we are ready to start and I think that I’m ready to start with all of these borrowed glasses so bear with me I’m Valerie glee vice provost of diversity and inclusion vice president of outreach and engagement and the chief diversity officer at The Ohio State University the office of diversity and inclusion ODI is an academic support unit devoted to inclusive excellence our scholarships pipeline and pathway programs are nationally renowned and among the oldest in the nation we are particularly proud to be the home of three centers the latina and Latin American space for enrichment and research or laser as we call it the Frank W Hale jr. black cultural center and of course the tide Bell National Resource Center on the African American male at President Michael Drake’s investiture service on tuesday afternoon he mentioned several ODI programs as exemplars of our land-grant mission most notably the Bell National Resource Center we were delighted to hear the president of the Ohio State University affirmed a commitment to access and affordability community engagement and excellence through diversity this is why you’re here this morning participating in an event whose proceeds are targeted to advancing the success of african-american males our former iconic leader dr. Frank W Hale jr. was fond of saying commitment without cash is counterfeit your presence here testifies to your commitment and we appreciate the giving of your time talent and treasure to the top Bell lecture series breakfast thank you so very much it yes it is now my pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction Gene Smith is in his tenth year as director of athletics at The Ohio State University he’s widely recognized among the leaders of his profession and has been named one of the most powerful people in collegiate sports Smith was named the Buckeyes director of athletics March fifth two thousand five and was elevated to vice president and director of athletics in January of 2014 he previously served as director of athletics at arizona state iowa state and eastern michigan university’s and is entering his 30th year in the role at Ohio State Smith oversees the nation’s most comprehensive and one of his most successful collegiate athletics programs the department’s passos 36 fully funded varsity sports with more than 1,000 student-athletes regularly competing for Big Ten Conference and NCAA Championships and of course we recently have won national championships in pistol wrestling synchronized swimming and football now as someone who attended both our playoff game against Alabama and the national championship game against oregon i am really proud of smith’s leadership under his leadership the ohio state athletics department has thrived winning many conference and national individual and team athletics championships and awards as expressed in a recent Columbus Dispatch editorial Gene Smith might be running short of trophy cases Smith is active in the Columbus community he is a member of the Colombo Sports Commission the boards of the ym da of Central Ohio and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Columbus and the governing board of trustees of the Lincoln Theater association he serves on the kids unlimited national advisory board an organization committed to positively transforming the lives of inner-city children growing up in Toledo

Ohio in addition Smith and his wife Sheila support numerous community charities on campus Smith is active with the office of diversity and inclusions Todd Bell National Resource Center on the african-american male we are very appreciative of his support he’s someone who always speaks when he sees you he always waves he is someone who recognizes the champion and all of us vice president and director of athletics Gene Smith Thank You Valley for the kind introduction how’s everybody this morning you guys awake or not how many were at the stevie wonder wonder concert last night yeah I think I’m still there that brother can roll I’m telling you but uh let me thank all of you for being here this morning appreciate Valerie the kind introduction I thought they gave you the short bio but uh this is a this is a blessing to have an opportunity to pause and contribute to an unbelievable mission the Todd Anthony Bell Resource Center and I thought I’d just tell you a quick personal story why I’m so engaged and my wife Sheila so engaged when i came here in 2005 and had the opportunity to get to know max Stuart I wanted to make sure that i had the opportunity to assist at that point time minority affairs in the office of diversity inclusion with the particular emphasis on making sure that our young african-american males had an environment where they could be successful and I I personally experienced some of the challenges the many of our african-american males used to experience prior to all of the programs that have been developed here with the great leadership in this office I was a student in cleveland ohio in the ninth ninth grade and my father made a decision that I was no longer going to go to public schools had I continued on to the public schools i would have gone to john f kennedy anybody here from Cleveland okay so you guys know where JFK is right so I lived right behind the school so it was a natural progression in life to go to JFK with me and my boys but he SAT me down and told me that I was not going to go to John F Kennedy I’m ago I was going to go to Chanel high school out in bev so I bust out the Chanel high school which was all white there were three african-american males there and what really pissed me off it was all boys that was a traumatic experience in my life I’m still going through counselor but the reality of my challenge in my first year his representative of what some of the young african-american males experience when they