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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

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John A. Carey Jr. and Joe Hallett

Keynote speaker Chancellor John A. Carey Jr. discusses college affordability during his Q&A with recently retired Columbus Dispatch senior editor Joe Hallett.

Photo courtesy of: University Advancement

Scott Milburn introduces Craig Butler

Scott Milburn introduces Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Craig Butler as the recipient of The Outstanding State Government Alumni Award.

Photo courtesy of: University Advancement

Jacqueline Romer Sensky congratulates Gayle Channing Tenenbaum

President of JRS Group Jacqueline Romer Sensky congratulates OHIO professor of public policy Gayle Channing Tenenbaum on more than 40 years in public service.

Photo courtesy of: University Advancement

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Alumni honored at 31st annual State Government Luncheon


Delicate chocolates and green and white banners, each emblazoned with the OHIO crest, greeted alumni as they filed into the Ballroom of the Columbus Athletic Club for the 31st annual State Government Luncheon on May 13. More than 150 OHIO alumni were honored at the event for their work in public service in Ohio.

The luncheon, which was hosted by President Roderick J. McDavis on behalf of the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, honored two outstanding alumni with the State Government Alumni Award.

In his address, McDavis applauded the group for their support during The Promise Lives Campaign, which has surpassed its goal to raise $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and facilities at Ohio University.

McDavis also praised them for their dedication to public service at the University and beyond. “This is certainly a proud day for me, to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the Ohio University alumni who have dedicated themselves to public service in the great state of Ohio.”

Since its inception in 1983, the Annual State Government Luncheon has focused on recognizing acts of community and public service by alumni that lead to the betterment of the state of Ohio. Dr. Jenifer Cushman, dean of the Ohio University Zanesville Campus and associate professor of German, saw the luncheon as a great way to get connected to these outstanding individuals.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know people who have benefitted from an OU education and gone on to bring about positive change for our state,” Cushman said.

Keynote speaker Chancellor John A. Carey Jr., 1981 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed by recently retired Columbus Dispatch senior editor Joe Hallett, 1971 Scripps College of Communication graduate. The two discussed the state of politics in Ohio and the issue of college affordability for minorities and first-generation students.

Carey, a longtime politician and first-generation college student himself, has received numerous awards for his work regarding job education and job creation. He stressed the importance of supporting students in order to help them be successful during their college years.

The Outstanding State Government Alumni Award was presented to distinguished OHIO alumni Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Craig Butler, 1997 College of Arts and Sciences graduate with a master’s degree in environmental studies; and an honorary award granted to Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, director of policy and governmental affairs, and the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PSCAO).

Butler was called “steady, knowledgeable and unyielding” by the communications director for Gov. John Kasich, 1991 Scripps College of Communication graduate Scott Milburn, who presented the award. Butler thanked his mother and father for instilling in him the drive to succeed, and spoke fondly of his time at Ohio University.

“When I walked onto the Ohio University campus for the very first time, I said to myself, ‘I’m never going to leave here. And I never have.’”

Butler has spent more than 24 years as a public servant, holding positions such as assistant policy director for energy, agriculture and the environment under Gov. Kasich, and member of the board of directors for the Ohio Alliance for the Environment.

Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, with more than 40 years in the realm of public service, spoke of her continuing work in being a voice for the children of Ohio and in “identifying how we can work in new ways to make sure that children in our care are in safe homes.”

In addition to Tenenbaum’s work in public service, she is also an adjunct professor of public policy at Ohio University. Award presenter, President of JRS Group Jacqueline Romer Sensky, joked Tenenbaum’s desire to become a Bobcat was finally recognized.

“We all win so much from all the great work you’ve done on behalf of our University and all the great work you’ve done on behalf of the students who attend Ohio University, and the children of Ohio,” she said. “You are a great, great friend. You’re a great teacher, you’re a benchmark for public service, and now, most of all, you are a Bobcat.”