Ohio University alumnus and longtime benefactor Wilfred Konneker will receive a 2003-04 Founders Citation at the "Turning Two Hundred" performance on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.
A former Ohio University Alumni Association president, Konneker has served as a University trustee and chair of The Ohio University Foundation board. He is a member of the Bicentennial Campaign cabinet and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology Board of Visitors. He was the director of the Innovation Center and Research Park for eight years.
He and his wife, Ann, also have established the Ann Lee Konneker Chair and have supported the Brandon T. & Ann Grover Lectureship and other areas of the University, including intercollegiate athletics, fine arts, Ohio University Chillicothe Campus and arts and sciences. The couple supported the purchase and renovation of the former Grosvenor House, which was renamed Konneker Alumni Center in their honor. The couple has endowed 19 undergraduate scholarships in the Manasseh Cutler Scholars Program for students from Wilfred and Ann's former schools, Greenfield-McClain High School, Chillicothe High School and Olean High School in New York, among others. The Wilfred R. Konneker Research Laboratories, which house the Ohio University Edison Biotechnology Institute, were named in his honor to recognize his leadership and service, particularly in the University's efforts to build a research base in biotechnology. Last year, the College of Arts and Sciences set up the Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker Award for Distinguished and Enduring Service in their honor.
A member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Konneker has been inducted into the Ohio University Greek Alumni Hall of Fame and received the John C. Baker Founder's Award, the College of Business Award for Achievement in Business and the Ohio University Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year Award and Medal of Merit. He is the only individual to have been awarded "lifetime trustee" status by The Ohio University Foundation board.
Konneker is president and CEO of Konneker Development Corp., and chairman and co-founder of Diagnostic Hybrids of Athens, which got its start in the Innovation Center. A pioneer in the nuclear medicine field, he is a member of the American Physical Society, Society of Nuclear Medicine, Health Physics Society, American Nuclear Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and others. He received his doctorate in nuclear physics in 1950 from Washington University, St. Louis. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1943 and a master's degree in 1947 from Ohio University. He and his wife, Ann Lee Konneker, have a daughter, Barbara Lynn Konneker Webster. The couple received honorary degrees from Ohio University in 1980.
The Founders Citation, the highest honor presented by the Ohio University Board of Trustees, is awarded to people who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to Ohio University as members of the faculty or administration, loyal alumni, devoted volunteers or generous philanthropists. Before this year, the prestigious award had only been awarded five times and hadn't been awarded since 1977.