came to the ohio state university many of them had gone to all black schools all their lives and then they come into our environment and in many cases find that they were the only person of color in their classroom and people sometimes don’t understand what that means let alone some of the topics or issues that arise in that classroom when you feel like everybody’s looking at you because you should have the answer it’s just the fact that you walk into that room and you’re the only one that is a traumatic experience that most people don’t understand I wanted to make sure that those people who are in leadership positions like me that look like them provided inspiration motivation and aspiration for those young people so I want to congratulate the top bill after the Resource Center leadership because i know our retention rate has gone from in the low 30s to north of ninety percent so congratulations I want to introduce our first speaker and dr. James Moore is a direct reason for a lot of the great accomplishments here let’s first of all let’s also give a round of applause for the young men who were walking welcoming us as we came in let’s give them a round of applause dr. James Moore was appointed the distinguished professor of urban education at The Ohio State University

in 2013 he is one of four appointed distinguished professors in the college of education and human ecology and is the director of the taya bill Anthony National Resource Center on the African American male he also holds a faculty affiliation with the current Institute for the Study of race and ethnicity Ohio collaborative criminal justice research and a John Glenn institute at The Ohio State University additionally he is an associate provost in the office of diversity and inclusion dr. Moore is an expert in the opportunity gap that the black males academic achievement needs to advocate for preventing young boys and men of color in the success rate in education he has recently authored the book multicultural counseling for diversity diverse gifted learners a guy for practice I want to ask dr. more to come up and as he’s coming up I want to thank him for his great work he’s an outstanding passionate leader and does a marvelous job dr. James Moore good morning I miss I’m so excited to be here this gives us an opportunity to put our young men on the stage as we oftentimes when we look in the newspaper the newspaper does not reflect and depict the excellence that it represents in this room I we have achieved so much but you can never achieve what you want to achieve without a good team and I like the thing we had an outstanding team when we won the national championship and we believe we’re still striving to win the national championship that we have a hundred percent of our young men who graduate not only graduate but go forth and pay it forth in their respective communities I would be remiss I want to highlight but you can never do anything without the team I just want the staff of the Bell National Resource Center to stand up really quickly so we can recognize them because these are the these individuals are the heart and soul of the work that we do when I took the position I said we have to be about development regardless of how the young man may come in our office it is our job to help develop them to the highest level and we start with our own and I want to celebrate I want you to help me celebrate tide set of at the beginning of year he was tied set of as a result of febrile in February he’s now dr. tide Sudduth so not only that everyone in our office not that you have to have a doctor to beat someone my mom would say I was someone without it but nevertheless we’re now every time you see tire knut you say when you’re going to get your doctorate because everybody has nevertheless just want to highlight some things that we I like to believe we’re the premier institution as it relates to working with young black males this year we have a total a total number of a total number of african-american males with the cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher we have 474 african-american males and I don’t think you all know how significant this is I would argue there is not a university in the entire United States even Harvard they don’t bring enough brothers in to count it that is when I when I first became the director we had about 200 in something so it just shows it’s not about me it’s about this community in the community and the spirit of Aloha State and how they support this effort this year those our signature program is too early arrival program and usually a third of our young men who matriculated Ohio State participated in this program they come three days before the school year started and the individuals who participate in this program the retention rate is one of the highest on this campus it’s ninety-five percent and so all of these efforts so due to the due to the staff in the commitment in the long hours I’ve never heard that staff ever tell me that I work more than 40 hours when you do this kind of work you got to be prepared to work at extra 20 or 30 hours because you’re so committed to it this year because I want to be sensitive to time we give out a national award each and every year recognizing someone who does outstanding

