03:30 AM

​Ohio State awards highest honors for philanthropy, volunteerism

Four longtime Ohio State supporters have been recognized for their extraordinary generosity with the university’s most prestigious awards for philanthropy and volunteerism.

Stanley D. and Joan H. “Jodi” Ross are this year’s recipients of the Everett D. Reese Medal, the university's highest honor in recognition of exceptional service in private philanthropy.William G. “Bill” Lowrie and the late William J. “Bill” Lhota have each received the John B. Gerlach Sr. Development Volunteer Award, which rewards those who show the utmost dedication and personal investment in university fundraising efforts.

“We are truly grateful to the Ross, Lhota and Lowrie families. Their generosity advances the work of our faculty, opens doors for our students and improves the health and well-being of our community,” said President Michael V. Drake. “These awards recognize and honor our Buckeye benefactors who make Ohio State, and the world, a better place.”

The Rosses, longtime supporters of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, have invested generously in research advancement across the entire spectrum of brain health at Ohio State’s Neurological Institute. Their $10 million gift, which was inspired by their son’s successful recovery at Dodd Hall after a race car accident, established the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Center for Brain Health and Performance. Stan Ross graduated from Ohio State in 1962.

Lowrie, a 1966 graduate, has provided leadership on a variety of Ohio State committees across four decades. In 2009, he made a transformative financial commitment to support the construction of the Koffolt Laboratories in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building, the creation of a professorship and an endowed chair, and enhancement of education and research initiatives.

Lhota, a 1964 graduate who passed away in August, retired as the president and CEO of the Central Ohio Transit Authority in 2012, and previously was division president at American Electric Power where he oversaw power transmission and distribution in 11 states. He served on dozens of nonprofit and corporate boards, including roles as chair of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. He and his wife, Susan, generously support the College of Engineering, the College of Medicine, and the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management within the alumni association.

“Ohio State thrives because of the hard work and generosity of our great alumni and supporters,” said Michael C. Eicher, senior vice president for advancement and president of The Ohio State University Foundation. “Stan and Jodi Ross, Bill Lowrie and Bill Lhota have given tirelessly to our university. Countless students, faculty and patients, and our entire Buckeye family have benefitted from them. We are all better because of our relationships with these incredible friends.”