We will all have legacies: those personality traits or significant acts that will be remembered for years in the future. The legacies of Frank Bazler ’53 and his wife, Ginni, will undoubtedly include the couple’s unwavering generosity to The Ohio State University.
The couple recently designated $5 million of their estate to Ohio State: $2.5 million will be presented to the Moritz College of Law to fund a faculty chair in the Bazlers’ names, and the other $2.5 million will be used to create a similar faculty position in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Ginni graduated in 1954 from the School of Home Economics in the College of Agriculture, today known as the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“Chairs are the highest level of recognition that the University can bestow upon a person,” Frank said. “I would like to be a part of that. I think with chairs you can attract and keep your better professors longer, which will help continue improving the College. I already know that we have a great College of Law, and I’m confident that we do compete with some of the best colleges in the country.”
The most recent gift is just the latest in a lengthy list of ways that the Bazlers have crafted their legacy at Ohio State. The couple have spread their kindness across the University, including gifts to Moritz, the College of Human Ecology, the Alumni Association, 4-H, the Thompson Library, the Miami County Alumni Club, and University Development. In addition to two endowed funds named in their honor, the Bazlers have also established scholarships in Ginni’s name and in honor of Ginni’s father, who retired as associate dean of the College of Agriculture. One of Frank’s contributions was to the Moritz Law Library in memory of his sister.
In 2008 the Bazlers donated $200,000 to Moritz to create the Frank E. and Virginia H. Bazler Designated Professorship in Business Law. Professor Donald B. Tobin currently holds that position. As usual, the gift came simultaneously with an identical one to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Frank said that he and his wife were moved to designate funds in their estate to the University after realizing how much Ohio State has meant to them.
“Once I got out of the College of Law I found that what I learned there was very beneficial in getting me through the rest of my career,” Frank said. “Having served for a number of years on the Moritz National Council, I have watched the College grow and become stronger and better. Anything we can do to help the College continue to improve is a good thing.”
Ginni echoed similar thoughts regarding the gift to her alma mater, which will help the college explore food safety initiatives. “I think the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Services, just as the College of Law, is really deserving. Both have wonderful faculty and administration. Great professors really make them what they are today.”
Both Frank and Ginni were raised in the Columbus area. Frank graduated from the old North High School in Columbus, and Ginni graduated from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington.
At Moritz, Frank started showing signs of being active outside the classroom, which would translate into out-of-the-office leadership roles following graduation. He was president of his graduating law class, and later went on to be president of the Ohio State Bar Association in 1984-85. He also was a 16-year member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.
Shortly after finishing his law degree and ROTC training, he received orders to report to Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, La. After two years of active duty as a JAG officer, Frank returned to Ohio and started searching for a town to begin the practice of law. After examining a number of cities, Frank found Troy, Ohio, where he interviewed with a future partner. He practiced law in Troy at the firm of Miller, Bazler, McAdow, and Schlemmer and its predecessor and successor firms for 16 years; while also serving as Troy city solicitor for six years. In l971 Frank accepted an in-house position with Hobart Corporation in Troy. He stayed there more than 23 years and, when he retired he was the corporation’s corporate attorney and assistant secretary. Even after retiring, Frank retained an office at Hobart Corporation for another 7.5 years, while also serving “of counsel” with Dungan & LeFevre, a Troy firm.
Ginni used her degree to serve as a Home Economist Extension agent for Shelby County, Ohio.
Both Frank and Ginni remain quite active in endeavors throughout their community and the state. Ginni has served for years as chairperson of the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals, and also served as secretary of the Miami County Facilities Review Board for many years. Both Frank and Ginni served on the Board of the Dorothy Love Retirement Community in Sidney, Ohio; and Frank served on the Board of the Ohio Presbyterian Homes. Frank just finished 31 years of service as treasurer of the Endowment Fund of the First Presbyterian Church of Troy. During that time the Endowment Fund increased from $67,000 to $672,000. This summer Frank was inducted into the Columbus North High School Hall of Fame. The Bazlers each received in 2004 The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award from the Board of Trustees and last year received the 2010 Ralph Davenport Mershon Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association.
But despite the countless boards, groups, and organizations that Frank and Ginni have impacted, the couple admitted that they are most proud of what they will be able to do for Ohio State.
“(Moritz) is a better College than it is being ranked nationally,” Frank said. “I really think that we should be recognized above that and I think the addition of even more outstanding professors will certainly help bring about the recognition that it really deserves. I hope that we are able to help that effort in some way.”
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