Lyons receive Distinguished Alumni Award

Marc and Kelly Lyons, of Mount Vernon, were recently presented The Ohio State University at Newark Distinguished Alumni Award. The pair were recognized for not only giving back to their alma mater through their time, talent and treasure but also inspiring others to do the same.

“Giving back is a part of who we are, and we want to do what we can to encourage others to pay it forward,” said Marc in a 2022 interview. Kelly agreed, adding, “Over the years, we’ve had the chance to meet many of our scholarship recipients. A few of them have even said they hope to pay it forward in the future, which is really incredible.”

Marc and Kelly received their BSBA in 1987 and 1991, respectively, from Ohio State after spending considerable time at the Newark campus. The Lyons, now retired, each had prestigious careers at State Farm following their graduation from the university. Today Marc maintains small consulting and part-time roles, while Kelly volunteers in the children’s ministry of her church. They also spend much of their time advocating for and supporting student scholarships. Their contributions include:

  • A current use scholarship at Ohio State Newark that gives preference to graduates of Mount Vernon High School, Northridge High School or Utica High School and students pursuing a business degree
  • A scholarship for students pursuing a degree in the earth sciences in honor of their favorite Ohio State Newark professor, Dr. James Bradley
  • A $100,000 commitment, which will be doubled through a gift-matching program, to establish an endowed scholarship as part of the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program
  • A commitment to the Newark Campus Development Fund to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of Marc’s brother Grant, who retired from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, to benefit Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College students pursuing a career in law enforcement

In addition to scholarships, the Lyons are also generous with their time. They recently participated in Ohio State’s Volunteer Leadership Academy, a nine-month leadership development program for Ohio State advancement volunteers who want to serve the university as effective and influential volunteer leaders. After sharing their personal story of philanthropy at the 2022 Scholarship and Student Leadership Dinner, two attending donors were inspired to make their own $100,000 commitments to the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program. 

“We are proud to share what the Newark campus has meant to us individually, what it has meant in our careers and what it has meant in any measure of the success we have had in our lives,” Marc said. “Not only that, it extends to our children and the legacy we have hopefully given them. 

“We are confident that the legacy and the impact of the Newark campus will continue for our family for generations. The impact of the university, the Newark campus, our professors, and the friends and connections we made at the Newark campus is immeasurable.”