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Winter Commencement Honors - 03/01/00

March 1, 2000 Contact: Karissa Shivley, 292-8295

Ohio State honors five at winter 2000 commencement

COLUMBUS - Four individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University's winter commencement for their contributions to society, the agricultural community and academia. Ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. March 17th in St. John Arena.

Honorary doctorates will be presented to Robert D. Putnam, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University and former member of the United States Security Council; and Sir Brian Urquhart, longtime United Nations high-ranking diplomat.

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to G. Edwin Johnson, president and farm director of ABN in Columbus; and Isabel Miller, associate professor emeritus from the College of Education.

Robert D. Putnam, Doctor of Political Science

Robert D. Putnam is Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the government department and director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Putnam is former dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a former member of the United States Security Council.

New York native Putnam grew up in northern Ohio and received a bachelor of arts degree with highest honors from Swarthmore College in 1963. After spending a year at Oxford University's Balliol College in England, he earned his master's and doctorate from Yale University in 1965 and 1970. Following graduation, he joined the University of Michigan faculty, becoming a full professor of political science in 1975. In 1979, he moved to Harvard as a professor of government and served as department chair from 1984 to 1988. In 1989, he was appointed dean of the Kennedy School of Government and Don K. Price Professor of Politics. He assumed his current academic post in 1993.

Throughout his career, Putnam has distinguished himself as an academic leader and scholar in the study of foreign policy, political culture and historical analysis of governments and democracy. He is the author of eight books, including The Beliefs of Politicians: Ideology, Conflict and Democracy in Britain and Italy, which established him as a major figure in his discipline. His most recent work on the erosion of social life in America, first published in the article "Bowling Alone," has captured attention from the White House to scholarly meetings in several different disciplines.

Putnam also has made notable contributions on a national level. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served as a fellow at the Wilson Center and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies; and is an occasional consultant to the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency and The World Bank.

Sir Brian E. Urquhart, Doctor of International Policy

Sir Brian E. Urquhart served as one of the United Nations' chief diplomats for four decades before becoming a scholar-in-residence in the Ford Foundation's international affairs program from 1986 to 1995.

A native of Dorset, England, Urquhart was educated at London's Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford University. Following service in the British Army during World War II, he became personal assistant to Gladwyn Jebb, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations in London. In 1946, when the newly formed United Nations moved to its New York headquarters, he was appointed assistant to Trygve Lie, the U.N.'s first secretary general. In 1951, he was named secretary of the new Collective Measures Committee, established to evaluate the U.N.'s peacekeeping potential. His behind-the-scenes involvement in crises in Cyprus, the Middle East and Korea led to his assignment to the office of the under-secretary general for special political affairs, headed by Ralph Bunche, where he served from 1954 to 1971 in various capacities. As a key member of Bunche's staff, he played a leading role in the development and deployment of the U.N.'s Emergency Force, a ten-nation military force.

In 1974 he was appointed under-secretary-general for special political affairs, charged with the direction of peace-keeping forces in the Middle East and Cyprus, as well as negotiations relating to Namibia.

Urquhart was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1986, becoming a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He is the recipient of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom from Fear Medal and the International Peace Academy's Distinguished Peacekeeper Award. A noted scholar as well as diplomat, he is the author of biographies on Dag Hammarskjold and Ralph Bunche; his own memoirs, entitled A Life in Peace and War: Decolonization and World Peace; and co-author of several books about the United Nations.

G. Edwin Johnson, Distinguished Service Award

A longtime ambassador for agriculture in Ohio, Ed Johnson is president and farm director of ABN in Columbus, which includes ABN Radio, ABN-TV and ABN Publications.

Johnson received a bachelor of science degree in 1959 from Ohio State's College of Agriculture (now the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences), where he majored in agricultural economics and agricultural education. Following graduation, he taught vocational agriculture for a year, and he continues to guest lecture at Ohio State on a variety of subjects, including communications, education and veterinary medicine.

In 1974 he founded the ABN Radio Network, which today serves 75 affiliates in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia. He does as many as 130 remote broadcasts each year from events such as FFA and 4-H conventions, state and county fairs, camps, farm shows and festivals. In addition to his radio broadcasts, he produces "Agri Country," a weekly syndicated television program seen on 10 Ohio and Indiana stations, and Ohio's Country Journal, a monthly farm magazine with a circulation of 16,000.

His service to the university is extensive. He has served as a member of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Vice President's Advisory Council and Academic Affairs Advisory Council, the Presidents Club Advisory Committee, the Alumni Association board of directors and the Ohio State Extension Development Committee. He has established the G. Edwin Johnson Scholarship Endowment Fund and is a sponsor of the annual 4-H awards.

He is the recipient of numerous state and national awards and citations for his commitment to agriculture, including the Ohio Agriculture Hall of Fame, Ohio Agri-Women Communicator of the Year, Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame and the Ohio Farm Bureau's Distinguished Communicator Award.

Isabel Miller, Distinguished Service Award

Isabel Miller is associate professor emeritus on the faculty of early and middle childhood education in Ohio State's College of Education. Although she retired more than 20 years ago, she remains actively involved in her discipline, her college and her university.

Miller joined the faculty in 1950 after receiving her bachelor of science in education in 1941 and her master's degree in education in 1948, both from Ohio State. During her tenure on the College of Education faculty, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in early childhood education, children's literature and directed a field-based program in early childhood education. From 1971 to 1979, she served as associate chair of the faculty. She also played an integral role in the initiation of Ohio State's Head Start Program.

Her service to the College of Education is far-reaching. She has served as chair of the College of Education Campaign Steering Committee since 1995, as a member of the college's Alumni Advisory Board, and has participated in focus groups about the college's external image. In 1997 she established the Isabel Miller Scholarship in Early Childhood Education. She is a recipient of the college's Friend of the College Award in recognition of her long-standing commitment.

She was the first woman president of The Faculty Club and has served on a number of committees of The Ohio State University Retirees Association (OSURA). She chaired two successful OSURA United Way campaigns in 1994 and 1995, and the association received two awards from United Way as a result of her fund-raising expertise and commitment. In 1998, she was elected the first woman president of OSURA. She is past president of the Ohio Elementary Kindergarten-Nursery Educators, and has served on the university's Select Committee on Women and Minorities.