s Distinguished Staff Award in 1986.

Mildred has been a generous contributor of her time, talent and resources in all aspects of the university and the community whose service always extended far past any official duties.

John W. Creighton, Jr. profile picture

John W. Creighton, Jr.



As a two-time graduate of Ohio State with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1954, and a J.D. in 1957, John W. “Jack” Creighton is a deeply devoted member of Ohio State’s alumni community. Jack has maintained close ties and relations with the Moritz College of Law and the university in general, and his generosity helped fund a special reading room and the office of the Head of Rare Books and Manuscripts, both in the recently renovated William Oxley Thompson Library.

Jack continues to share tirelessly with the Moritz College of Law his time, talent, counsel and resources, such as his connections with nationally known, accomplished leaders. Jack’s ideas have inspired a fully subscribed “Law and Leadership” course which, in turn, has developed into an innovative Law and Leadership Program. His continued and exceptional scholarship support helps strengthen the Moritz College of Law academic climate and reputation by attracting the brightest students with leadership potential.

A veteran of the US Army, Jack has served as leader of several major companies and organizations. He was president and CEO of the Weyerhaeuser Corporation; interim chair and CEO of UAL Corporation, the parent company of United Airlines; as director of the Madrona Venture Group and Saltchuk Resources Inc.; and as co-chair of the Seattle World Trade Center. He is also a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Washington.

As well as his outstanding contributions to Ohio State and the business world, Jack also is a director and former chair of the Washington State University Foundation Board. He has been awarded the Trade Award from the prime minister of Japan; and has served as president and director of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Jack Creighton remains an exemplary alumni ambassador for Ohio State. He is an outstanding example of a loyal alumnus with a rich history of distinguished service.

Earnest L. Mazzaferri profile picture

Earnest L. Mazzaferri



One of the leading authorities in the fields of diabetes and thyroid disease research, Ernest Mazzaferri has served both Ohio State and his country. He has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to bring prestige and distinction to Ohio State and to inspire others to service and excellence. Since 1962, when he graduated from the College of Medicine, Ernest has been a major source of expertise and support for the university and various aspects of the college.

After graduating in 1962, Ernest did not just complete his residency here; he served as chief resident in Internal Medicine, the largest department in the Medical Center. He eventually rose to the position of Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1974 and became chair of the Department of Internal Medicine in 1984.

Dr. Mazzaferri is perhaps best known internationally for his research in the area of thyroid cancer studies. Through the creation of a large database of patients from Ohio State and other institutions, he was one of the first to fully describe the natural history and response to therapies for patients with thyroid cancer. That work built Ohio State’s reputation in this area and created the foundation for the current multidisciplinary thyroid cancer unit. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and edited eight textbooks on the subject. In 1996, Dr. Mazzaferri was named a Master in the American College of Physicians, a title held by fewer than 300 doctors in the United States.

He has served as president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, the American Thyroid Association and as an invited panelist and consultant to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Air Force on issues of public health and safety.

In addition to his exceptional research and clinical contributions, Dr. Mazzaferri is also a beloved teacher and mentor. He won the Outstanding Teacher Award three times from the College of Medicine, twice from the Internal Medicine residents, and earned two additional teaching awards during his time at the University of Nevada.

In every aspect of his career, Dr. Ernest Mazzaferri has unselfishly served others, brought honor and distinction to Ohio State and improved countless people’s lives through his expertise and leadership.

Erin Moriarty profile picture

Erin Moriarty



A 1973 and 1977 dual graduate of Ohio State with a BA and JD, Erin Moriarty has frequently and selflessly put her expertise and dedication to work for Ohio State and specifically the Moritz College of Law.

A tireless supporter and mentor for students, Erin began her professional career as a highly respected co-host of a local television magazine program after graduating from the Moritz College of Law. She then continued on to the Cleveland, Chicago and Baltimore areas before becoming affiliated with such national programs as CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 48 Hours and 60 Minutes. Her valued contributions earned her numerous recognitions including nine national Emmy awards, an Overseas Press Award and a Consumer Media Service Award.

Throughout her career, Erin has never lost focus on her alma mater. She has dedicated numerous volunteer hours to support the Moritz College of Law through continuing legal education programs, media relations workshops, promotional videos and student mentoring. In 2003, she moderated the nationally televised live gubernatorial debate sponsored by the John Glenn Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. Always eager and quick to share her experiences and wisdom, Erin was invited to serve as the university’s 2004 spring commencement speaker. She is a recipient of the 2003 Mortar Board Alumni Achievement Award and received the Alumni Association’s Dan L. Heinlen Award for University Advocacy in 2005.

Erin Moriarty is an excellent example of a spirited Buckeye who continues to prove her loyalty to her alma mater as well as her dedication to the university community.

Richard Rosen profile picture

Richard Rosen



As leader of Battelle’s educational engagement, Richard Rosen has played an integral role in the increasing partnership between Battelle and Ohio State. Since 2000, Battelle and Ohio State have collaborated on many programs to leverage the best talents and assets of both organizations. Rich has been the person on the front line making the partnerships work through his persistent and determined efforts.

