Awards are granted to those identified and nominated by their fellow alumni who, through their service and achievements, personify the university’s tradition of excellence.
These four awards were established by the Black Alumni Society in 2008. The inaugural recipients were Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr., Jesse Owens – received by his daughter, Marlene Owens Rankin, Samella Lewis, and Larry Williamson.
Nomination Categories and Recipients
Frank W. Hale Jr. Honorary Leadership Award: Awarded biennially to an individual or organization with demonstrated devotion to the African American community at Ohio State; in particular, for significant involvement in projects that elevate the university and African American graduates. Demonstrated characteristics should include outstanding leadership, integrity, honor, and inspirational influence.
2016: Valerie B. Lee, Ph.D., 1976
Jesse Owens Influential Athlete Award: Awarded biennially to an African American alumnus and former Ohio State student-athlete who exemplifies great character and talent, demonstrates exceptional professional success, and continues to reflect the highest qualities of a consummate athlete and humanitarian.
2016: Eddie George, 2001
Samella Lewis Professional Achievement Award: Awarded biennially to an African American alumnus who has achieved notable career accomplishments and outstanding professional contributions, including professional impact, authorship of significant publications or research, and community service.
2016: John Igwebulke, Ph.D., J.D., 1991, ’91, ’96’, ’98
Larry Williamson Distinguished Service Award: Awarded biennially to an individual or organization recognized as an “Influencer of Change” for services provided to minority students through voluntary personal involvement that enriches and enhances the quality of student life at Ohio State.
Barbara Thornton Harris, 1949