The Ohio University Alumni Association announces the recipients of the
2012 Alumni Awards.
The following individuals will be honored at Homecoming during
the Gala on Friday, Oct. 12.
Alumna of the year
- Barbara Strom Thompson, AB ’76
A Child Development Specialist practicing in Washington, D.C., Thompson remains an active member of the Ohio University community. She currently serves on the steering committee for The Promise Lives Campaign, as well as acts as a resource for students looking for networking and internship opportunities. Thompson previously served on the Foundation Board of Trustees, College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors, Ohio University Alumni Association Board and was a founding member and chair of Ohio University Women in Philanthropy. Thompson and her husband, Peter Thompson, reside in Bethesda, Maryland and have one daughter, Anna Strom Thompson.
Medal of Merit
- Joseph P. Becherer, BFA ’87, MFA ’90
Joseph Becherer is the founding Director and Curator of the Sculpture Program of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and currently serves as Chief Curator and Vice President of Sculpture and Horticulture, Collections and Exhibitions. Becherer is also the Lena Meijer Professor in the History of Art at Aquinas College and a mentor to students in Ohio University’s School of Arts. In 2004, he was knighted by the Republic of Italy with the honor of “Cavaliere dell’ Ordine al Merito” for service to the arts and culture.
- Sidney A. Davis, BSJ ’52
Sidney Davis was Westinghouse’s White House reporter in Washington, D.C., as well as the Program Director and then Vice President of the Voice of America, and Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News. He has written for The Washington Post, American Heritage Magazine, The Washington Times, TV Quarterly, Broadcasting Magazine, and has done media commentary for National Public Radio. Davis brought 35 School of Journalism students to D.C. to experience multiple media and government venues. He received the E.W Scripps School of Journalism Outstanding Alumnus Award and is a College of Communication Hall of Fame inductee.
- George Mooradian, BFA ’70
George Mooradian has been a film industry professional since 1978 and was the director of photography for “According to Jim” (2001-2009) and “The Bill Engvall Show” (2007-2009). He was nominated for four EMMY awards for “According to Jim” and was invited to join the honorary American Society of Cinematographers. Mooradian knows the importance of motivating crewmembers to achieve excellence, and mentored film students on his film, “Bet Your Life” in Cleveland. He and wife Visi live in California and have two daughters, two sons and two grandsons.
- Lucy Sexton, BFA ’82
Lucy Sexton is a producer, organizer and fundraiser for The New York Dance and Performance Awards, and since 1990 has been the solo choreographer and performer as “The Factress” in “The Lucy Show.” Sexton and her performance partner Anne Iobst, BFA ’82, received the Outstanding Alumnae award from the College of Fine Arts in 2003 for their performance work in Dancenoise, for which they also received Bessie Awards in 1989. Sexton is married to director Stephen Daldry and lives in New York City with their daughter.
Distinguished Service Award
- Charles T. Mehlman, DO ’89
Dr. Mehlman is a medical educator, researcher and mentor. Currently a practicing pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, he speaks to students about career choices in pediatric orthopedic surgery during his returns to campus. He also serves as a mentor in the formal Careers in Medicine program and councils OU-HCOM students about career paths and research opportunities. Dr. Mehlman is also extremely involved in serving on the OU-HCOM capital campaign committee and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Academic and Research Center.
- Carl H. Walker, BSED ’56
Carl Walker retired from the United States Government Social Security Administration in 1986, was an adjunct professor in the Department of Public Administration at Atlanta University and a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Clark Atlanta University. In 1972 and 1985 he received The Commissioner’s Citation, the highest award given by the Social Security Administration. Walker received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in 1990. He is currently working on a book called “Soulful Bobcats: African American Students at Ohio University during the 1950s.”
Recent Graduate Award
- Natalie A. Kruse, BSCE ’04
As a member of the Environmental Studies Advisory Board and the President’s Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning-Transportation Working Group, Natalie Kruse represents Ohio University as an ambassador for environmental restoration and conservation. She served as Vice Chair of Raccoon Creek Partnership in 2009-2012, chair member of Raccoon Creek Partnership in 2010-2012 and on the RCP Fundraising Committee in 2009-2012. Kruse has also held seminars in chemical engineering on International Mining Issues, Geological Sciences on Current Research in Raccoon Creek and Boat for Knowledge Project.
Honorary Alumna Award
- Evelyn Houk
Evelyn Houk began working in the Ohio University Alumni Association office in 1954 and has volunteered more than 3,000 service hours to O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. She also helped establish the Athens Youth Hockey Association and served on the first committee that created the Athens Invitational Marching Festival, has been a member of the Green & White club since 1966 and a member of the Blue Line Booster Club since 1968. In January, Houk was recognized for her service in the Athens Region Bobcat Club.
The Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame
- Hollie M. Bonewit-Cron ’00
During her four-year career as a member of the Ohio women’s swimming and diving team, Hollie Bonewit-Cron won 17 Mid-American Conference event titles and was a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier. In addition, Bonewit-Cron holds five MAC records and five school records. She was a three-time First Team All-MAC honoree and was named the MAC Swimmer of the Year following the 1999 league championship. In 2000, Bonewit-Cron lead the Bobcats to their eighth MAC team title as she defended her individual titles in the 200 breaststroke and the 400 individual medley en route to earning NCAA All-American Honorable Mention, team MVP honors and Green and White Club Senior Athlete of the Year. Bonewit-Cron capped her incredible collegiate career by earning a spot at the US Olympic Trials.
- Richard E. Grecni ’60
Richard “Dick” Grecni was a four-year member of the Ohio University football team and a three-year letter-winner from 1958-60. As a two-way player (offense and defense), he helped the Bobcats’ steadily improve during his four-year career, culminating with a senior year that saw the Bobcats’ post a perfect 10-0 season in 1960, leading the squad to a MAC title and the Small School National Championship. As member of the Bobcats’ 1960 squad, Grecni played a key role in helping Ohio outscore its opponents by a 269-34 count, while holding five of its foes scoreless. Following the year, Grecni was showered with individual honors, earning All-America honors, was named to the Associated Press Little (School) All-America First Team and was named First Team All-MAC for the second-consecutive year. Following his collegiate career, Grecni went on to play linebacker for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.
- Gary Trent
“Nicknamed “The Shaq of the MAC,” Gary Trent is the only three-time Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in the history of the league. He was a three-time MAC scoring champion, two-time rebounding leader and one of just three players in league history with at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Trent averaged 22.9 points and 12.8 rebounds as a junior in 1994-95, leading Ohio to a pre-season NIT title and a berth in the post-season NIT. He was selected in the first round as the 11th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks where he would go on to enjoy an 11-year NBA career. Ohio University honored the career accomplishments of Trent during halftime of the Bobcats’ matchup with Miami and unveiled his No. 20 jersey in the rafters of the Convocation Center.”
The 1960 Ohio University Football team is widely considered by most Bobcat historians as one of the finest teams in school history – and for good reason. The 1960 edition of the Ohio University football posted a perfect 10-0 record en route to winning the Mid-American Conference title and the Small School National Championship. During the 1960 campaign, Ohio outscored its opponents by a 269-34 count and shutout its challengers five times, while holding opponents to just 3.4 points per game. The team also featured eight All-MAC players and five future NFL players. Behind the powerful running of Robert Brooks and the blocking and tackling of two-way standout Dick Grecni, the Bobcats averaged 256.6 yards per game – a mark that still ranks among the school’s all-time top 10.