The Ohio State University has selected two graduating seniors as recipients of the President’s Prize, the highest university recognition bestowed on exceptional students committed to social change.

One of those recipients, Christian McGhee, is a graduate of Westerville North High School.

McGhee and Zac Graber, who is from Liberty Center, Ohio, each will receive a $50,000 living stipend and up to $50,000 in startup funding.

They will each work with a faculty mentor on their projects and tap into other accomplished experts, while pursuing opportunities to share their ideas with Ohio State’s global community of alumni, friends and partners.

Graber will be working on a research project designed to help Central Ohio significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to local landfills. McGhee aims to create a transition center for children who have been involved in the justice system and may otherwise be homeless.

“Zac and Christian are outstanding young scholars, and I look forward to the many ways that their projects will benefit our Columbus community and beyond,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “Their dedication to this work embodies our land-grant mission and the spirit of Buckeye Nation.”

McGhee and Graber are both seniors in Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. They were selected from among a talented group of applicants who submitted ideas for projects with the potential to make a meaningful impact on society, and that furthered the university’s mission of addressing some of the world’s most important and pressing challenges.[widgets_on_pages id=1]

“I am determined to be a voice for the voiceless,” said McGhee. “I cannot stand to watch kids’ futures be squandered because of the absence of help. I will work as hard as I can to empower them to live a life they never thought they could have as part of a vibrant community here in Columbus.”

“Excessive waste and pollution are some of the most critical issues of our time, and I want to cut the amount of material Central Ohio landfills in half over the next five years,” Graber said. “My research will focus on ways we can make the recycling process easier on consumers and economically feasible for both the public and private sector partners involved.”

The President’s Prize was created three years ago to honor Ohio State’s founding purpose of offering an excellent education while elevating society through research — a reflection of the university motto, Education for Citizenship. Awarded annually, the prize is funded solely through donor contributions.

For more information on the prize, see

In the video below, watch as Christian McGhee received notification of the award from OSU President Michael V. Drake during a recent class on campus.

Photo: Creative Commons License

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