work our african-american males in honor of our founder dr. Mac age Stewart who was at that time the Vice Provost of office of Minority Affairs this year’s recipient if you look in your book but he’s not here but he’ll be coming back for an event in September is mr. Corey and Anderson he’s a senior vice president and at the Rockefeller Foundation in Arkansas and he single-handedly has just galvanizing build coalitions to improve educational outcomes for black males at every level of the educational continuum so I I would be remiss but I have much more to talk about but I want to leave this time for the stars of the show who are exemplary so the work that we do and and these students Lonard tough second in alfonso galette the fourth we have a lot of thirds and fourths around here you can see their fathers feel really good about their grandfathers felt really good about naming their mouths of them so they are nice examples but I would be remiss if I didn’t said we give out award and every year because we called the gene and Sheila Smith Excalibur prize we believe we’re going to produce a Rhodes Scholar one day and each and every year we are working hard to do that and I think at Ohio State we’ve only had three rows scholars in the history of this institution and we believe we’re going to do it but this year recipient of the gene and Sheila Smith Excalibur prize is Lonard Tufts the second and this you have to be among the best to get this award the staff selectors will select the recipient it’s about scholarship it’s about service it’s about leadership and most importantly it’s about character and this year’s recipient is Lonard Tufts the second and he’ll come and give a few remarks as well as I fonzo galette the fourth thank you thank you all for coming out this morning hope you have been enjoying the breakfast and congratulations once again to Lenore on his recognition that he’s received so Lonard what’s one of your fondest memories about the bnr see I bet you I got a better one college I Cyrus competition uh uh well do you want to go first you wanna rock paper scissors for it what let’s go there alright see Rock Paper Scissors shoot ah mr. Whitaker yeah I’ll go first so I think one of the fondest memories that I have the BRC one of which is you know talking to dr Moore about his illustrious football career that nobody’s ever seen the highlight reel for so we’re still waiting on that one but I think one of the fondest memories that I’ve had during my time here I would have to be getting the opportunity to travel to the Virgin Islands for the international colloquium on black males in education this was actually my first time I first brought study abroad experience at Ohio State and that would not have been possible without the help of the bnr see during this experience I not only got to experience the culture of the Virgin Islands the rich history how I relate to it as a black male in America but I also have the unique opportunity to be at be in a room surrounded myself with many black PhD holders and for me that has always been an aspiration of mine but it wasn’t until that moment that I was around in a room surrounded by all these brilliant minds that became a tangible reality for me something I could actually achieve so I’m very thankful for all the opportunities that the bee NRC has presented to me I’ve it’s been a great time here and I really hope to see what impact they have on students of the future so how about yours as always a tough act to follow but um funny memories coming up but uh well the bee NRC has the early robert program where they’re invite us here to ohio state for a black male freshmen about three days early and i remember coming here i only did the program’s is because they said can move in early so I was just ready to get away from home and get on campus I didn’t know we were going to be doing so much educational things within those 30 days though but but no it was a great experience but one of the things I did know is coming in I know we had the leadership of Todd’s elephant I cornu and the Todd Anthony bill Resource Center I was like wait so who is Todd which Todd is which who was the center named after so that was one things I feel like a lot of students from the EAP can relate to lose trying to distinguish between who’s Todd said of him whose thi who’s who was ahead of what but um one

of my most recent fondest memories that I’ve been reflecting on since I’m now a senior here and I’m graduating in May has been a time that I’ve worked as a work-study student and to be in our seat so that experience came about one day just because I came they do just semester check-ins with the students and my freshman year I know I was really having a tough time just getting acclimated into campus and just managing my time and just noted knowing all the resources that i had available and then I kind of came to them and desperation I was kind of running low on money and I didn’t even know that I had like a work-study fund available until mr Sutter sat down with me and just told me that like hey I mean you don’t have to be struggling like this you can come in here we can work around your interest and you can work for the be NRC and through that position it hasn’t only been just a job but it’s also allowed me to receive great mentorship from the leadership dr. Bennett dr. serif and dr Moore within the office and just build great relationships and now get to be here at events like this and just get to share my story so I want to thank you all for coming out this morning yeah north yeah so with these two stories these are just two small examples of many of some of the experience that students have here at the v NRC so I hope that you all continue to support the bell resource center because you’re supporting students like us so thank you all for coming out tonight I hope you enjoy the program good job guys you’re obviously of a different age because Lonard thinks it’s nighttime know for those of us who went to the Stevie Wonder concert we know it’s not nighttime we’re still struggling really good let me thank both of them for sharing some of their fond memories and congratulate them on their accomplishment so they aren’t definitely exemplars of the bill Resource Center so congratulations guys and thank you I’m not going to read Alex’s bio you know we were significant majority people