Longtime Ohio University benefactor G. Kenner Bush will receive a 2003-04 Founders Citation at the "Turning Two Hundred" performance on Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.
G. Kenner Bush, former publisher of The Athens Messenger, was a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, serving from 1975 to 1984. He followed his father, Gordon, and grandfather, Frederick, as a trustee. Bush family service on the board totals 50 years, spanning the terms or portions of terms of seven of the past nine presidents of the University. From 1976 to 1992, he also was a trustee of The Ohio University Foundation. Bush and his wife, Margene Gilson Bush, BSHEC '57, have endowed four Bush-Manasseh Cutler Scholar Awards for graduates of Athens County high schools.
Bush was active in Ohio University affairs and public higher education issues statewide throughout his 35-year newspaper career. He was a member of the University's presidential search committees in 1974 and 1993-94, served as the University's trustee representative on the Inter-University Council of Ohio from 1978 to 1981 and chaired the University's Managing for the Third Century Task Force in 1991-92. A former member of the advisory board to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, he received the Ohio University Distinguished Service in Journalism Award in 1973 and the Ohio University Alumni Association Honorary Alumnus Award in 1984. He also established the Gordon K. Bush Memorial Fund for Newspaper Journalism at Ohio University when his father died in 1965 and later provided an endowment that created the Bush Research Center in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. He also was a member of the University's Innovation Center and Research Park Authority. Today, he continues his involvement with Ohio University as a member of the governing board of the Cutler Scholars Program and the advisory board to the Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs.
In addition to serving as publisher of the Messenger, Bush was president of The Messenger Publishing Co., a trustee for O'Bleness Memorial Hospital and a board member for Athens National Bank and Bank One. He is a life director of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and was its chairman in 1991-93. He also was a trustee of the Ohio Newspaper Association and a president of the Ohio Newspaper Foundation. He received the Ohio Governor's Award in 1994. Long an advocate of better highways for southeast Ohio, he chaired the highway users committee of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Council for 20 years and from 1998 through 2002 represented the area on the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council. Bush is a former member of the Athens Rotary Club and Association of the Ohio Commodores. He formerly was district chairman and executive board member of the Kootaga Area Council of the Boy Scouts and a director and president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce.
Bush, who served in the U.S. Army for two years from 1956 to 1958, earned a bachelor of arts degree from Colgate University, where he is a member of the Colgate President's Club. He later earned an MBA from Harvard University. He and his wife have two sons, Fred and David.
The Founders Citation, the highest honor presented by the Ohio University Board of Trustees, is awarded to people who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to Ohio University as members of the faculty or administration, loyal alumni, devoted volunteers or generous philanthropists. Before this year, the prestigious award had only been awarded five times and hadn't been awarded since 1977.