18:00 PM

Champion of children and families will speak at winter commencement

Yvette McGee Brown, president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, will be the speaker for Ohio State's winter commencement, set for Sunday, March 22 in St. John Arena. Approximately 2,000 students will receive degrees during the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. Graduates and guests can find complete information on the ceremony at http://www.osu.edu/commence/.A 1985 graduate of Ohio State's Moritz College of Law, McGee Brown has had a distinguished career focused on improving the lives of young people. As president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, she leads an effort that serves as a national model created to break the cycle of child abuse and family violence.

A collaboration between Nationwide Children's and the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, the center brings together police, prosecutors, child welfare social workers, prevention specialists, domestic violence advocates, and Nationwide Children's medical and therapeutic staff. The center provides assessment, treatment, prevention, training, education, and advocacy. As president of the center, she is responsible for the child abuse and behavioral health services at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Prior to her current role, she served as a judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court from 1993 to 2002. She was the first African-American and the second woman to be elected to this court. As judge, she founded programs that continue to assist area young people today: SMART, a truancy and educational neglect prevention program, and the Family Drug Court.

McGee Brown is a native of Columbus and a graduate of Columbus City Schools. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and her J.D. from The Ohio State University.

Her community commitment extends to many organizations. She is currently the chair of The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors, and serves on the boards of directors of M/I Homes, Inc., Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio, the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence and the Ohio Network of Child Advocacy Centers. She is the former chair of the United Way of Central Ohio and YWCA Columbus Board of Directors.

McGee Brown is a 2008 inductee to the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame. She has been honored for her community service with the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University, the William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association, the 2007-08 Moritz Public Service Award from Ohio State's Moritz College of Law, The Medal of Merit Alumni Award from Ohio University, the Champion of Children Award, and the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award.