In his current role as vice president and executive director of education partnerships at Battelle, Rich leads the company’s educational initiatives in Ohio and across the US, which focus on science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. Working closely with the university’s College of Education and Human Ecology, Rich was one of the visionaries who helped create Metro High School, a public high school that stimulates student interest in those areas of study.

Rich played a leadership role in the establishment of the Battelle Center in Math and Science Education Policy at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The center’s interdisciplinary focus is targeted to the K-12 arena and its work is supported by a $4 million grant from Battelle. Rich has actively linked Battelle into the work that is done by the Ohio Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Learning Network.

Rich was also instrumental in the creation of the Ohio State Urban Arts Space at the Lazarus Building in downtown Columbus. His commitment to the project was integral to its founding, as he was actively involved in countless meetings with university and community artists, administrators, architects and city personnel.

Rich Rosen has been a steadfast partner for Ohio State in his leadership at Battelle. Not only has he provided initiatives that the university and Battelle have partnered on, but he has served in the role of negotiator and advisor for the university as well. As one of the major figures in the establishment of the Ohio State-Battelle partnership, he is a valued friend of Ohio State.

John M. Shepherd profile picture

John M. Shepherd



Ohio State has been privileged to benefit from nearly five decades of continuous support and partnership from alumnus, donor, advisor and longtime ardent advocate John Shepherd.

The impact of John’s generosity over the years to the many different areas he supports is immeasurable. He has enriched the lives of students that he and his gifts have touched, impacted Ohio State’s programs, staff, faculty and students and also has been an inspiration to other alumni.

John co-chaired the College of Engineering’s ACE Campaign activities in the late 1970s, and during the ’80s served on the steering committee for engineering’s Committee for Tomorrow. In 1987, John endowed the Shepherd Engineering Scholarship, which initially aimed to help Hamilton County residents. John soon decided to focus his scholarship on graduates of Cincinnati’s public high schools as a means of encouraging more to study engineering — and to do so at Ohio State.

John is the longest serving member of the Fisher College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. He also generously supported the Fisher Building Fund during the university’s ‘Affirm Thy Friendship’ capital campaign and the effort to honor the late Dr. John Pfahl by naming Pfahl Hall after him. John not only gave of his time to the project as its co-chair, but also generous financial support.

In recognition of his service to Ohio State, he received a John B. Gerlach, Sr. Development Volunteer Award in 2000 and the Meritorious Service Award in 1992 from the College of Engineering. John Shepherd is an alumnus who never tires of giving back to Ohio State, displaying in many capacities service, involvement and generosity to the community.

Carl D. Smallwood profile picture

Carl D. Smallwood



A 1980 alumnus of the Moritz College of Law, Carl Smallwood has distinguished himself for leadership in advancing diversity in the Columbus legal community as well as supporting Ohio State by giving generously of his time, advice and resources in advancing diversity at his alma mater.

Carl is an eminent lawyer and professional leader who focuses his community service on broadening educational and post-collegiate opportunities. He was the first African American President of the 4,800-member Columbus Bar Association, where he also led the Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative, a commitment by 22 local law firms to make a concerted effort to recruit, hire, retain and promote minority lawyers. In its first year, the initiative resulted in a five percent increase in minority hires. Carl has worked with a number of Moritz alumni who are managing partners in Columbus firms to ensure the success of this program.

Carl also has spearheaded an initiative within his law firm to fund a designated professorship for an Ohio State law professor. This initiative helped the university to retain some of the nation’s finest legal scholars and teachers.

In 2001, Ohio Lawyers Weekly named Carl as a “Lawyer of the Year.” In addition, he represents Ohio lawyers as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

Carl regularly assists the Moritz College of Law, participating in Scholarship Weekend and previously serving as President of the Moritz Law Alumni Society. In that capacity, he encouraged other alumni to participate more actively with the college and its students. Carl has also taught trial practice as a Moritz adjunct professor.

Carl Smallwood continues to be an active servant of the university. He has worked frequently on programs of the Office of Minority Affairs as a representative alumnus whose success provides a model for current and prospective students. Carl is a proven Buckeye, proud alumnus and positive influence on the community.

Christine Warner Powell and John L. Warner profile picture

Christine Warner Powell and John L. Warner



The Ohio State University at Newark has benefited greatly from the dedication and commitment of Christine Warner Powell and her late husband John Warner. The two have provided extensive philanthropic support in addition to their leadership to the Newark campus. John sat on the board of the Newark Campus Development Fund, specifically created to support Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College. His leadership and philanthropic support is what helped the Newark campus transition from several buildings to a well-planned campus that includes ten buildings.

In addition to regular annual support, John and Christine have contributed more than $1 million to the construction of the John Gilbert Reese Center. John also served as an honorary chair for the Newark component of Ohio State’s ‘Affirm Thy Friendship’ Campaign, named ‘Our Campus for Tomorrow.’

But it was a lead gift of $4.5 million that started the planning for the John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center. Christine then gifted a series of trusts after John’s passing that ensured the project would be completed, providing students a common space to work, study and socialize. The library and student center has added a new dimension to the learning environment in Newark. It would be difficult to find two people who have had such a transformational impact on students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

The Warners’ timely vision for an academic library on a principally commuter campus confirms how a space, exceptionally designed, supports student learning in such a strong fashion. Their award honors the vision of quality education for all that the regional campuses bring to the state of Ohio.

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