CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University Ed Ray returns this Sunday to that "other" OSU - Ohio State University - to receive the institution's highest honor, its Distinguished Service Award, as part of autumn commencement.

Prior to being named president of Oregon State in 2003, Ray served as executive vice president and provost for six years as the culmination of a 33-year career at Ohio State. He is credited with laying the foundation for many academic areas of the university to achieve greater national prominence through his "Selective Investment Program," which directed greater funding to efforts that showed significant promise for success. Thirteen have been funded so far.

Ohio State's Board of Trustees established the Distinguished Service Award in 1952 to recognize "individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the university. Awards are not made on the basis of long, faithful, or loyal service alone, but rather for service that is truly distinguished." Nominees include academic or administrative leaders from the university, as well as alumni and other non-university individuals.

"Given the great affection and respect I have for my friends and colleagues at Ohio State, I am particularly flattered by and grateful for this honor as one member of a great team," said Ray. "Being able to return to Columbus, along with Beth, to accept the award is something we're both looking forward to, as well as an occasion I'm sure we'll treasure for years to come."

Others being honored by Ohio State at commencement include former Democratic National Committee chair and three-term Colorado Governor Roy Romer and Pedro Sanchez, co-chair of the United Nations' Hunger Task Force and director of the Millennium Villages Project at Columbia University's Earth Institute.

For more information on Ohio State's commencement, as well as others being honored this weekend, visit

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Lynda Farrell,