By George Mauzy
Donald Spencer was the first African-American to chair the Ohio University Board of Trustees. He served on the board from 1974 to 1983 and was chair from 1979 to 1980. Spencer is on the library cabinet for the Bicentennial Campaign. He also has served as chair of the Ohio University Libraries National Advisory Council.
In 1992, he and his wife, Marian, established the Donald and Marian Spencer Endowment for the African-American Library Collection at Ohio University, which expanded the collection of materials on African-American history, politics, art, language, literature, music and culture. The Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award was established in his honor to recognize the accomplishments of minority students at Ohio University, and the Blackburn-Spencer Scholarship and Achievement Awards were named in part for him.
Former owner and president of Donald A. Spencer and Associates real estate firm, Spencer taught in the Cincinnati public schools system for 18 years. He received bachelor of arts, bachelor of education and master of education degrees from the University of Cincinnati, where he founded the undergraduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
A life member of the NAACP, Spencer has been dedicated to public service as a former member of Avondale Community Council, City of Cincinnati Board of Housing Appeals, Friends of Cincinnati Parks, Cincinnati Association of Real Estate Brokers and Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and a former board member of the YMCA, Cincinnati Boys Club, Mt. Zion Methodist Church, Ohio Council of Churches and Family Housing Developers. Spencer and his wife received honorary degrees from Ohio University in 1994. The couple has two sons, Edward and Donald Jr.
George Mauzy is a media specialist with University Communications and Marketing.