Alumni and Friends | University Community

State Government Alumni Luncheon celebrates public service, honors OHIO graduate Jim Lynch

Ohio University and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service celebrated a legacy of public service excellence during the annual Ohio University State Government Alumni Luncheon held at the Athletic Club of Columbus on May 8.

The event, attended by more than 150 Ohio University alumni, legislators, state officials, and friends, recognized the outstanding contributions of alumni to public service in the state of Ohio, while it also honored Jim Lynch “93, a distinguished graduate of the Scripps College of Communication.

Lynch, whose career spans decades of service in state government and public communications, received the prestigious 2024 Ohio University Outstanding State Government Alumnus Award.

Throughout his career, Lynch served in key communication roles, including as communications director for the Office of the Governor and as chief spokesman for The Ohio State University. His dedication to effective communication and public service has left a lasting impact on Ohio's governance and community capacity building.

Voinovich School Dean Tracy Plouck, who stepped into the role ten months ago, extended a warm welcome to attendees and provided opening remarks that included acknowledging the Voinovich School’s founding dean, Mark Weinberg, and other distinguished guests.

President Lori Stewart Gonzalez, Jim Lynch and Voinovich School Dean Tracy Plouck

Ohio University’s 23rd President, Lori Stewart Gonzalez, provided the keynote address that reflected on the importance of public service and recognized the Voinovich School for its commitment to nurturing future leaders who are changing lives and impacting our communities for the better.

President Gonzalez expressed gratitude to Bricker Graydon for sponsoring the event, highlighting their longstanding partnership with OHIO’s Voinovich School and their continued support for the Voinovich School’s efforts to partner with communities, agencies and businesses to increase capacity, develop leaders and improve the quality of life for Ohioans.

Reflecting on her first year as President, Gonzalez emphasized the University's commitment to community engagement and outlined near-term goals aimed at strengthening Ohio's communities. She also commended the Voinovich School for its exemplary programs in public administration and environmental studies, as well as the Voinovich Undergraduate Scholars program, which directly engages students in projects aimed at enhancing the capacity of Ohio's communities, agencies and businesses.

During her remarks, President Gonzalez recognized key leaders and highlighted exemplary projects that showcase the school's impact on Ohio's communities, initiatives ranging from business development and environmental conservation to substance use prevention and community-based partnerships.

The State Government Alumni Luncheon served as a testament to Ohio University's enduring commitment to public service excellence honoring the past while inspiring the future of leadership in Ohio.

“After connecting with so many Bobcat leaders at the State Government Alumni Luncheon, I reflected on the enduring legacy of public service excellence," Plouck said following the event. "It was truly heartening to see our alumni who serve throughout state government come together to celebrate both the meaningful nature of public service and the specific service of our 2024 award winner, Jim Lynch. Jim’s service exemplifies the way in which one individual’s contributions can have an impact throughout our state.”

May 23, 2024
Staff reports