COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) — Ohio educators are recognizing the state’s first family for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Monday, Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine received honorary degrees from Ohio Dominican University.
“Your bold decisions, early decisions… no doubt you helped save lives,” ODU President Connie Gallaher said to Governor DeWine before presenting the couple with Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.
The honorary title is awarded to individuals who have made significant humanitarian and philanthropic contributions. President Gallaher and other speakers touted Mrs. DeWine’s investment in childhood literacy and nutrition and the Governor’s leadership during the health crisis.
“We have not gotten everything right. And I don’t pretend to say that we have,” Governor DeWine said of his pandemic decisions.
He addressed a crowd of students entering the Physician Assistant Program at ODU, encouraging them to learn from mistakes and listen to future patients. DeWine said he’s leaned on the expertise of medical professionals during his pandemic response and told the group their profession is critical to the welfare of the state.
“You will have the opportunity throughout your life, virtually every single day, to change people’s lives,” DeWine said.
The 50 students in the new cohort will complete the PA program in 27 months. ODU leadership hopes the Governor’s message will inspire them. President Gallaher said entering the medical field during a pandemic will undoubtedly shape their careers, much like it has shaped the rest of the state.
She said, “Ohioans have come out of this and will come out of this a more resilient people.”