Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award was established by the Board of Trustees in 1952 to recognize individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the university. Awards are not made on the basis of long, faithful, or loyal service alone, but rather for service that is truly distinguished. Recipients of this award have provided a broad spectrum of services to the university in both official and unofficial capacities.
Photo of Dr. David Harrison

David T. Harrison, PhD




Dr. David Harrison is the president of Columbus State Community College and a nationally recognized and respected leader in higher education. Under David’s leadership, Columbus State initiated the Preferred Pathway ® program, which guarantees admission to The Ohio State University for Columbus State graduates in alignment with Ohio State’s Strategic Plan and expanded the program to additional higher education institutions across the state. He led the formation of The Central Ohio Compact, a regional strategy among K-12 and higher education leaders to help more students succeed in college and in the workplace. In 2012, Columbus State was named an Achieving the Dream college, a national initiative to help more students earn college credentials with an emphasis on first-generation students, students of color and low-income students; and in 2015, the college received Achieving the Dream’s esteemed designation as a Leader College.

As one nominator wrote: “I watched David quietly and with determination work with politicians, corporations through the Columbus Partnership, community college and four-year colleges/universities to secure the support needed for creating an effective system that opened previously unattainable opportunities for students.”

Photo of Frederick Ransier

Frederick L. Ransier, III




Mr. Fed Ransier served for nine years as chair of PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation), an organization founded and funded by The Ohio State University, the City of Columbus and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to create a healthy, financially and environmentally sustainable community where residents have access to safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare and education, and employment opportunities on the Near East Side.

One nominator wrote: “Just as a community needs its hospital to be healthy, the hospital in turn benefits from a healthy community. The university owes a huge debt of gratitude to Fred for his selfless gift of leadership and his tremendous effort in helping us fulfill our land-grant mission on the Near East Side.”

Prior to joining PACT, Fred was a board member at Ohio State East Hospital, providing perspective and guidance to expand clinical service, improve quality and ensure the longterm viability of this important community asset. Fred is a retired partner in the Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP Columbus office and was a member of the bankruptcy practice and the government affairs and lobbying group. Fred is a loyal donor with more than 40 years of giving.