2013 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.
Carole A. Anderson profile picture

Carole A. Anderson



Carole A. Anderson has dedicated more than 25 years to The Ohio State University, both as a key administrator and a distinguished professor in the health sciences. Dr. Anderson holds faculty appointments in the College of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine. She has played an instrumental role in shaping nursing education, as well as broadly influencing university policy through myriad leadership positions.

Dr. Anderson's commitment to academics and the health sciences at Ohio State is unwavering. From 1986–2001, she served as dean of the College of Nursing, where she raised the college's research profile and brought technology to the forefront in nursing education. A strong advocate for applying classroom knowledge and research to real-world training, Dr. Anderson developed new curriculum to better prepare the next generation of nursing students to be competent care providers. She also blazed trails in graduate education at Ohio State, creating practitioner-training programs and spearheading the state's first nurse midwifery program.

Known as an exceptional leader and university citizen, Dr. Anderson held numerous top positions in the university administration. She has served as interim dean of the Graduate School and executive dean of Health Sciences, in addition to serving as vice provost for Academic Administration and assistant vice president for Health Sciences. Additionally, she served as dean of the College of Dentistry, where she led a restructuring and alignment of the college with other health science colleges at Ohio State.

Dr. Anderson is a past-president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and has worked to elevate the status of nursing nationwide. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a past editor of the Academy's journal, Nursing Outlook. She is a charter member and two-term chair of the Scientific Review Group of the National Institute of Nursing Research, and currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Health's National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.

In Columbus, Dr. Anderson has served the community as a member of the Board of Health, the City of Columbus Health Department, and the Board of Directors of the Columbus AIDS Task Force. In 2001, she received the YWCA's Women of Achievement Award.

Dr. Anderson earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado.

Rudine Sims Bishop profile picture

Rudine Sims Bishop



Rudine Sims Bishop is professor emerita in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. Although she retired in 2002, Dr. Sims Bishop has continued to devote herself to Ohio State.

An influential scholar on multicultural children's literature, Dr. Sims Bishop served 17 years as a professor at Ohio State. Her work is celebrated for its depth and breadth in a field of study impacting children, parents, teachers, and college students. In addition to publishing, Dr. Sims Bishop served on university personnel committees, the college council, and the university Faculty Senate. She was chair of the Language, Literacy, and Culture section within the Department of Teaching and Learning and co-chair of the annual Children's Literature Conference at Ohio State.

Dr. Sims Bishop represents excellence at Ohio State. She is known widely for her seminal book Shadow and Substance: African American Experience in Contemporary Children's Literature. For her contributions to the field of children's literature, Dr. Sims Bishop has garnered significant national recognition. She was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2001, awarded the National Council of Teachers of English Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Educator in English Language Arts Award. She has also received the Arbuthnot Award, given to an outstanding college or university teacher of children's or young adult literature and served on the selection committees for the Caldecott and Newbery medals for children's books.

Dr. Sims Bishop earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from West Chester University, her master's in education from University of Pennsylvania, and her Ed.D. in Reading and Children's Literature from Wayne State University.

William P. Blair, III profile picture

William P. Blair, III



For almost half a century, William Blair has been a model ambassador for The Ohio State University. He holds three degrees from Ohio State—a bachelor's and master's in political science and a law degree. After graduating from Ohio State, he worked as a Canton prosecutor until founding the William P. Blair Company, a Canton-based lobbying firm.

Mr. Blair has been a tireless advocate for the university's interests in state government. A former chair of the Ohio State Advocates and a current supporter of the Alumni Advocates Steering Committee, he is instrumental in keeping state legislators informed on issues of importance to Ohio State and the higher education community. He is a trusted adviser for university leadership, serving as chair of the Government Affairs Advisory Group and a member of the President's Club Advisory Board. In 2012, he received the Dan Heinlen Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association for outstanding advocacy.

In addition to his service at the university-wide level, Mr. Blair is also a strong supporter of the Moritz College of Law. He is a member of the college's National Council, which is a dean's advisory group, and serves on the Moritz College of Law Campaign Committee. William supports the college's Leadership Scholarship Initiative, leads the Blair Scholars program, and mentors a Moritz scholar every year.

A long-time champion of the arts in Canton, Mr. Blair extends his civic interests beyond the campus walls. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, as well as on the boards of the National First Ladies' Library, the Cleveland International Piano Competition and Apollo's Fire—Cleveland's Baroque Orchestra. He has served as Legislative Chair of the Ohio Organization of Orchestras, and he was the founding president of the Ohio Foundation of the Arts. In 1976, Mr. Blair combined his passion for advocacy with his love of the arts to form the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, a multi-arts lobbying organization. He has received numerous accolades for work in the arts and humanities, such as the Cleveland Arts Prize and Americans for the Arts Award.

In 2009, Governor Ted Strickland named Mr. Blaire an Ohio Commodore for his contributions to economic development in the state.

Ruann F. Ernst



Ruann Ernst has spent the balance of her career creating opportunities for others. A highly successful businesswoman, Dr. Ernst has served in senior leadership roles for several international companies, including Hewlett-Packard Company, General Electric Information Services and Digital Island. In 2003, she founded Healthy LifeStars, a non-profit focused on ending childhood obesity.

An enduring advocate for education, Dr. Ernst has given back to Ohio State from the day she earned her first degree in 1968. In addition to serving on the Alumni Association's Board of Directors and on two campaign committees, Dr. Ernst has led many transformative projects on the Dean's Advisory Council for the Fisher College of Business, which aims to chart a new direction for Fisher programs in an ever-changing business world. She currently serves as a member of the University's Foundation Board, and is a former vice chair.

