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Cleveland businessman, humanitarian named Alumnus of the Year

Colleen Carow | Oct 9, 2017
Ray Fogg with President Duane Nellis
Ohio University President Duane Nellis presented the most esteemed award, Alumnus of the Year, to Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., BSCE ’53, HON ’14. Fogg, second from left, accepted his award alongside, from left, David Bambrey, interim assistant vice president of alumni relations and the Alumni Association’s interim executive director; President Nellis; and Ron Teplitzky, AB ’84, chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors.Photo by Maddie Hordinski, BSC '20

Cleveland businessman, humanitarian named Alumnus of the Year

Colleen Carow | Oct 9, 2017
Ohio University President Duane Nellis presented the most esteemed award, Alumnus of the Year, to Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., BSCE ’53, HON ’14. Fogg, second from left, accepted his award alongside, from left, David Bambrey,  interim assistant vice president of alumni relations and the Alumni Association’s interim executive director; President Nellis; and Ron Teplitzky, AB ’84, chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors.
Ohio University President Duane Nellis presented the most esteemed award, Alumnus of the Year, to Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., BSCE ’53, HON ’14. Fogg, second from left, accepted his award alongside, from left, David Bambrey, interim assistant vice president of alumni relations and the Alumni Association’s interim executive director; President Nellis; and Ron Teplitzky, AB ’84, chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors. Photo by Maddie Hordinski, BSC '20

An Ohio University civil engineering graduate came home to OHIO this weekend to be named Alumnus of the Year. Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., BSCE ’53, HON ’14, is the founder and chairman of the board for Ray Fogg Building Methods, a premier design-build contracting company in Northeast Ohio.

Fogg was recognized as for his years as an accomplished entrepreneur and being a benevolent humanitarian. He accepted the top alumni honor Friday evening at the 2017 Alumni Awards Gala, held at Baker University Center, where a tribute video chronicled his life’s achievements.

 “The Alumni Association Awards Gala was the perfect opportunity to showcase what we in the Russ College have known for many years: that our graduates have always been humanitarians and entrepreneurs,” said Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin. “Ray Fogg’s life and career are testaments to those facts.”

Fogg’s company has completed more than 3,500 building projects, owns and operates more than 2 million square feet of leased space, and has developed five major industrial parks. Fogg started his first construction job at age 11 assisting his father, also a civil engineer, and later pioneered single-source design, development and building management services when he founded Fogg Building Methods in 1959. His firm is now the premier commercial builder in northeastern Ohio.

“Of the many honors that I have received over my many years, I feel this is the most important and prestigious I have received. The other was being named one of three OHIO graduates of the year in 1953,” Fogg said.

Fogg also participated in or led countless humanitarian efforts in Central America and Africa. In the 1970s, he led a building mission in Guatemala City, where his volunteer group built 35,000 homes after a natural disaster. As a licensed pilot, he transported earthquake victims to medical treatment, delivered construction equipment that improved structural viability, and fundraised for disaster relief efforts upon returning to the U.S.

Fogg also served in Somalia in the following decade, both as a church representative offering his building expertise to support U.N. reconstruction efforts and as a representative of the CARE relief organization delivering food and medicine to famine victims. He later built housing for relief workers in northern Somalia.

In addition to international service, Fogg was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a non-profit service providing free transportation to patients for lifesaving medical treatment, and his company provides ongoing community support for organizations around Cleveland.

The career accomplishment he’s most proud of?

“It was the housing project in Honduras in the mid ‘70s. I asked a destroyed village if they wanted to rebuild their village. They said, ‘Yes,” he recalled. “I used the plentiful sand and gravel with available cement to build tilt-up homes with no reinforcing. They called me ‘Esperanza,’ or Hope.”

Fogg has also served on the boards of several international relief agencies, on boards of church‐related homes and shelters for abused or emotionally disadvantaged children and skilled‐care and retirement facilities for older adults, and on numerous university boards, including the Foundation Board, the Russ College Board of Visitors, the Department of Civil Engineering advisory board, and more. He championed the Department of Civil Engineering Construction Engineering Management certification and advises on developments in the industry that affect civil engineering graduates.

The Russ College’s motto, “create for good,” has a firm place in his own value system.

“Creating for good has many options. ‘Create for good’ for me, for family, others, for the profession, for society, the future,” he said.

Fogg earned his bachelor’s degree in 1953 and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2014. He was awarded the Ohio University Alumni Medal of Merit in 1997.  

In his acceptance remarks, Fogg humbly acknowledged his late longtime partner, Rachel D. Cavanaugh, for helping him understand the depth of his relationship with OHIO.

“It’s the people in this room, and so many others I have encountered throughout my life, who have been such a positive influence and made my life such a great joy,” he said. “Because of the work you do here, you have made my life’s work more complete,” he said.

Adrienne Cornwall contributed to this story