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(L to R) Celebrating the State Government Alumni Awards: Previous award winner and Ohio University alumnus Matt Evans, Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, State Government Alumni Award Recipient Ohio House Speaker Rep. Larry Householder, State Rep.

Ohio Speaker Householder honored with OHIO State Government Alumni Award

Marilyn Icsman
April 25, 2019

More than 130 Ohio University alumni and friends gathered on April 10 at the Columbus Athletic Club for OHIO’s 36th Annual State Government Alumni Luncheon to recognize Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, ‘82 for his outstanding contributions to public service with the 2019 Ohio University Outstanding State Government Alumni Award.

The award recognizes significant professional achievement, outstanding public service in Ohio, and service contributions to the public affairs programs at Ohio University. It is presented annually at the alumni luncheon, which is hosted by OHIO President M. Duane Nellis on behalf of Ohio University’s George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and highlights alumni and friends of the University who are dedicated to Ohio public service. 

Householder was first elected to the Ohio House in 1997, serving what was then the 78th District. Before leaving the Legislature in 2004 due to term limits, he was elected as speaker in 2001 and 2003 and named Best Legislator, Most Hard-Working Legislator, and Most Effective Legislator by Columbus Monthly Magazine. When Ohio’s legislative districts were redrawn in 2011, the 78th District became the 72nd District; Householder regained the seat in 2016 and was elected speaker in January 2019 after winning a second consecutive term.

Householder has worked to reform Ohio’s school funding formula, address addiction and mental health issues, improve workforce development, and address infrastructure needs. He will join past award winners on the Ohio University Leadership and Public Affairs Advisory Committee.

In his keynote address, Householder emphasized the importance of giving back to the state and the region and Ohio University’s impact.

“Ohio University means a lot to all of us, means a lot to the state of Ohio,” Householder said.  “We have a significant amount of challenges here in the state of Ohio, we have a significant amount of challenges in Southeast Ohio,” Householder said. “And Dr. Weinberg and Ohio University have done wonders. But there’s so much left to do.”

Householder also spoke about his dedication to improving school funding in Ohio, saying, “Kids in Ohio, it shouldn’t matter what ZIP code they come from, they’re all important.”

Voinovich School Founding Dean Mark Weinberg thanked Householder and other alumni in public service for their commitment to the state.

“There’s nothing more important than improving the quality of the lives of the citizens of Ohio, and especially of Southeast Ohio,” Weinberg said.

Ohio University President Duane Nellis said the University’s strategic pathway of strengthening public service is exemplified thought the Voinovich School.

“The school is committed to addressing issues critical to the success of the state and our region, from child and family well-being, substance abuse prevention, dealing with water quality, economic development, jobs and business growth – it’s an outstanding school,” Nellis said.

He also noted the Voinovich School’s national prestige and praised the “amazing impact” the School has had on the region.

“Together with our alumni, the Voinovich school and its network of partners have generated more than 2.5 billion in economic activity for Appalachia in the last seven years,” Nellis said.

Speaker Householder ended his keynote address with a call to action.

“I am challenging all of you in this room,” Householder said. “I am challenging my university to reach out and help us, help us solve these problems that are important in the state of Ohio, and particularly those that are in your backyard.”