Molly Ranz Calhoun will become the next senior vice president of alumni relations and the 12th president and CEO of the association, upon Board of Trustees’ approval. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

For the first time in nearly 100 years, a woman will lead the Ohio State Alumni Association, connecting more than 570,00 alumni, 50 societies and 125 clubs around the world, the university announced Friday. 

Molly Ranz Calhoun, senior associate vice president for student life, will become the next senior vice president of alumni relations and the 12th president and CEO of the association May 1, according to a news release.

“Many of my most important decisions have been centered in some way around The Ohio State University,” Calhoun said in the release. “My children were born at the medical center, and later I trusted the team at our university child care center to watch over them while I worked.”

She said her entire career has been spent in service to the university and its students, parents, volunteers, patients and fans. 

“We are delighted that Molly will be bringing her creativity, intelligence and drive to our alumni association,” University President Michael V. Drake said in the release. “She is a true Buckeye and fully embodies the Ohio State spirit.”

Having graduated from Ohio State in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, Calhoun has served the Ohio State community for more than 30 years, according to the release.

“My parents fell in love at Ohio State, and between them, my siblings and me, and our children, we have 14 degrees … and two more on the way,” Calhoun said.

Some highlights of her tenure include leading the university’s largest-ever residential construction project and supporting Ohio State’s co-curricular esports programming, which includes the 90-player esports arena, according to the release.

Calhoun will fill the role one month after Jim Smith’s departure from the position. Smith announced in January that he would step down April 1 in order to be closer to his aging parents. He held the position since 2016.

Catherine Baumgardner, chair of the association’s Board of Directors, said Calhoun will take the reins midway through its five-year strategic plan.

“I can’t wait to see what innovations Molly will bring as our association’s president and CEO,” Baumgardner said in the release. “Her professional accomplishments speak volumes, and she is also an incredible Buckeye, a great combination for our new leader. Our alumni the world over are in great hands.”

Update: The original press release incorrectly stated that Board of Trustees approval was required. The story has been updated with the correct information from the updated release.