October 3, 2011
Saturday, Oct. 1, marked a monumental day in the history of Ohio University Libraries. Senator George V. Voinovich, along with family, friends and distinguished guests, was present in the dedication of the new Voinovich Seminar Room and the senatorial papers collection.
Voinovich, an Ohio University alumnus (’58), served 43-years in public office as a mayor, a governor and a senator. To many Ohioans, regardless of their political preference, Voinovich made his mark on America through his work on national security, environmental policy and fiscal responsibility.
The senatorial papers joined his gubernatorial papers already in place in the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University Libraries. The Voinovich Collection, as it is called, offers a unique perspective on United States politics. Today, researchers are able to explore, discover and interact with the collection as it relates to history, current events and classroom assignments.
“It is very exciting to have the opportunity to use Sen. Voinovich’s archives for classes,” said Dr. DeLysa Burnier, director of the Master of Arts Graduate Program and professor of Political Science at Ohio University. “It gives my students a chance to work directly with primary source materials. For example, in my interest groups class, students will be able to examine the different types of constituent mail that came into his senatorial office. It will be illuminating for students in classes to see actual documents and draw conclusions in light of class concepts and ideas.”
Dean of University Libraries Scott Seaman, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Ohio University President Roderick McDavis addressed the audience at the dedication. During President McDavis’ remarks, it was announced that Voinovich has been named OHIO Visiting Professor of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. He will begin his work immediately, with responsibilities including writing, seminar creation, public private partnership program development and the development of the Voinovich Collection, which is permanently housed at Ohio University’s Alden Library.
“We are exceptionally pleased that Ohio University students will directly benefit from the exceptional expertise and experience of George Voinovich,” said McDavis. “He brings direct expertise from his leadership roles in municipal, county, state, and federal government service. We are grateful to him for his willingness to share his time and talents with us. He is a source of great pride for his alma mater. We are honored to have this esteemed alumnus and friend return to enrich the educational experience of the next generation of leaders.”
Following the announcement, Voinovich discussed his time at Ohio University and what he hopes his donation of archives and teaching endeavors will bring to the campus.
“I have never forgotten the role Ohio University played in my career and my life,” said Voinovich. “That is why, of all the accolades I’ve been fortunate to receive during my years in public service, none mean more to me than the establishment of the Voinovich School. The frosting on the cake is the seminar room in Alden Library.”
The program closed with a few words from Mark Weinberg, the director of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
After the dedication, the celebration continued at the Voinovich School. A luncheon was held in conjunction with the unveiling of its welcome exhibit that is displaying some of Voinovich’s special collection. Guests included the Voinovich family and close friends who attended the luncheon and welcome exhibit.
“The fact that the event was attended by so many students, faculty, international scholars, and government officials, indicates the esteem in which Senator Voinovich is held and the interest in the opening of the collection,” said Seaman. “These papers are already being used in the classroom and will prove invaluable for political scientists, historians, environmentalists and scholars in international affairs. The Vernon R. Alden Library and the Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs consider it an extraordinary honor for us to steward such an important collection.”
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