Howard Nolan

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Ohio University mourns the loss of distinguished alumnus Howard Nolan

Ohio University alumnus Howard Eugene Nolan passed away on Dec. 3.

A Dayton native and proud graduate of Dayton Dunbar High School, Nolan came to OHIO in the 1950s and, at the time, was the only African-American student enrolled in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology. He was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the University’s first African-American Greek Fraternity. Most recently, he assisted in the creation of the “Soulful Bobcats” reunion group, which is composed of African-American alumni who were OHIO students during the 1950s.

“Howard was known for his honesty, professional ability and kind spirit. He was trustworthy. Most important, he was a mentor to everyone he worked with,” said Jim Edwards, member of the Russ College Board of Visitors. “He was a professional engineer.”

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Nolan was principal emeritus and co-founder of Moody Nolan Architecture and Engineering, LTD – the fourth largest architectural engineering firm in central Ohio and the largest African-American owned firm in the United States. His work is evident on the OHIO campus with the renovation of Copeland Hall and the construction of the new Baker University Center.

“Howard was a blessing to our University and we are honored by the legacy that he leaves at Ohio University,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. “His legacy is one that extends beyond bricks and mortar. It is reflected in the values infused in our University community and it is evidenced in the future generations of students for whom he paved a way as an agent of change. The Ohio University community will miss Howard and his many contributions to our great University.”

Beyond his professional contributions to the University, Nolan served as a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board of Trustees, the Russ College Department of Civil Engineering Advisory Board, and the Russ College Board of Visitors. He and his family opened doors to higher education for future students with the establishment of the Moody/Nolan Ltd. Minority Scholarship in the Russ College. Nolan received the Ohio University Alumni Association Medal of Merit in 1998 and was inducted into the Russ College Academy of Distinguished Graduates in 1999.