in this room know Alex you make and I personally want to thank him for taking time out of his schedule to come here and be a part of this program and help share his message and be an inspiration for the young men that we serve I want to really share a message with the young men in the room in particular any young women but so young men who are part of the National Resource Center the reality is as you guys read this bio you do not achieve the level of success and the accomplishments and have the opportunity to serve on the numerous boards that are listed here unless you come in to the world come out of your experiences with a great foundation so as you leave the ohio state university understand that the things that you’ve learned here are very important in the classroom but the most important thing is your character when I think of integrity the highest of values right by family when you think of integrity you want to think of a person who exudes integrity who is integrity you hear people say they have integrity on their sleeve so if someone was to ask me today and he interviewed me on whatever help us understand what integrity is I’d hold up this picture Alex you may is integrity he is trusted he is a thought leader he has always been committed to diversity as you can read in his bio he’s a leader an effective leader because of that integrity you don’t achieve these things without the other values of great work ethic commitment and dedication and today is an example of that because he was with me last night as Stevie Wonder and here he is this morning so I want to thank him for what he’s getting ready to share with us but I young want our young men in particular to pause and make make sure and some of you in team Smith have heard him speak before make sure you pay attention to this man is coming before you today because in the reality besides this bio the most important thing you got to get from here from him is his integrity my friend Alex you may oh and by the way he’s a great husband he’s a great father he’s a great grandfather got a little tennis game any okay and he’s a member of our esteemed book club

where last book was on Pilates wouldn’t it yeah so but anyway my good friend Alex you may good morning everyone it’s good to see all of you good to be here this morning let me thank Jean for your very kind and generous introduction but it’s truly a privilege truly a pleasure of mine to be here on this 10th anniversary let’s applaud that it’s good to see so many friends and leaders of our great community who are here this morning and thank you for all that you do to support Columbus support the ohio state university and to support important programs like the Bell National Resource Center before I share a few thoughts I would like to introduce to some of you and present to others my wife Renee if you could stand up and be recognized Thank Rene for all of her support encouragement and indeed her love as I was thinking about this morning and what I might share that would be meaningful and hopefully inspirational to those of us who assembled early after a great concert last night I thought about a story that former ohio governor richard celeste told me about one of his experiences when he was the director of the Peace Corps Celeste had traveled to a tiny remote village called ancora to visit one of his peace corps volunteers named Helen duro breee as a volunteer in ancora for nearly 10 years duro breee had taught the villagers farming techniques that had quadrupled their crops she taught them simple yet critical personal health care habits such as boiling their drinking water in order to extend their lives as Celeste arrived in n Cora hellenduro ba walked out of her pint-sized Hut surrounded by happy healthy children who were clearly crazy about her celestin dear oba traveled throughout the village and toward the village together and she introduced him to many and corns with every introduction the villagers touched celeste face and then sniffed his shirt celeste found that behavior somewhat odd but assumed that it was merely a local custom even though he had never encountered such customs like that in africa before at a small ceremony that followed the tour celeste presented debris a with a letter from President Carter that explained that the u.s. core of army engineers was coming to ancora to construct an irrigation system a plea that Dorrough breee had been making for many many years as she read the letter she held it so close to her face that had brushed against her cheek as she slowly moved one squinted I across each line on the page like this so let’s watch with intrigue and after the ceremony concluded he pulled Helen aside and asked why did you read the president’s letter that way she said oh I thought you knew I’m blind blind he said how can you be blind well I’ve been since birth she answered I can see shadows and outlines with my left eye and barely make out the letters on a page but legally I’m blind Celeste asked how did you give me the tour that’s easy she said I know every inch of the village by touch by sound and by smell

