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Clark State to Host Presidential Awards Banquet, Support Clark State Scholarships, and Recognize Distinguished Honorees (1)

Clark State to Host Presidential Awards Banquet, Support Clark State Scholarships, and Recognize Distinguished Honorees (1)

August 17, 2023

Clark State College will host its Presidential Awards Banquet on Tuesday, September 26, at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center. The event supports Clark State scholarships.

The event was created in 2019 to honor the recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus, Emerging Leader and Richard O. Brinkman awards, as well as to raise funds for student scholarships. The Foundation awards approximately $300,000 per year in scholarships to hundreds of students.

“These awards are the highest honor bestowed upon individuals by our College Board of Trustees and our President,” said Toni Overholser, vice president of advancement at Clark State. “I’m always so inspired by the recipients and this year’s awardees are no exception. We are honored to celebrate their contributions to the community while raising funds to help our current students.”

The Clark State Foundation supports individual and community enrichment by engaging donors to remove financial barriers and increase college success through educational and cultural programs.

The Foundation scholarships are awarded for financial need, academic performance, or a specific program of study to both full-time and part-time students. Scholarship applications open each April for the upcoming year. There are currently more than 50 different scholarships offered through the Clark State Foundation. Scholarships may be awarded for fall and/or spring semesters.

During the banquet, Clark State will also celebrate Dr. Jo Alice Blondin’s 10th Anniversary as Clark State President.  A special presentation will recognize her contributions and leadership and the positive impact she’s made not only to Clark State, but to the communities and businesses in the College’s service areas. 

The Presidential Awards banquet will begin with a social gathering at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with the program to follow.

Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight.  Purchase tickets online at or by contacting Christa Bostick at 937.328.6009 or The deadline to RSVP is Tuesday, September 19. 

2023 Presidential Award Honorees

Emerging Leader Award

Presented to Jordan Tyler

This award is presented annually to an alumnus, under the age of 40, who has attained a high level of professional achievement and provided service to their community. Individuals recognized with this prestigious award display the highest standard of personal integrity and character, as well as demonstrate pride in their alma mater.

“I am truly humbled and blessed to be receiving the Emerging Leader award. This award is a testament not to my success, but to the success of what Clark State can offer students not only in the classroom, but way beyond that in their career,” said Tyler, project coordinator at JobsOhio. “Clark State has been monumental in my journey of showing me the value of a well-rounded education through classroom principles with real-world application. My time as a Student Ambassador and Student Representative on the Budget Advisory Committee when I was attending Clark State provided a skill set that I still use today.”

Richard O. Brinkman Award

Presented to the Springfield Foundation

Named after Richard O. Brinkman, the first and founding President of Clark State, is awarded annually to an individual, business, or group that has contributed significantly to the college by:

  • Increasing the visibility of Clark State and its services locally, regionally, and nationally;
  • Providing significant resources to Clark State to grow programs, facilities, and services;
  • Impacting student success in the present and sustaining that impact into the future.

The Springfield Foundation has supported scholarships, workforce development, youth programming, and capital projects at Clark State, with significant gifts supporting the creation of State-Tested Nurse’s Assistant labs in the Applied Science building and scholarships totaling more than $200,000. The Springfield Foundation has given more than financial resources: they have been an important partner in workforce development training, arts partnerships, and diversity workshops for non-profits.

“The Springfield Foundation and our donors recognize that Clark State provides educational opportunities some students would otherwise not be able to access and provides the flexibility and support they need to further their education,” said Susan Carey, executive director of the Springfield Foundation. “Clark State partners with the Springfield Foundation and other community stakeholders to provide opportunities for students and plays a crucial role in workforce development, technical and vocational training, and human capital formation for Clark County and the region. The Springfield Foundation board and staff are extremely honored to be receiving the Richard O. Brinkman Award and look forward to our continued partnership with Clark State College.”

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Presented to Manuel Lopez Ramirez

This award is presented annually to an individual who has attained a high level of professional achievement and provided outstanding service to their community. Individuals recognized with this prestigious award display the highest standards of personal integrity and character and also demonstrate pride in their alma mater.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized with the Distinguish Alumnus Award. Clark State was essential to beginning my professional career and also with my life in the United States,” said Lopez Ramirez, Commissioner/Chairperson at Ohio Commission Latino Affairs at the State of Ohio and Global Operations Analyst at LexisNexis. “After living in the Springfield community for over 20 years, I have met great people and organizations which the sole purpose is to help those in need. It is my hope that this award serves others as a testimony that if you put the effort, focus and determination you will be able to accomplish your goals.”

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