2019 Honorary Distinguished Alumnus: Frank Stanton, MS, PhD
For his advocacy for canine health and wellness, amazing generosity, and continued dedication to the college, we are very pleased to recognize Dr. Frank Stanton (posthumously) as 2019 Honorary Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Frank Stanton graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and then accepted a scholarship to The Ohio State University where he earned a master’s degree in psychology (1932) and completed his PhD (1935). He joined CBS and was named Research Director in 1945 and President in 1946. As president of CBS, Frank created the modern presidential debate by persuading Congress to provide the regulatory relief that allowed the Kennedy-Nixon debate, thus establishing television as a dominant force in presidential politics. He also strengthened First Amendment protections for broadcast journalists, kept CBS News on the air commercial free for four days after the Kennedy assassination, was responsible for the first 30-minute coast-to-coast evening news program, and maintained CBS at the top of the Nielson ratings for his entire tenure as president.
Following his retirement from CBS, Frank served as Chairman of the American Red Cross as well as serving on numerous boards and foundations. He was admired by politicians, businessmen and fellow broadcasters as a principled executive with high aspirations. Don Hewitt, news pioneer and 60 MINUTES creator who witnessed Stanton in his heyday, said "If broadcasting had a patron saint, it would be Frank Stanton.”
Frank established the Stanton Foundation to support areas where he was unable to complete his charitable intentions during his lifetime, specifically international nuclear security, freedom of speech, and canine health and wellness. He had a true passion for dogs and had canine companions his entire life. When he and his wife Ruth were at Ohio State in the mid-1930s they brought their Boston terrier puppy to our Veterinary Hospital, which at that time was located on Neil Avenue. Frank never forgot the service they experienced and the care their puppy received. When his wife passed, he established the Ruth Stanton Endowed Chair of Veterinary Medicine in her honor.
More recently, and of critical importance to the College of Veterinary Medicine, was the Stanton Foundation’s transformational $39 million gift in 2016 to establish the Building Preeminence in Veterinary General Practice Education (BPVGPE) program. This generous gift established the Frank Stanton Endowed Chair in General Practice and Canine Health and Wellness, made possible the hiring of several faculty and staff, and funded the construction of the new Veterinary Clinical and Professional Skills Center (VCPSC), a state-of-the-art education and assessment resource, unique in veterinary education.
The components of this program create enhanced opportunities for all our veterinary students to get increased hands on experience starting in year one of their education. It links together the educational needs of the students and our mission to graduate more confident and competent general practitioners who can practice across the entire spectrum of care.
Dr. Frank Stanton was a proud alumnus who cared deeply for and was so appreciative of The Ohio State University. His gifts are a tribute to both The Ohio State, the College, and the Power of a Pet. The impact of his contributions, and those of the Stanton Foundation, are inspiring and will help the College advance veterinary medical education for current and future generations.