he asked again how could you name every person you introduced me to she said I know them by their voice I know each person by their laugh everyone has their own smell their own feel even you amazed he asked didn’t they resist a blind woman teaching them to farm oh she said they don’t know I’m blind you see there’s never been a blind person in n Cora they have no concept of blind no word for it they only understand that I see things in a different way and so they try to see things the way that I do so let’s begin to understand oh so that’s why they touch my face and sniff my shirt when we met yes she said and in kora they say I give them the gift of fresh eyes they were looking at you through fresh eyes governor Celeste was astonished by debris a and how she helped people open their minds and their hearts to see the world in a different way through her gift of fresh eyes but there was still one thing he couldn’t quite figure out and finally had to ask as he headed out of that tiny African village Helen he asked what do they think when you read with your face so close to the page Helen responded director Celeste before I got here no one could read no one had ever read anything so I set up classes and taught the whole village and now even though I explained they don’t have to read the way I do the entire population of ancora reads like this you can tell I love this story of hellenduro breee it reminds me that we all have the ability to tap into the power of seeing things in a whole new way of using the gift of fresh eyes last week when I toured the Bell Centre in its new location at least a new location to me since they’ve moved one of the things that I was reminded of was the vision the goals the objectives of todd bell when he returned to the university and began to work at the black mail center as it was called then and his goal was to be a person to help young african-american males learn to succeed and I thought about the programs that I was being talked with about how those programs and you heard dr. Moore talk about the outstanding programs that we have at our great University one of the things that I realized that during these 10 years since Todd was named the first person to lead the initiative during this decade the staff the leadership the volunteers of the bell centre have been applying the gift of fresh eyes as they seek to help and assist our young african-american males think about the first days on campus when new students are filled with excitement but also filled with fear glad to be leaving home and yet anxious about being on their own as we heard the two students talk about when they first get here at this big vast university the largest single campus in the United States students are wide-eyed walking into convocation imagine seeing 7,000 classmates are walking into their dorm room facing a couple of strangers that they’re now going to call roommates they ask themselves how will I make friends how do i locate my classes how will I talk to a professor how will I find a good place to study they have lots of questions but thank goodness at our university there are programs and more

importantly there are people in place to help new students and as we heard this morning one of the most effective programs for african-american males is the bell centers early arrival program as we heard those three days those few days spent together in this program sets a foundation for a successful journey through the Ohio State University it makes this big University small it allows each participant to see the University in a new supportive empowering way through the eyes of others who are succeeding they begin to see their own path to success an example of using the gift of fresh eyes to make a dream to make an idea to make a program even better last fall the new york times in its november 9 2014 edition praised the bells centers efforts on behalf of african-american males again as we heard this morning at Ohio State the graduation rate for black male undergraduates has risen some 30 percentage points over the last decade we’re leading the nation that deserves some applause connecting students with mentors and advisors classmates and friends giving them skills and confidence has greatly enhanced their chances for success for that the Bell Centre deserves our gratitude and our support and I want to personally thank you for what you’ve already done to support the Bell Centre in its first 10 years and encourage you to keep on investing financially in this powerful resource and as we say in the Baptist Church you don’t have to just invent invest with your treasure but your time and your talent as well be the person that connects african-american male students empower these young men to succeed you need to be neither african-american nor a male to do that we all have a part in this endeavor allow someone the opportunity to see through your fresh eyes the world your view and help them expand their vision of what they can become if your office is having a reception invite some students to attend at community events like this ask a few students to sit at your company table give them a chance to look at the business community as well as the nonprofit community through fresh eyes by providing students with opportunity to observe others we teach them how to navigate the world and make an impact the gift of fresh eyes also comes from those we seek to help seek to advance and seek to support the motto of our great university is education for citizenship which means that with an Ohio State diploma comes the responsibility to do good for others to be a difference as well as make a difference the Bell Centre has a group of mentoring relationships with seventh graders one of the school’s is the Columbus City preparatory school for boys undergraduates make weekly visits with the boys over lunch they have workshops field trips and conversations they mentor encourage academic excellence and positive self-esteem with so many negative messages in the popular culture and in the news these face-to-face interactions are vitally important for our african-american men and to those who mentor them with many of my good friends like aqua cambon who’s here this morning I’ve had the opportunity to participate in community mentoring breakfast one of the programs that we work together on several years ago was a program that on Saturday mornings we

