By George Mauzy
Fritz and Dolores Russ, longtime residents of Dayton, Ohio, will receive a 2003-04 Founders Citation on Friday, May 7, at the Ohio University Russ College of Engineering and Technology 2003-04 awards banquet.
Fritz, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1942 and an honorary degree in 1975 from Ohio University, and his wife, Dolores, are honorary chairs of the Ohio University Bicentennial Campaign cabinet. Fritz has served as a University trustee, an Ohio University Foundation board trustee and a College of Engineering and Technology Board of Visitors member.
In 1990, the couple made a multi-million dollar commitment to the College of Engineering and Technology, which was renamed in their honor in 1994. Since then, the couple has set up a variety of significant endowments, the majority in engineering.
In 1999, they established the prestigious Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, one of two top engineering prizes in the world. The $500,000 award is given biennially by the National Academy of Engineering and made possible by an endowment the Russes established through The Ohio University Foundation. They also have provided endowments to support faculty awards, professorships and scholarships, and they founded the Russ Institute in Biomolecular Engineering.
Fritz and Dolores were among the initial recipients of the John C. Baker Founder's Award in 1995. Dolores received the Ohio University Alumni Association Honorary Alumna Award in 1999 and Medal of Merit in 1987. Fritz received the Ohio University Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year Award in 1983 and Medal of Merit in 1964.
The couple heads Russ Venture Group Inc., an engineering consulting firm they founded after selling Systems Research Laboratories Inc. Fritz holds several patents for an automatic frequency control system for large diesel generators. He is a former U.S. Naval Research Laboratories employee, assistant director of the Industrial Research Laboratory and senior engineer for the U.S. Air Force. He also was appointed by former President Gerald Ford to a committee to study national policy on science, technology and engineering.
Fritz has been active in the National Society of Professional Engineers, Ohio Commodores, Dayton Engineers Club, Cedarville University Engineering Advisory Board and Wright State University. Dolores has served as a trustee for the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Wright State University named its Fritz and Dolores Russ Engineering Center in the couple's honor. They both have received honorary doctorate degrees from Wright State.
The Founders Citation is the highest honor presented by the Board of Trustees. Recipients have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to Ohio University, whether as faculty or staff members, loyal alumni, devoted volunteers or generous philanthropists. The citation honors them for significant and singular contributions to excellence of Ohio's first university.
George Mauzy is a media specialist with University Communications and Marketing.