By George Mauzy
Ohio University alumna Jeanette Grasselli Brown became the fourth recipient of a 2003-04 Founders Citation at the Ohio University Foundation Board Meeting on Friday, Nov. 7, at the new lecture hall building.
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.
Grasselli Brown surprised the audience at the ceremony by presenting Ohio University President Robert Glidden with a complete set of original McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. The books were first published in 1836 by Ohio University's fourth president, William H. McGuffey. The books taught million of people to read and became the standard school textbook in America leading up to World War I, selling more than 122 million copies. Ohio University is expected to place the books in its library archive.
A former member and chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, Grasselli Brown headed the search committee that recommended the hiring of President Robert Glidden. She was a distinguished visiting professor and director of research enhancement at Ohio University from 1989 to 1995. She also was a member of The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees and served on the University's Third Century Campaign committee for the Cleveland region.
In addition to establishing the Frontiers in Science Lecture Series, Grasselli Brown has endowed or funded numerous chairs, fellowships and scholarships and has given to a wide variety of campus interests, including the Honors Tutorial College, Women's Business Resource Program, Stadium Tower and the Department of Chemistry. The College of Arts and Sciences presented her with the Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker Award for Distinguished and Enduring Service. She also has received the Ohio University Alumni Association Alumna of the Year Award and Medal of Merit as well as the John C. Baker Founder's Award.
A chemist and scientist, Grasselli Brown is a member and former chair of the Ohio Board of Regents. In 1989, she retired as director of corporate research and development at BP America, where she was the company's highest-ranking female employee to date. She served on six corporate boards of directors, including those of three Fortune 500 companies. She earned a bachelor's degree in science from Ohio University before adding a master's degree in science from Case Western Reserve University.
Grasselli Brown serves as a trustee of the Musical Arts Association (Cleveland Orchestra), Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Holden Arboretum, Great Lakes Science Center, National Inventors Hall of Fame, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, WVIZ-TV and The City Club of Cleveland. Her accolades include the Ellis Island National Medal of Honor, Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society and YWCA's Career Woman of the Year. She has earned 12 honorary degrees – the first from Ohio University in 1978 – from colleges across the United States and the University of Pecs in Hungary, where she supports the Business School Program. Brown lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with her husband, Glenn.
George Mauzy is a media specialist with University Communications and Marketing.