would invite young high school students to come to a free breakfast and we’d have lots of good food and good participation I remember one Saturday morning there was one of our community leaders who was waxing eloquent about the importance of studying to achieve success after the breakfast I was driving one of the young men home and we were talking about the speaker and I asked him what he thought and he paused for a moment and then he turned to me and he said Mr Shue mate unlike the speaker but how do you study I almost stopped the car in the middle of the street and I got the gift of fresh eyes from that young man because I was reminded that we just can’t tell someone what to do or why to do it but like the Bell Centre we need to teach we need to coach we need to give them the skills they need and we need to show them how it’s an incumbent upon all of us who have been successful and as I look around the room the room is filled today with very successful people all of us need to help others on a recent talk show the actor Kevin Spacey talked about the moral obligation that people who have realized success like those of us in the room we have a moral obligation to provide young people with opportunities and role modeling borrowing from his mentor spacey coined the phrase send the elevator back down and bring up others send the elevator back down and bring up others as I was thinking about that quote from Spacey and also thinking about the question that young man asked me about how do you study I think it’s more accurate to phrase our more moral obligation as taking the elevator back down and bringing others up with us because in taking the elevator back down we’re there with them like the Bell Centre to give them the gift of fresh eyes through coaching them teaching them listening to them and helping them another example very quickly of the Bell Centre is the Fellows Program which adds african-american phd’s to the higher education pipeline it’s preparing our bachelors graduates for more than a degree but for a life making sure that they take the elevator down and bring up more and more people whose abilities and accomplishments will change the quality of all of our lives as a university we hope that students become lifelong learners so should we be life long learners learning in fact is the gift of fresh eyes because it gives us fresh perspectives teachers are found not only in our schools but our communities our businesses our churches and our families they are found amongst the leaders and participants in many programs and initiatives here at the nationally recognized bell centre by contributing to the Bell Centre and its programs you help ensure that it can continue to empower even more young men when we take the elevator back down we learn we lend a helping hand and more importantly we fill that elevator not only with dreams but real opportunities so this morning we pay tribute to Todd Bell who returned to his alma mater and modeled what it means to be a student athlete at The Ohio State University but we also celebrate the fresh eyes that the leadership and volunteers of the bell centre have applied during the past ten

years again thank all of you for being here this morning and supporting this great organization I encourage you to continue to support the Bell Centre with your time your talent and your treasure continue to be innovative and apply the principles of fresh eyes and yes take the elevator back down and bring others up with you thank you very much wow thank you Alex that was impressive unbelievable hopefully uh particularly our students take a great deal from that message so thank you so much for your time you know normally when you have a keynote speaker you you have a gift and you actually ask them to come back up and you give him a gift but I know Alex so well that I have to give him his gift at my crib because this in one of those things called you know wine fridge so he’ll just go pick one out so anyway thank you Alex and thank you renee for for your kind words and you know i had a flashback to because when you went back and you talked about how it used to be called the black center here i had a flashback at Notre Dame you know they called it the black center there I remember the great programs that we had to get through what’s called Bid Whist and it was a heck of a program heck of a program anyway uh I want to take my last opportunity to to to thank all of you for being here I want to thank our sponsors who are listed up here today aep ohio fifth third bank honda radio 1 and our overall sponsor motorists insurance i want to thank you for that i also want to thank all of you for coming and ask that as you receive invitations for next year whatever time wherever place this event is held next year please help drive it help do everything you can to get others to participate this is a fundraiser for the top billing after a resource center and I want to do everything that we can to help that Center be more successful I want to recognize the family the top Hill families here table 6 mom you’re there where she is thank you for being here thank you for being here and my last duty is the ass a couple people to come up Ralph Smithers from from motorists and Bob Bueller you come up we have one of our corporate sponsors and one of our donors I would like both of them to come share a few words before we close out the good morning so come on up guys good morning dr. Moore and Teicher new asked me if I would say a few words about how we became involved with the Bell Centre and I also want to make I think more importantly why do we stay involved my wife Beth also sitting over here at the table and I raise our children in st. Louis and our children Natalie and Sam attended a very nice school in suburban West County and in sixth grade our son Samuel started playing football and in his football experience that there was a team of about fifty five boys and there were 40 of them from parkway west the suburban school that they attended and they were mostly white all from the suburbs and mostly reasonably wealthy and similar to dr. gene smith’s experience there were about 15 boys who were bused out to the our local school who played on Sammy’s football team and from 6th grade 2 through their senior year we got to know these boys the boys from the city were all black they were all from the city and they were all poor and through that experience we were able to see that at first what was most obvious were the differences between these boys the color of their skin the background that they came from but as we got to know them what was more important was despite the different challenges and the different experiences that they had their aspirations were the same and they were

