Ohio State’s Board of Trustees Advancement Committee met Thursday to discuss the 2019 President’s prize recipient, fundraising and possible Distinguished Service award recipients. Credit: Aaron Lien | Lantern Reporter

The 2018 President’s Prize recipient, fundraising and candidates for the Distinguished Service award were among the topics of discussion at Ohio State’s Board of Trustees Advancement Committee meeting Thursday. 

The meeting kicked off with an update from the 2018 President’s Prize recipient and Ohio State alumnus Christian McGhee. He was selected for his Getting Ready for Opportunities & Work project, which focuses on supporting formerly incarcerated youths in Columbus by providing transitional homes for them.

“I wanted to provide housing, I wanted to provide stability, and I’m still determined to do so,” McGhee said. “I am incredibly blessed with this privilege and opportunity for what I believe is once in a lifetime.”

The President’s Prize is a yearly honor given to two graduating seniors, and according to its website, the award comes with a $50,000 living stipend and up to $50,000 in startup funding. 

“I am also grateful to President Drake and Ohio State for entrusting me and believing what I can do,” McGhee said. “We will fulfill our vision, and we will accomplish our dreams, which is helping their dreams be fulfilled.” 

Also on the agenda was the Time and Change campaign, which aims to have 1 million donors raise $4.5 billion. According to meeting materials, so far 520,026 total donors have raised over $1.925 billion. 

Don Stenta, assistant vice president for Alumni Experiences, said marketing for the campaign is being changed to focus on better engaging alumni to increase awareness of Ohio State’s vision and eventually inspire people to advocate others to help Ohio State.

The meeting concluded with a proposal for Dr. E. Christopher Ellison and Timothy Gerber to receive the Distinguished Service Award. According to the award’s website, the award is presented by the Board of Trustees recognizing individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the university. 

Ellison is the Robert M. Zollinger Professor Emeritus in the College of Medicine who has been with the university for 38 years. Gerber is a professor emeritus of music who has been with the university for 27 years. Both were approved to receive the award, which is to be presented in the spring.