MANSFIELD — On May 2, Ohio State Mansfield’s Alumni Hall of Fame will host its annual alumni awards celebration. This event honors the efforts and accomplishments of graduates who have made significant contributions to their professions and communities. Honorees are active advocates of the university and regarded as community leaders with a record of sustained professional recognition and community engagement. Keynote speaker is Molly Ranz Calhoun, President and CEO of The Ohio State University Alumni Association and Ohio State University Senior Vice President.

Distinguished alumni are:

● Jeremy Secrist

A first-generation college student, he earned his degree in English at Ohio State Mansfield. Upon graduation, he took what he thought would be a one-year position as a high school teacher and coach. Upon realizing his calling, Jeremy went on to earn a master’s degree as his career progressed from teacher to assistant principal, assistant athletic director, principal, assistant superintendent, and most recently Superintendent of Lexington Schools.

● Marcella Smith

Marcella Smith is the Chief Administrative Officer at Ohio Mutual Insurance Group. Smith has held progressively senior Human Resources at companies in both Columbus and the Mansfield region. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University, followed by an MBA from Ashland. Most recently she joined the board of Fisher College of Business Center for Operational Excellence.

● Kellyanne Christiansen

She was a single mother of two children as she started college, graduating with her bachelor’s several years later while diligently balancing parenting, career, and education. Upon graduation, she was named head of Human Resources of Richland County, a newly created role to better serve the many public offices and departments of Richland County.

Emerging Alumni is:

● Brooke Miller

While raising a family and pursuing a career in banking, Brooke completed her degree in English at the Mansfield campus in 2019 and went on to earn her MBA from MVNU. She serves the community in multiple ways: Harmony House, the Doug Castle Legacy Project, Richland Young Professionals, Leader Richland, Mansfield Rotary, and in 2022, invited to serve as Guest Servant Leader on the Jim Tressel Institute for Leadership and Teamwork at Youngstown State University.

Of particular note is the group receiving Sesquicentennial Honors, for their leadership to extend the land grant mission of The Ohio State University in North Central Ohio. Originally scheduled as part of the cancelled campus celebration of the university’s sesquicentennial in March 2020, the campus is now pleased to honor these distinguished citizens.

● James Gorman and Avery Hand

Founded to meet the educational needs of north central Ohio, Ohio State Mansfield initially held evening courses at Mansfield Senior High School. These classes provided new educational opportunities to the Mansfield area but were soon threatened by the possibility of relocation to another town. Local citizens Avery Hand and James C. Gorman led a grassroots campaign to raise funding to purchase 640 acres of woodlands north of Mansfield and thereby establishing The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

● Dr. John Riedl

During his 16-year tenure as Dean and Director, Dr. Riedl initiated many curricular expansions, led by the addition of the four-year business management degree fully available at the Mansfield campus.

● Ms. Sally Lanyon

It was Ohio State’s homecoming in 1965, and Mansfield Senior High graduate Sally Lanyon Huber with her friend Ray Bourhis decided that Ohio State football needed a mascot. With much secrecy, they created the first papier mâché Brutus the Buckeye. Their work launched one of the world’s most iconic college mascots, and today Brutus singlehandedly can drive 100,000 plus fans to their feet in seconds and inspire connections around the world.

● Charter Next Generation

The company has led in philanthropic support for the vision of engineering education at the Mansfield campus. This partnership culminated in the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology through Ohio State’s College of Engineering, exclusively available at all regional campuses.

● Julie Cochran Rogers

After contracting polio in her childhood and becoming wheelchair bound, Julie was told that she could not realize her dream of graduating from Ohio State to become a speech therapist. Julie decided “no” wasn’t good enough. She completed her first two years at the newly opened Mansfield Campus and went on to complete her degree in Columbus. Members of the Delta Chi fraternity helped Julie get to class, a commitment that meant carrying her wheelchair up and down several flights of steps routinely. She received degrees in 1970 and in 1974. She went on to lead a campaign which created the Center for Disabilities Services for the university.

● The John and Pearl Conard Foundation

John’s grandfather was a brickmaker on the banks of the Olentangy River and found himself making bricks for University Hall, at the newly formed Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. 150 years and several buildings later, the Conard legacy has directly contributed over $1.6 million in support to many regional educational projects, including at The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

The third group of honorees will be the 2020 class of inductees, previously presented in a virtual event:

• Dr.Helen Bond, ’92, Associate Professor at Howard University;

• Julie McCready, ’83, ‘93, Owner of McCready Interiors

• John Grove, ’77, Retired, Loan Officer and Account Specialist at Farm Credit Mid-America

• Sarah Schmidt, ’11, Assistant Director of Global Education Initiatives at Kent State Stark

The event will run begin at 5:30 pm at the Deer Ridge Country Club at 900 Comfort Plaza Drive in Bellville. For more information, please contact Cindy Wood, Director of Development and Community Relations,

About Ohio State Mansfield: The Ohio State University at Mansfield offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive as students become part of an academic tradition that leads the way in shaping tomorrow’s world. Students discover world-class teaching minds passionate about connecting to other disciplines while discovering new ways to see the world. With access to Ohio’s State’s more than 200 majors, Ohio State Mansfield is where learning comes to life. Research, internships, education abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

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