In addition to spearheading countless college- and university-level initiatives, Dr. Ernst has utilized her extensive corporate and community relationships to create unique opportunities for our students. She has personally mentored a number of Ohio State students and hosted special events to promote student entrepreneurship, which allow Fisher students to engage with venture capitalists and business leaders across the country.

Along the way, Dr. Ernst earned two more degrees from Ohio State: a Master in Education and a doctoral degree in Public Policy and Management. She has raised more than $3 million for the College of Engineering and established The Ruann F. Ernst and William C. Riffle Scholarship Fund at Fisher supporting undergraduate technology students.

She received the Ralph Davenport Mershon Award in 2000 for her exceptional leadership and service to the University.

George A. Skestos profile picture

George A. Skestos



One of Ohio State's most engaged and dedicated partners, George Skestos has three decades of leadership and philanthropy at the university and in the Central Ohio community. For 25 years, he led the Homewood Corporation, a land development and residential construction company that he founded in 1963. Since his retirement, he has devoted himself to public service.

In the Central Ohio community, Mr. Skestos has served on several boards, including Huntington Bancshares, Central Benefits and the Midland Life Insurance Company. He has also held appointments with the Ohio Housing Commission, the Ohio Water Development Authority and the Central Ohio Regional Airport Authority.

His commitment to The Ohio State University includes volunteer leadership at the highest level, personal engagement as a university ambassador and generous philanthropic support. Mr. Skestos served on The Ohio State University Board of Trustees from 1991-2002, which included one year as chair. During that time, he guided campus building projects, including the historic Ohio Stadium renovation and the construction of the Jerome Schottenstein Center. He currently serves on the boards of University Hospital, University Hospital East and the Wexner Medical Center.

The benevolent support of Mr. Skestos and his wife, Tina, reaches every corner of the University, from athletics to the Wexner Center for the Arts to the College of Veterinary Medicine to the Ross Heart Hospital. They have also funded and named three medical chairs—the Hagop S. Mekhjian M.D., Medical Ethics and Professionalism Fund, the Julius Skestos and Diana Skestos Chair in Urology and the Justine Skestos Chair in Minimally Invasive Neurological Spinal Surgery.

Along with his wife, George founded both the IHS Foundation, of which he is currently president and trustee, and the Salem Lutheran Foundation, which he serves as trustee. In June 2012, he was named a trustee of the New College of Florida.

George earned his bachelor's, M.B.A. and law degree from the University of Michigan.

Justine "Tina" Skestos profile picture

Justine "Tina" Skestos


For more than 30 years, Justine "Tina" Skestos has been a devoted public servant and Ohio State ambassador. Among her many community involvements, Tina has held leadership roles at BalletMet, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Mrs. Skestos is a passionate advocate for Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine, bolstering the college's teaching, research and clinical programs. As a valued volunteer at the college, Tina serves on the Dean's Advisory Council. Her leadership was key to the renovation of the Veterinary Medical Center's Hospital for Companion Animals lobby. She also founded the "Bandana Program," an initiative designed to create goodwill and raise public awareness of our Veterinary Medical Center.

A champion of women's initiatives at Ohio State, Mrs. Skestos has served as a member of the National Council for OSU Women, and continues to be an active supporter of the Critical Difference for Women and Women & Philanthropy programs at the university. In addition, she served on the host committee for Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute's annual "Up on the Roof" event from 1994 to 2001.

Both Mrs. Skestos and her husband, George, are generous benefactors of The Ohio State University. Together, they have given their time and treasure to the Wexner Medical Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Athletics and the College of Veterinary Medicine, among others. They were honored in 2004 with the Gerlach Development Volunteer Award, which recognizes significant service to the university.

Mrs. Skestos earned her undergraduate degree in Physical Education and a master's in Sports Administration from Ohio University.

Daniel J. Wampler


Dan Wampler's relationship with The Ohio State University spans more than 30 years, dating back to his days as undergraduate food technology student.

After graduating with bachelor's and doctoral degrees in Food Technology from Ohio State, Mr. Wampler partnered with his alma mater to launch his own business. Sensus, LLC was born in the labs of Ohio State's Food Industries Center, where Mr. Wampler channeled his passion for food innovation into one of the nation's premier natural product extraction companies.

Mr. Wampler brings his considerable expertise and passion to bear in championing countless causes at Ohio State. He has served on the University's Foundation Board of Directors and as the inaugural chair of the Food Innovation Center Advisory Board. His commitment to the Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is unparalleled, serving 10 years on its alumni board and co-chairing a capital campaign that raised $12 million – nearly doubling the original fundraising goal – to create the Parker Food Science and Technology building.

In addition to mentoring dozens of students, Mr. Wampler and his wife, Lisa, give back to the university in ways that advance both students and research. Together, they established two endowments within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The Lisa and Dan Wampler Endowment Fellowship for Food and Health Research funds graduate student research in critical areas of health maintenance and disease prevention. The Lisa and Dan Wampler Vice President's Excellence Fund Endowment supports long-term programs and strategic initiatives at the College.

Mr. Wampler is currently the co-chair of the College's newest campaign, which aims to raise $150 million to support students, faculty and research within food science.

For his extensive service and commitment, Dan was awarded the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences' Distinguished Alumni Award and the Department of Food Science and Technology's first-ever Difference Maker Award.

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