Romine honored at Ohio State commencement

News Release Date: 

Caledonia resident to receive university distinguished service award

The Ohio State University will recognize Caledonia resident and university friend Trella Romine along with four other individuals at their summer 2012 commencement.  The group will be recognized for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university.   Ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (8/12), at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

The university will present the Distinguished Service Award to Trella Romine, who was instrumental in establishing the Larry Yoder Prairie Nature Preserve at Ohio State Marion; Steve Sterrett, whose distinguished career with the university included many important communications and community outreach projects; Alec Wightman, a graduate of the Moritz College of Law who has earned a reputation as an exceptional lawyer and who has continued to give back to his alma mater; and Jon Woods, who retired this year after 28 years of leading The Ohio State University Marching Band.  An honorary Doctor of Business degree will also be awarded to commencement speaker Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.            

Trella Romine is a dedicated advocate of The Ohio State University and her community.  She is well known in her native Marion County for bringing passion to her work as a conservationist, a historian, and a volunteer.

Mrs. Romine’s role in the enhancement and preservation of Marion has been both exceptional and enduring. A graduate of Harding High School in 1933, she owned and operated Hemmerly’s Flowers for 30 years.  Since her retirement in 1982, she has dedicated her endeavors to preserving the county’s printed history as chair of the Publications Committee at the Marion County Historical Society.  She also established the Rinker/Howser Resource Center at Heritage Hall, the home of the society.  Additionally, she helped initiate the creation of the Marion County Parks District and donated 12 acres of her home site along the Whestone River, the Terradise Nature Preserve, to the parks.

Mrs. Romine has made an indelible mark on The Ohio State University at Marion.  She was instrumental in creating the Larry Yoder Prairie Nature Preserve, an 11-acre outdoor learning laboratory used to teach students about horticulture and the environment.  In addition to volunteering there, she helped establish the Marion Campus Prairie Nature Education Center Endowment to maintain the preserve.  Her support has led to vital research and helped the university preserve land surrounding the Marion campus.  In 2010, she established the Trella Hemmerly Romine/Howard W. Howser Endowed Scholarship Fund to further the education of students studying science at Ohio State.

In recognition of her leadership and volunteer activities, Mrs. Romine has received numerous awards, including the Tiffin Award of the Ohio Historical Society and the 2011 Presidential Award for Volunteerism for more than 4,000 hours volunteering at the Marion County Historical Society. Additionally, she served as a member of the board of trustees of the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums for 10 years, including four years as president.

Mrs. Romine has written five books on local and family history and recently published her autobiography, My Not So Ordinary Life.

The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest honors the university can bestow.  It was established by the Board of Trustees in 1952 to recognize individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the university.  Awards are not made on the basis of long, faithful, or loyal service alone, but rather for service that is truly distinguished.  Recipients of this award have provided a broad spectrum of services to the university in both official and unofficial capacities.