all created in God’s image one of the things that occurred in the football experience was that there was a there was a time period between when school is over and practice started and the boys from the suburbs would go home between practice but the boys from the city were bused 25 miles from their home so they couldn’t return home so one of the things that we did was we would invite them to our home and they would come back to our home between school and practice and they would eat a lot they would study and they would goof around prior to practice and this really provided a window into a world that i would say Beth and I knew about but it wasn’t personal and it became personal over the course of those seven years we came to not only know these boys we love these boys after they graduated from high school we knew that that chapter ended but we didn’t want that experience to end because now it had become so personal through a set of interesting coincidence coincidences and experience we became connected with the Todd Bell Center here at Ohio State friend of mine as I was describing this to him it was Sean Kinley who painted the picture of Todd velvet hangs in the center described these not as coincidences but as God incidents and I think Beth and I would certainly agree that that was that was certainly the case I think that that’s really how we became involved in how we got connected the Bell Centre what’s more important for us I think and I think it’s probably been five years since we’ve been involved with the Bell Centre what’s more important is why do we stay involved and if you get a chance to look at the painting you’ll see sprinkled throughout that painting several passages that are important to people that were involved in the painting and there’s one it’s a it’s a I think is a neat painting and there’s Todd Bell holding a football and just to the right of the football there is a passage that was selected by Tyco or Newt that I think describes why we stay involved with the Bell Centre the passage is from proverbs chapter 27 verse 17 and it is iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another that is what the todd bell center does it sharpens men and that is why we stay involved the bell centre teaches young men how to succeed in an academic setting and then beyond that and there as is highlighted by the statistics that were shared earlier they are extremely successful and it sounds like we probably want another national championship that nobody’s talking about and that’s the graduation rate so great work to the people that are involved in that about a year ago dr. Moore asked me if I would meet with one of the students from the Bell Centre and talk to him about potential career choices as I was heading to the meeting Beth asked me what you know about the student and I said well individually I don’t know anything about him but I know he’s the Bell Centre I know he’s a student at the bell centre I know he spent time with dr. Moore and tyco or Newt and robert bennett and Todd Sudduth so here’s what I know about him he’ll be on time when I meet with him he will be extremely well prepared he will operate in a professional manner and i know that i will learn more from him than he will learn from me and that is what the experience that I had with that individual with the other individuals that I’ve had the honor to meet with on the staff and the students that they serve so for the students here take advantage of the time and maybe you’ll be up front like Alfonso and Lonard were but you have a great gift here in front of you with the great talents of dr Moore Robert Todd and Ty get to know him iron sharpens iron it won’t always be easy but they will teach you what you need to know to succeed here at Ohio State and beyond thank good morning there’s more people here than I thought from sitting up here but my name is Ralph Smithers jr. and ty core nude asked me to give a few reflections about what the Todd Bell Centre means to me both personally and professionally I work for motorists insurance i mentioned that earlier and my colleagues from motorists are here and i’d like them to stand and be recognized just a few little notes about our company i mean we presume that you know us because that’s our logo but just in case you don’t know where we’re headquartered here in columbus were right across the street from the art

