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Ohio State honors four at summer 2007 commencement

COLUMBUS – Four individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University's summer 2007 commencement for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university. Ceremonies begin at 1 p.m. Sunday (8/26) at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Ohio State will award honorary doctorate degrees to David J. Gross, the Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics and director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara; and Orlando L. Taylor, vice provost for research, dean of the Graduate School, and professor of communications at Howard University.

Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to two Ohio State alumni who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the university: Ted A. Beattie, president and CEO of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago; and Judith E. Tuckerman, a leader in the Columbus philanthropic community.

David J. Gross, Doctor of Science

Nobel laureate David J. Gross is the Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics and director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

A native of Washington, D.C., he received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Berkeley, followed by a fellowship at Harvard. He began his teaching career at Princeton University in 1969 and was named professor of physics in 1972, then Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics in 1986 and Thomas Jones Professor of Mathematical Physics in 1995. He joined the faculty of the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1997, where he remains today.

In 1973, Professor Gross, working with his graduate student, Frank Wilczek, at Princeton, discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction, or color charge, is between them, and they behave almost as free particles. Asymptotic freedom, independently discovered by David Politzer, was important for the development of quantum chromodynamics. Along with Wilczek and Politzer, Professor Gross was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics.

He has made seminal contributions to the theory of superstrings, taking a critical role in the explosive development of string theory in the 1980s, bringing gravity into the quantum framework. With collaborators, he originated the "heterotic string theory," the prime candidate for a unified theory on all the forces of nature. He continues to do research in this field at the Kavli Institute, the world center of string theory.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Professor Gross has received numerous awards for his work, including the J.J. Sakurai Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Dirac Medal, Stockholm University's Oscar Klein Medal, the Harvey Prize of the Technion, the European Physical Society Prize in Elementary Particle Physics, and the Grande Medaille D'Or of the French Academy of Science.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and the Indian Academy of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Orlando L. Taylor, Doctor of Higher Education

Orlando L. Taylor is vice provost for research, dean of the Graduate School, and professor of communications at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Taylor holds a bachelor's degree from Hampton University, a master's degree from Indiana University, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He joined Howard University's faculty in 1973 as a graduate professor and department chair in Communication Arts and Sciences/Communication Sciences and Disorders. He has since served as Howard's School of Communications' dean from 1985 to 1993; as executive assistant to the president in 1994; and as interim vice president for academic affairs from 1994 to 1995. He became dean of the Graduate School in 1993 and vice provost for research in 2003.

As dean, he has played a significant role in assuring Howard's continued national leadership in graduate education. Howard produces more African American Ph.D. recipients than any other research university in the nation, and Taylor has been a vigorous advocate and spokesperson on topics and issues relating to access and equity in higher education.

He has raised several million dollars in research, training, and program development grants from federal and private sources during his tenure at Howard. Currently, he serves as principal investigator on major grants from the National Science Foundation to increase the production of minority Ph.D. recipients in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) and in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences; as well as from the U.S. Department of Education to develop collaborative academic and research programs between universities in Brazil and in four European Union countries with those in the United States.

Taylor is currently or has served previously as a member of numerous national boards, including the board of directors of the Council of Graduate Schools, for which he served as board chair in 2001. He is also a past president of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, the National Communication Association, and the Council of Social Science Associations. He is a former member of the Advisory Committee of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources of the National Science Foundation and of an advisory council at the National Institutes of Health. He is a current member of the board of trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and chairs the National Advisory Board for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, a major NSF-funded center at the University of Wisconsin.

Ted A. Beattie, Distinguished Service Award

Ted A. Beattie has been president and chief executive officer of Chicago's John G. Shedd Aquarium since 1994. Shedd is the highest-attended aquarium of its kind in the nation with more than two million visitors each year.

Born in Salem, Ohio, Beattie earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and his mater's degree in public relations at The Ohio State University. He started his zoo and aquarium career as the Cincinnati Zoo's first marketing and development director in 1981, followed by positions as associate director of Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, executive director of the Knoxville Zoological Gardens, and director and CEO of the Fort Worth Zoological Park.

At the Shedd Aquarium, he is responsible for the overall management of the aquarium and its operating divisions, including programs, research, development, finance, and operations. Under his leadership, the aquarium has deepened its commitment to education while embarking on one of its largest-ever expansion projects—a new wing that houses the $45 million Wild Reef, featuring one of the largest and most diverse shark exhibits in North America.

Appointed by President George W. Bush to the 16-member U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, he has helped craft recommendations on a range of issues, from stewardship of marine resources and pollution prevention to enhancing marine science, commerce, and transportation. On a national level, Mr. Beattie has been an active member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, having served as president of the 6,000-member professional organization.

Beattie's ties to his alma mater have remained strong. As a past chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, he guided the association through the early stages of an organizational transition. He served on the Provost's External Advisory Board on Teaching and the advisory board for the School of Communication. In 2002, Beattie played an integral role in establishing a strategic communications program within the School of Communication. In addition, he serves on the Chicago Major Gifts Committee.

As a member of the "Affirm Thy Friendship Campaign" National Major Gift Committee, Beattie played a leading role in strengthening partnerships among Chicago-area alumni and friends of Ohio State, opening the Shedd Aquarium on occasion for campaign events.

He is the recipient of The Ohio State University's School of Communication's Distinguished Alumni Award and the American Zoo Association's Marlin Perkins Award for Lifetime Achievement and Professional Excellence, and he was named Chicago's Chief Executive Officer of the Year in 2006.

Judith E. Tuckerman, Distinguished Service Award

Judith E. Tuckerman is a leader in the Columbus philanthropic community and a longtime supporter of The Ohio State University.

A 1964 graduate of Ohio State with a bachelor of science in education, Tuckerman has played a leading role in strengthening her university, in particular the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. She has served on the Wexner Center Donor Circles Council since its 1990 inception, acting as chair since 1992, and her efforts have resulted in a more than 400% increase in membership and more than $5 million in gifts through the Donor Circles program alone.

She continues to be an invaluable member of the Wexner Center's annual Anniversary Gala planning committee, and she and her family have established the Tuckerman Family Endowment for Children's Programs, which sustains and enhances the center's ongoing educational programs.

Tuckerman has served as a trustee for the James Foundation Board since 2002, actively assisting in volunteer recruitment and fund-raising strategies. Her advocacy and support were instrumental in launching the James Fund for Life, the first effort by the community to support the James on an annual basis. She and her husband, Steve, have co-chaired the hospital's very successful annual Celebration for Life fund-raising event since its inception. The Tuckermans have also created the Tuckerman Family Breast Cancer Research Endowment to support and advance breast cancer research at the James, and, in 2002, they served as honorary chairs of Stefanie's Champions, benefiting the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. Together they chair the James Cancer Hospital campaign, and they have agreed to co-chair the upcoming Ohio State University Medical Center's "Power to Change Lives" campaign.

Equally dedicated to the greater Columbus community, Tuckerman has given her time and expertise to the YWCA, Race for the Cure, the Columbus Montessori Education Center, the Columbus Jewish Federation, the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, and the American Cancer Society, among others.

She is the recipient of Ohio State's Gerlach Award for her volunteer service and was named one of the YWCA's Women of Achievement in 2003 and Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Central Ohio chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2004.