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OHIO to honor student leaders on Wednesday

Melanie Sabelhaus to serve as keynote speaker

Ohio University will honor its student leaders at the Leadership Awards Gala at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, in Baker University Center Ballroom.

More than 80 students will be honored at the awards gala and more than 40 students will receive awards and scholarships.

"Leadership is what students do here at Ohio University and we use this gala to recognize that ... It is the duty of the university to recognize those students who choose to lead in the classroom, community and in their daily lives," said Kevin Smith,  interim assistant director of leadership for the Campus Involvement Center.

While 2010 marks the 27th year of the Leadership Awards, this year will mark the third year for the Leadership Awards Gala, which has been sold out since the second week of April, according to Smith.

"The actual awards themselves began in 1983, but three years ago faculty and staff at Ohio University decided that the university should do more to honor those who exemplify leadership on campus," said Smith.

More students were nominated for leadership awards this year than any previous year, which made the selection of finalists and recipients that much harder for the selection committee, which was made up of OHIO faculty and staff and community members.

New to this year, the gala will feature short videos from the students who are finalists for the Outstanding Senior Leader Awards.

The event will be hosted by Errik Ejike, a senior in the College of Health and Human Services, and Emily Dale, a freshman in the College of Fine Arts.

President Roderick J. McDavis will open the event followed by a message from Ohio University Women in Philanthropy. They will speak about the importance of giving back to OHIO and the Athens community as a whole, according to Smith.

Melanie Sabelhaus, entrepreneur and 1970 alumna of OHIO will be the keynote speaker for the event.

Sabelhaus, who also will serve as this year's undergraduate commencement speaker, is a former deputy administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration. She also has served on the Ohio University College of Business Executive Advisory Board and in 1997 was presented the Outstanding Achievement in Business Award from the College of Business.

Finally, McDavis will begin the process of bestowing the leadership awards onto their recipients.

The event was planned by the Campus Involvement Center and made possible by the generous contributions of four transformational corporate sponsors that help leverage the Leadership Center's endowment fund. These sponsors include Broney's Alumni Grill, Highland Campus Health Group, Ohio Realty and the Ohio University Credit Union.

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