museum we write all kinds of insurance not just auto insurance in 26 States right in 26 States and we’ve been in columbus since 1928 so i like to mention that because there’s a really big when we talk about personally and professionally i work for a hometown company who i believe loves ohio state as much as i do have you ever been downtown on a friday before a football game and noticed that there’s a block o flag 21 stories up and i believe that that’s got to be the highest displayed block o flag in the world given that so personally and professionally there’s such a good fit with motorists and i’d like to acknowledge and king who’s our chief human resources officer and also dave coffin who’s our president and CEO he couldn’t be here today he wanted to be here we got an email from him very late last night he was trapped in New Hampshire had some plain issues so he couldn’t couldn’t make it but I wanted to thank all of them and our rest of our executive team for their sincere commitment to diversity and also their sincere commitment to the todd bell centre and i’m going to share with you a few things about me personally that they didn’t know before they made made this investment so that just makes me even even more thankful just a little bit about me little history my parents met at Ohio State as freshmen in freshman orientation and I didn’t get the confirm this but I believe the year was nineteen fifty-nine they both graduated they had three kids all three of us graduated from Ohio State and also have a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles so when they say buckeye born buckeye bread what’s the rest of that buck I tell I’m dead I thought you all knew that yeah that really means that that truly means something to me and you know it meant something to me you know even as a little kid but there’s even more to it than that no one that’s what I really wanted to talk about when I was making a transition from high school to college I had a chance to apply and interview and receive a scholarship called the minority scholars program scholarship it was offered by what was then called the office of minority affairs and at that time it was a thousand dollar scholarship that actually covered two thirds is in state tuition can you believe that I tell people that and they look at me like he must really be old so you know long and short it was not only a scholarship but there were a lot of opportunities to interact with other people in the program to provide the same kind of support that the todd bell centre provides that has led to lifelong friendships and eventually as when i was still part of the program they ended up raising the scholarship to full in-state tuition so i consider that one of the great great blessings in my life i am so thankful for that every single day and i’ve been out in the workforce i was 26 years ago and i still think about it every day and just kind of tying it back just being able to receive you know one of the great great blood things in my life I’ve always tried to find ways to pay forward you know whether it be in service and more recently financially and I wanted to share with you one of the ways that we’re doing that if it’s okay like to acknowledge Brian jury who is the founder of the bucking the trend scholarship he asked me and I see my friend Raymond out there was right serious I saw you out there and there are some others and I don’t know if any of the others are here or not but Brian founded a small scholarship asked me to be a partner and it’s just a bunch of guys who pool their resources together and we’ve given out about ten thousand dollars worth of scholarships ten $1,000 scholarships this past January we gave out three one thousand dollar scholarships and it’s literally just a couple of people who are just trying to pool their resources together to try to pay forward to try to repay the gifts that that we were were given and I wanted to mention that because we want to we want to do better than that so if

you would be interested in learning more about that please see us after the program but the key is you know it’s not only about supporting diversity which kind of comes back to the professional because I work in human resource it’s not all about helping a further diversity but it’s also about giving people a chance and we have a chance through our scholarship to look at resumes and I actually intercepted one of them to try to hire the kid and he was already taken they are super talented and we just would like you to you know make sure that you know that there will be a return on your investment if you invest in the todd bell centre there are just amazingly talented outgoing young men and i know also young women throughout the the university that can make a big difference for you in your workplace so Todd the todd bell centre means the world to me it’s just a really wonderful way to pay forward it’s a wonderful way for me to pay a you know they they thanked me all the time I said oh don’t thank me I’m just repaying a debt this is this is easy and I want to just make sure that you know you have the same same opportunity and I want to just give you sincere thanks for being here to support the event and I ask that you continue to do so in the future and thank you very much just want to recognize the Columbus preparatory school for boys a mentoring program if they would stand up mr. Owens is the principal and last but not least I just want to thank you as well as thank my supervisor dr. valerie lee jun 30th is her she’s going to retire she decided that it was better for her to spend time with her newly born grandchild didn’t hang out with us at Ohio State she’s paid i do’s and if you don’t mind let’s please give her a round of applause I’ve had outstanding supervisors i went from dr. Stuart dr. Lee and I want to recognize professor sharron davies she will be the new vice provost and put pressure on us so she’ll continue to support us because the bird does all her now but it professor Davis if you would stand up and so everyone we recognized Thank You mr. Xu Mei I’ve been trying to get you for a long time I appreciate you thank you Gene Smith thanks in love to your wife Thank You donors fifth third Honda ap and all of the different community community of organization Bell family thank you for having tired bail and then I letting us to use his name in this beautiful honor I wish you a wonderful day I look forward to seeing you next year and as they say at Ohio State go bucks