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Voinovich Center alumni and students gather in Columbus

By Julie Shaw

More than 150 Ohio University graduates and friends were on hand as Ohio University President Robert Glidden received three standing ovations during a special recognition ceremony held in his honor at the 21st Annual State Government Alumni Luncheon May 12 in Columbus, Ohio. The luncheon was presented by Ohio University's Department of Political Science and the Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs.

Robert Glidden and Rod Chu. Photos by Bryan DuffieThe program also featured presentation of the State Government Alumni Award to Wendy Zhan, education fiscal supervisor of the Legislative Services Commission, and a keynote address by Jon Allison, Gov. Taft's chief of staff.

Among those paying tribute to Glidden was Larry Householder (R-District 91), Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. "You've been a dynamic leader for us, a dynamic leader for Ohio," Householder said. "Robert Glidden has done an exceptional job as president. He has always strived for excellence and has moved the University to new heights."

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Rod Chu also spoke of Glidden's "passion for the importance of quality education, and his commitment to bettering the future of all Ohioans." Chu expressed gratitude for "Bob Glidden's dynamic contributions as a member, for all of its eight years, of our Higher Education Funding Commission, and for the broad vision, insightful leadership, and personal friendship of an extraordinary individual."

Glidden was presented with resolutions from the Ohio House and Senate recognizing his service to the University. U.S. Senator George Voinovich entered a tribute to Glidden into the Congressional Record for May 10.

"I think it is important to recognize Dr. Glidden's commitment, dedication and hard work," Voinovich said. "Most of all, though, I would like to applaud his stance that education is the best means through which to raise up the individual, the State of Ohio and our great nation, and his zeal in conveying that philosophy."

A special commemorative medallion was designed by Brian Duffie, a visual communications intern at the Voinovich Center.

Zhan, who earned a master's degree in public affairs from Ohio University, was recognized for her innovative work with legislators on behalf of education funding. The State Government Alumni Award is presented each year to an Ohio University alum in recognition of their outstanding service to the State of Ohio. Zhan's achievements are also the subject of resolutions passed by the Ohio House and Senate in conjunction with the award.

"Behind any competent piece of work Wendy does, there is a level of brilliance," said Ohio Sen. Jeff Jacobson. "The state is fortunate to have people like Zhan working for it with unflagging dedication for doing it right."

Outside the luncheon, students talk about their work on rural policy projects through the Voinovich Center. Photos by Bryan DuffiePrior to the luncheon, Voinovich Center students talked with legislators at the Ohio Statehouse and with luncheon attendees about their work on Voinovich Center projects in environmental studies, health and human services and public policy. The students were able to highlight the positive impact they have on Appalachian Ohio.

"The poster presentation was a great opportunity to explain how my work at the Voinovich Center applies to the real world," said Maeve Redmond, a student in Ohio University's environmental studies master's program. "The feedback from luncheon questions was very helpful. Not only did they offer comments, they seemed sincerely interested in learning about what we as students are involved in."

The alumni lunch began 21 years ago as an opportunity to recognize former Ohio University students' contributions to state government and to systematically involve alumni in the development of public affairs programs at Ohio University. It also gives students the chance to share their projects and experiences with alumni.

To read the Congressional Record entry, please go to: http://frwebgate3.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=07725817780+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve  

Julie Shaw is a graduate assistant with the Voinovich Center.

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