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Published: October 9, 2017 Author: Julie Ciotola, photos by Maddie Hordinski

The OHIO Alumni Association and OHIO Athletics honored exceptional alumni for the value and support they provide their communities and the University at this year’s 77th annual Alumni Awards Gala in Baker University Center Ballroom on Friday.

More than 360 people gathered to celebrate 14 individuals who have made their University proud because of their professional accomplishments and overall service to others.

David Bambrey, interim assistant vice president of alumni relations and the Association’s interim executive director, said these extraordinary individuals’ “talent, service and love for their alma mater have topped the charts.” 

The annual Alumni Awards was held in University Baker Center Ballroom

undefinedGuests applauded the accomplishments of OHIO’s finest alumni and paid tribute to Marching 110’s 50th birthday. An electrifying video performance of the most exciting band in the land was projected around the ballroom. 

Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., receives the alumnus of the year award

undefinedOhio 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, Bambrey, President Nellis and Ron Teplitzky, AB ’84, chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors. In his acceptance speech, Fogg extended utmost gratitude to the OHIO family for countless years of support. “There are even some people here who I may not even know well, but because of the work you do here, you have made my life’s work more complete,” Fogg said. “So, as I accept this award, I say it is I who should thank you all.” Fogg is founder and chairman of the board for Ray Fogg Building Methods, Inc., a design-build contracting company in northeast Ohio. Fogg’s knack for innovation led his company through the successful completion of more than 3,500 building projects and the development of five major industrial parks. His passion for service is reflected through personal involvement in humanitarian efforts. In the 1970s, he spearheaded a building mission in Guatemala City, where his volunteer group restored 35,000 homes after a natural disaster. Fogg holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from OHIO and serves on several University boards. 

David Palmer accepted the Honorary Alumnus Award.

undefinedDavid Palmer, center, accepted the Honorary Alumnus award with Bambrey, right, and Awards Committee Chairman Larry Starr, BSED ’68, MED ’71, left. An Athens radio mogul, Palmer has supported Athens and Ohio University, along with its students, since 1973. He works to facilitate and improve town and University relations. As the president of Athens radio stations WATH and WXTQ, and president and former general manager of the Southern Ohio Copperheads baseball team, he has provided students in sports-related programs numerous opportunities. Palmer said he is thankful for the Athens community and culture. “I have loved my duties with the School of Music, School of Theater, Kids On Campus, the Scripps School of Journalism, and Sports Administration, as well as serving on numerous committees. I hope to continue my involvement for many years to come,” he said.   The Association routinely partners with OHIO Athletics to acknowledge The Kermit Blosser OHIO Athletics Hall of Fame inductees and Alumni Awardees. This year, the Athletic Director’s Award of Excellence was added to the list of recognitions. This new award is given to an individual who did not pass through the OHIO Athletics program, but who has demonstrated dedication and support for the department. Athletics Director Jim Schaus, Chair of Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Tom Davis, BGS ’68, and the voice of the Bobcats Russ Eisenstein presented these awards.   Perry Sook, BSC ’80, CEO of Nexstar Broadcasting, received the Athletic Director’s Award of Excellence. Sook, who was unable to attend the gala, is launching the construction of The Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center. This advanced learning center will provide athletes with easily accessible academic resources. 

Lauren Mazziotto, BSC '02, was inducted to the Blosser Hall of Fame.

undefinedLauren Mazziotto, BSC ’02, second from left, was inducted to the Blosser Hall of Fame. She was congratulated by Davis, Schaus, and Eisenstein, from left. The Kermit Blosser Hall of Fame inductees were: Benjamin Crabtree, BSC ’06, a four-year letter-winning baseball player; Mazziotto, named All-MAC First Team in 2000 for field hockey; and Kalvin McRae, BSRS ’11, an OHIO football running back who scored the most touchdowns in OHIO history. Charles “Skip” Vosler, HON ’13, who served as OHIO’s head athletic trainer from 1971 to 1997, was given the Kermit Blosser OHIO Athletics Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Matthew Denhart, BA '10, was honored with the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award

undefinedMatthew Denhart, BA ’10, delivered an acceptance speech after receiving the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award. The award honors the success of an alumnus or alumna within 15 years of graduation from the University. Denhart is the executive director of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Denhart, who was part of the Cutler Scholars Program at OHIO, has published several reports on topics like immigration, labor and economic policy. “It is humbling to receive this award, especially considering all the incredible accomplishments of so many Bobcat alumni,” Denhart said. “I’m honored beyond what words can express.” Starr presented William Hilyard, BSED ’67, with the Distinguished Service Award. Hilyard serves on the board for several art-related organizations and generously donates to OHIO’s College of Fine Arts. Chuck Williams, BSED ’67, was also bestowed this year’s Distinguished Service Award. Williams is involved with OHIO Athletics and is an active member in several organizations that seek to fundraise for the University.  

Cherron Payne, BSC '95, received the Medal of Merit

undefinedCherron Payne, BSC ’95, center, received the Medal of Merit alongside Bambrey and Teplitzky, from left. The Medal of Merit award highlights alumni who have excelled in their professional fields. For the first time, the award was given to all women. The 2017 recipients are Lynn Johnson, MA ’04, an acclaimed photojournalist who has worked for publications such as National Geographic and Life; Cherron Payne, BSC ’95, managing attorney of ACP Law Firm, LLC; and Jacqueline Reau, BSJ ’92, MSA ’12, CEO of Game Day Communications. “At Ohio University, I not only dared to dream, I actually did dream,” Payne said. “I dreamed of becoming a successful attorney, a magistrate, a published author or being accepted into an Ivy League graduate program. Ohio University helped me to achieve those dreams and cemented my love of learning.”

The Marching 110 delivered a virtual performance that was projected around the ballroom.

undefinedIn recognition of its 50th anniversary, the Marching 110 delivered a virtual performance that was projected around the ballroom.  The gala also recognized the four 2017-18 Legacy Scholarship student recipients. Read about their accomplishments. Nominate an outstanding alumnus or alumna for the 2018 Alumni Awards.