Community leader and philanthropist Abigail Wexner to deliver commencement address
Ohio State University trustee Abigail Wexner will deliver the university’s spring commencement address.
Wexner will address approximately 11,500 graduates and their families during the ceremony, which begins at noon on Sunday, May 7, at Ohio Stadium.
Wexner is a lawyer and community volunteer, and is involved in philanthropic work nationally and locally, with a particular focus on children’s issues. She was appointed to a nine-year term on the Board of Trustees in 2014, ending in 2023.
“It is a delight to welcome Abigail Wexner to speak at our 415th commencement ceremony,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “Abigail’s decades of community service and philanthropy are shining examples for all who aspire to profoundly impact the lives of others. Her compassion and determination are true assets to our university and will no doubt inspire our graduates as they set out to elevate our communities, the state and the broader world.”
Wexner serves on the boards of L Brands, Inc., Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, the Columbus Partnership, Pelotonia, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, The Wexner Foundation, The Wexner Center Foundation and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. She is a founding board member and vice chair of the board for KIPP Columbus, founder and chair of the board for The Center for Family Safety and Healing and past chair of the Governing Committee of The Columbus Foundation. She also held a presidential appointment to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
From 2005 through July 2012, she served as chair of the board of directors for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Under her leadership, Nationwide Children’s completed the largest pediatric expansion in our nation’s history and has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals list every year since 2006.
Prior to moving to Columbus, she practiced law from 1987 to 1992 with the London and New York offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell. She is a graduate of the Dwight School, New York City; Barnard College at Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; and New York University School of Law.
Also during the ceremony, the university will award the honorary Doctor of Public Service to Wexner and the honorary Doctor of Public Administration degree to Charles F. Bolden Jr., former astronaut and NASA administrator.
The university will confer the Distinguished Service Award on Lucy Shelton Caswell, professor emerita and founding curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum; and Richard Stoddard, who worked at Ohio State in numerous administrative capacities for 37 years.