In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), ODI has selected the following twelve members of the Ohio State community as our inaugural inductees into the ODI Hall of Fame.
These honorees have contributed through exemplary and sustained leadership to the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and community engagement.
Ruth Ella Moore, PhD
'26 BS, '27 MA, '33 PHD
Born in 1903, Ruth Ella Moore became the first Black woman in the United States to earn a PhD in the natural sciences in 1933. Across decades of dedicated work, Dr. Moore made lasting contributions to the curtailing of tuberculosis, the study of blood types, immunology and other scientific breakthroughs. Named the head of Howard University's Department of Bacteriology in 1952, this Buckeye graduate was a teacher and mentor to generations of young scientists at the historically Black institution.Learn more about Ruth Ella Moore
Congressman William M. McCulloch
Born in 1903, William M. McCulloch was a Republican Congressman from Piqua, Ohio who played a pivotal role in passing key federal Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. As a young white lawyer working in Jacksonville, Florida in the late 1920s, McCulloch was disgusted by the South's Jim Crow laws that relegated Black people to second-class citizenship. Despite representing an Ohio district with few Black people, Congressman McCulloch was one of the lawmakers most responsible for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968 as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.Learn more about William M. McCulloch
Born in 1913, J.C. “Jesse” Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, single-handedly crushing Adolph Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy. One of the greatest track and field athletes in history, Owens once set three world records and tied a fourth in a 45-minute span at the 1935 Big Ten meet in Ann Arbor. Denied post-Olympics career opportunities because of the color of his skin, Owens eventually became a goodwill ambassador traveling the world on behalf of the US Olympic Committee.Learn more about Jesse Owens
Clotilde Dent Bowen, MD
'43 BA, '47 MD
Born in 1923, Clotilde Bowen became the first Black woman to graduate from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, one of many firsts during her trailblazing career. The first female commander at a military hospital, Dr. Bowen was known as a fierce advocate for veterans on issues related to substance abuse and PTSD. The first Black woman named chief of psychiatry in two Veterans Administration hospitals and two Army Medical centers, she set up drug treatment centers and worked to lessen racial conflicts during the Vietnam WarLearn more about Clotilde Dent Bowen
Judge Robert M. Duncan
'48 BS, '52 JD
Born in 1927, Robert Duncan became the “Jackie Robinson of the Columbus judiciary” as he shattered racial barriers in legal circles seemingly with every career stop. In 1966, Duncan was the first Black elected as a judge in Franklin County and the first Black to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court as well as the U.S. District Court bench in Ohio. Known as a caring mentor to many young lawyers, Duncan also served as chief legal counsel and chairman of the Board of Trustees at his beloved Ohio State.Learn more about Robert M. Duncan
Robert L. Wright Jr., OD
Born in 1937, Robert Lee Wright was a Civil Rights activist who became a federal administrator and business tycoon. A marcher from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Wright served three terms on the Columbus, Georgia city council before being tapped for a federal post in the Minority Small Business Administration. Later becoming a high-tech executive and CEO, he was instrumental in establishing the National Museum of African American Culture on the National Mall in Washington D.C.Learn morea about Robert L. Wright Jr.
Born in 1943, Faye Wattleton became the first Black woman and youngest person ever to head Planned Parenthood. Getting her start in nursing, Wattleton began neighborhood prenatal care programs in Dayton that became a national model. The St. Louis native became head of the venerable family planning group in 1978.Instrumental in shaping the non-profit into a powerful political organization, Planned Parenthood reached five million women with a range of services by the time Wattleton stepped down 14 years later.Learn more about Faye Wattleton
A group of Black Student Union members, the OSU 34 were charged with trespassing and other crimes in the aftermath of the takeover of the main administrative building on the Oval on April 26, 1968. While eight members of the group would be expelled by the university, the students' demands that day changed Ohio State forever. In the aftermath of the showdown, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was created and more Black professors and students of color were welcomed into the university's classrooms.Learn more about the OSU 34
Claude M. Steele, PhD
'69 MA, '71 PHD
Born in 1946, Claude Mason Steele became one of the most influential social scientists of the last half century. Best known for his insightful work on stereotype threat as it relates to minority student performance, Professor Steele was known as a dynamic teacher in the classroom. In the twilight of his career, Steele also tackled high-profile administrative roles in higher education, serving as provost at Columbia University and the University of California Berkeley.Learn more about Claude M. Steele
Frank W. Hale Jr., PhD
Born in 1927, Frank Hale became a legendary educator and Civil Rights crusader who served admirably in various administrative roles at Ohio State from 1971 to 1988. While serving as associate dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Hale traveled the country recruiting undergraduate students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to Ohio State. His tireless efforts led to Ohio State becoming one of the premier producers of PhDs in the country throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s. Known for his catchphrase – “Commitment without cash is counterfeit” – Dr. Hale is the Buckeye great who Hale Hall is named after.Learn more about Frank Hale Jr.
Curtis J. Moody
Born in 1950, Curtis Moody became a renowned architect who built the largest Black-owned and managed design firm in the country. An Ohio State basketball team walk-on, Moody was the principal architect for many projects on the Columbus campus including the new Ohio Union, the Covelli Center, the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, and Value City Arena. A community-minded native son of Columbus, Moody has been honored by the city for his work on the Near East Side designing and renovating theatres, schools, and parks.Learn more about Curtis J. Moody
Born in the Washington Heights section of New York City, Cid Wilson rose from an unpaid mailroom job to become a legendary Wall Street financial analyst. As a Buckeye student in the mid 1990s, the Dominican-American led a successful fight to get Spanish-language channels added to the local cable lineup. The current CEO of the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility, Wilson uses his Wall Street savvy to increase Hispanic representation among Fortune 500 companies.Learn more about Cid Wilson