Schuller Receives Pay It Forward Award

It is with great sadness the OSU Alumni Club of Ross County updates this story. Just two weeks after receiving the Pay It Forward Award, Dr. Schuller died following an extended illness. Our club members are deeply saddened and will miss his leadership and his friendship. His obituary states that memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Schuller’s name to either of the OSU scholarship funds he created: the John F. Schuller Scholarship Fund, PO Box 710811, Columbus, OH 43271-0811 or the Bob and Betty Jones Scholarship Fund, PO Box 758, Chillicothe, OH 45601. You can access the Jones scholarship by clicking the donate link on this page.

Dr. William O. Schuller received the Ohio State University Alumni Association Pay It Forward Award that recognizes superior individual service to an Alumni Club. Schuller is one of ten 2016 recipients nationwide who were recognized at a ceremony in Columbus on Friday September 9’th. Schuller founded the scholarship program for the OSU Alumni Club of Ross County in 1990 and has chaired the scholarship committee for the group since then. In that time the local alumni club has awarded over $125,000 in scholarships to over 200 Ross County students attending the Ohio State University.

Schuller received his Bachelor of Science degree in Optometry from Ohio State in 1965 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force before completing his post graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. Schuller served as an optometry officer and Chief of the Eye Clinic at Beale AFB in California. In 1970, Schuller began a career as an optometric educator at several colleges and continued teaching at Ohio State when he was named Chief of Optometry at the Chillicothe VA in 1986 before retiring in 2007. Click here more about Dr. Schuller’s career in this “alumni focus” article by the OSU College of Optometry.

Named for a favorite phrase of legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes, the Pay It Forward Award recognizes alumni volunteers who connect students and other alumni to the university by implementing programs that recruit students and raise scholarship dollars. Schuller was president of the local alumni club in 1990 and created the scholarship program that would eventually become the Bob and Betty Jones Scholarship Fund in 1996. A significant donation from the Jones family enabled the endowment that sustains the fund. Members of the Ohio State University Alumni Association can donate to this fund to keep their membership active and maintain eligibility to purchase football tickets.

Schuller says he appreciates the award and considers it a great honor. Schuller says the students who have received scholarships from the Ross County club have been incredible, “academically, character wise, they go to Ohio State, excel and come back and contribute back to the community. We’re very lucky.”

The local club will celebrate Dr. Schuller’s award on Saturday September 17th at a game watch party open to the public when the Buckeyes play at Oklahoma. The gathering will take place at the Cross Keys Tavern and 17 East Restaurant in Chillicothe beginning at 6:00 PM.

The OSU Alumni Club of Ross County funds two merit scholarships for Ross County students attending the Ohio State University, the Bob and Betty Jones Scholarship Fund for incoming freshman and the Upper Class Merit Scholarship for returning sophomores, juniors and seniors. Any OSU supporter can join the local club or make a donation to the scholarship fund.