Laura Lewis of Granville was recently honored with The Ohio State University at Newark’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Over the span of her 36-years-long career, Laura Lewis was a trailblazer and mentor for many women in the banking industry. She dedicated herself to serving the community as well as supporting future generations through her alma mater.

Lewis attended Ohio State Newark and graduated from the university with a B.S. in Business Administration.

“Ohio State Newark was the perfect fit for me. I was house-sitting and working several jobs in the Newark area to pay for my education,” said Lewis. “Once I experienced the quality of the professors and staff, I stayed at the Newark campus for as long as I possibly could. It afforded me a high-quality education with little student loan debt once I graduated.

“It was one of the best decisions of my life.”

After graduating from Ohio State in 1984, Lewis began her career at Park National Bank. Rising from management associate to director of human resources and marketing, Lewis recently retired as a senior vice president. In that time, she became a highly regarded peer advisor to other Licking County businesses for her experience and knowledge of human resources.

Lewis served on many local boards and committees throughout her career. She was president of the board of directors at Newark Rotary Club (2012-13), United Way of Licking County (2007-10) and the Human Resources Management Association (1996-1997). She remains active today on the board of directors for the Midland Theatre and the Newark Catholic High School Foundation. In addition, she has served as chair of many fundraising campaigns, including the Midland Theatre (present), Newark Catholic (2019-20) and United Way of Licking County (2004-2005).

Lewis was a member of the Ohio State Alumni Advisory Council from 2008-2013. She has been an ardent supporter of the university, including individual donations to the Next Generation Challenge Scholarship campaign that raised more than $21 million in scholarships for Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College and the capital campaign for the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology that opened in 2021. At Park, she advocated for generous gifts to Ohio State Newark in support of student scholarships, capital campaigns and event sponsorships.

“I’m proud to be an alumna, and it’s important for my husband and me to give back to the place that provided our college educations,” said Lewis. “I believe our Newark campus is one of the best educational values available.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service-learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.