Briefing Room


Alumnus to be honored with Distinguished Service Award

June 3, 2013 | Alumni

The Ohio State University will present William P. Blair III ’70 with the University Distinguished Service Award at the August commencement ceremony. Blair is one of seven people to receive the prestigious award in 2013.

The University Distinguished Award, which began in 1952, is awarded to people who have provided a broad spectrum of services to the University in both official and unofficial capacities.

Blair is a member of the Moritz College of Law’s National Council, a dean’s advisory group, in addition to assisting the College with fundraising efforts and serving as a member of its But for Ohio State campaign committee. The last plays a pivotal role in the University’s comprehensive $2.5 billion campaign.

In 2009, he made a generous gift to the College’s Leadership Scholarship Initiative, which provides financial aid to six Moritz students with demonstrated leadership potential and an interest in public service. He also invests his time as a mentor to a Moritz scholar and gives back to his alma mater in other ways, including being a guest speaker at events with students.

With the University, Blair is a member of the President’s Club and served on its advisory board. He also chaired the Ohio State Advocates, a group with the mission to engage, inform, and encourage alumni and friends to communicate with the Ohio Legislature on the importance of Ohio State and higher education. He organized and chairs the Government Affairs Advisory Group as well, a group of alumni active in state government who advise President E. Gordon Gee.

Blair came to Ohio State as an undergraduate keyboard major but adjusted his course after working at the Ohio Statehouse for a Canton senator. He was inspired to enroll in law school. By 1970, he earned a master’s degree in addition to his law degree and undergraduate degree. He worked as a prosecutor in Canton, assisted on John Glenn’s successful 1974 campaign for U.S. Senate, and opened his own general practice law firm. In 1976, he formed the lobbying organization Ohio Citizens for the Arts with William Joseph.