2020 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.
Portrait of Philip T.K. Daniel

Philip T. K. Daniel




Philip T.K. Daniel is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Education Administration (emeritus) and former adjust professor of Law. He is an easily recognizable figure in faculty governance having served four terms on University Senate. His time on the Faculty Council, the Athletic Council and the Council on Student Affairs, among others, exemplifies his dedication to the university.

As a nominator wrote: “T.K. will always raise his hand for service of the university.”  His recognition is for more than just involvement as he is always well prepared, understands multiple sides to any discussion and helps members of a group move beyond individual positional focus to arrive at a resolution in the best interest of the institution. 

T.K. received the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service (2014), the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (1993) and is a member of the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teaching. He was president of the Education Law Association, served on their Board of Directors and received the highest award of the organization for his research in and service to the field, the Marion McGehey Award.

Portrait of E. Christopher Ellison

E. Christopher "Chris" Ellison, MD, FACS



Chris Ellison is the Robert M. Zollinger Professor Emeritus in the College of Medicine. He held multiple significant leadership roles within his department and across the entire healthcare enterprise at Ohio State, including the Department Chair and Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and President of Ohio State University Physicians, Inc. (OSUP). An integral part of the creation of OSUP and the OSU Faculty Group Practice that created a unified physician plan structure, Chris led the faculty through these changes to provide a more coordinated and integrated faculty practice. 

As a nominator wrote: “Chris’ ability to bridge the clinical, education and research missions within academic medicine make him a very unique leader.” In 2018, the College of Medicine created the Mazzaferri-Ellison Society of Master Clinicians to recognize excellence in clinical practice, teaching, mentoring, professionalism, leadership and service. Chris’ national involvement strengthened Ohio State’s reputation. He served as Chair of the American Board of Surgery, Secretary of the American Surgical Association, Governor at Large for the American College of Surgeons and President of the Social of Surgical Chairs. Chris is a loyal supporter of the university with 38 years of giving.

Portrait of Timothy Gerber

Timothy "Tim" Gerber, DMA



Timothy "Tim" Gerber is a professor emeritus, and recognized for his outreach in the community, support for students beyond his role as a faculty member, and service through University Senate. A champion for music education for all students, Tim volunteered in Columbus City Schools and served as the principal author of educational materials for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for nearly 20 years. Tim was instrumental in the design of the Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), particularly regarding the role of the faculty mentor. 

He also volunteered as one of the first faculty mentors and did so for multiple years. As chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Semesters, Tim was helped to define the semester calendar and personally recommended the 4-week May Session. Tim served two terms as secretary of the University Senate, and is known for his work ethic, relationship skills and sheer presence as he steadily led the Senate through successful transitions in senior administration. As one nominator wrote: “Tim has served this university in more capacities than any faculty member I’ve encountered in the 28 years I’ve been employed at Ohio State.”  Tim is a loyal supporter of the university with 27 years of giving.