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Ohio State honors three at autumn commencement - 12/12/08

Three individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University's autumn 2008 commencement for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university. Ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (12/14), in the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

An honorary doctorate will be presented to William E. Evans, chief executive officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to alumni Anne Kitredge Jeffrey and Bruce W. Lavash, who have committed time and resources to many university projects.

William E. Evans, Doctor of Science

William E. Evans is director and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and holder of the St. Jude Professorship and Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.

For the past 30 years, his research at St. Jude has focused on the pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents in children, with emphasis on treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is the recipient of three consecutive NIH MERIT (Methods to Extend Research in Time) Awards from the National Cancer Institute.

Evans earned his B.S. and Pharm.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee, before joining the university faculty in 1974 and the St. Jude faculty in 1976. From 1986 to 2002, he served as chair of St. Jude's pharmaceutical department and, from 1983 to 1991, as chair of the University of Tennessee's College of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy. He is the first non-physician to serve as director of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

He has authored more than 300 articles and numerous book chapters and has edited several textbooks and scientific journals. He is recognized by ISI as a "Highly Cited Scientist." In addition, Dr. Evans has given more than 200 invited presentations in 20 countries. His professional contributions include service on several scientific advisory boards, including the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the International Advisory Council for the Singapore Agency of Science, Technology, and Research.

His national awards include the Therapeutic Frontiers Award of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Volwiler Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Tyler Award from the American Pharmacists Association, and the Yaffe Lifetime Achievement Award in Pediatric Pharmacology. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

Anne Kittredge Jeffrey, Distinguished Service Award

Anne Kittredge Jeffrey has served the central Ohio community as a dedicated volunteer for more than five decades. She currently serves as chair of The Ohio State University-Harding Behavioral Health Board and as co-chair, with her husband, Robert "Tad" Jeffrey, of The Ohio State University Medical Center's "Power to Change Lives" campaign.

After attending Skidmore College and Columbia University, Jeffrey moved to Columbus with her husband in 1956 and began working as a volunteer at Columbus State Hospital. She joined the Mental Health Association and has campaigned for better mental health services in Columbus ever since. She was a founding member and first president of the Columbus Area Community Mental Health Center and founding member of the Franklin County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services and the Community Shelter Board.

In 2003, she chaired the OSU Medical Center's fund-raising effort for the George T. Harding III, M.D., Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, raising more than $1.5 million to establish the first chair in the department. The Jeffreys' dedication to the Medical Center's Neurosciences Campaign Committee led to the Medical Center's raising more than $18 million for neuroscience programs. She and her husband established the Jeffrey Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2007. In addition, they have supported numerous other Ohio State programs, including WOSU, Women and Philanthropy, Moritz College of Law, Fisher College of Business, Wexner Center, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, the James Fund for Life, and the Chadwick Arboretum.

Jeffrey was the first woman president of United Way in 1971, chaired its 1972 campaign, and was the first woman to receive United Way's highest honor, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in 1998. She was honored as a Woman of Achievement by the Columbus YWCA in 1996 and is the recipient of Ohio State's 2002 Gerlach Development Volunteer Award.

Bruce W. Lavash, Distinguished Service Award

Bruce W. Lavash is a research fellow at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and a member of P&G's prestigious Victor Mills Society, which recognizes the corporation's most innovative technologists.

Lavash joined Procter & Gamble after receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees from The Ohio State University in 1977 and 1978, respectively. During his career at P&G, he developed more than 30 U.S. patents for paper-related consumer products that are today used and recognized globally, including tissue paper products, disposable bibs, pet litter box systems, and absorbent undergarments.

Throughout his career, he has maintained a close relationship with his alma mater, especially with the College of Engineering, where he serves as P&G's top recruiter at Ohio State. In that role, he has been highly effective at connecting Ohio State's top engineering students with one of America's premier corporations. He has also been influential in obtaining P&G funding that provides significant support for several College of Engineering initiatives, including the Women in Engineering and Minority Engineering programs.

He serves as a member of the University Honors External Advisory Committee, offering an outside perspective on Ohio State's Honors Program. With a strong belief in the value of undergraduate research, he continues to be involved in many on-campus activities, including organizing sponsors for the annual Fundamentals in Engineering Honors Program robot competition, serving as judge and speaker for the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, and as a participant in the First Year Experience Leadership Collaborative. In addition, he conducts seminars with P&G professionals in leadership, problem solving, and communication for Ohio State students. His many contributions to Ohio State include a gift to support construction of Scott Laboratory.