2016 COTC Legends of Loyalty Awards Presented

NEWARK, Ohio, December 7, 2016 – Two longtime employees and two longtime friends of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) were presented with the college's highest honor. The 2016 Legends of Loyalty awards were presented by President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., on Dec. 6 during a reception on campus marking the closing of the college's 45th anniversary celebration in 2016.

The Office of the President established the Legends of Loyalty award in 2011 to identify and recognize dedication and commitment to the college. It spotlights individuals who have, over the years, made a significant impact on the history of the college, have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance.


2016 Legends of Loyalty winners pose for group photo. Pictured (l-r): Mike Cantlin, Stephanie Cantlin Athen, Barb Cantlin, Ron Alford (all family of John Alford), Dr. Bonnie L. Coe, president of COTC, Scott Wilson, Barry Riley and Steve Riley

The first award was presented posthumously to former Park National Bank President John Alford. His children attended the event and received the award on his behalf. Coe told the crowd that Alford's support of COTC dates back nearly half a century.

"To promote a culture of philanthropy within the bank, John Alford set an early example that was later emulated by many in the Newark business community. Mr. Alford offered bank employees the unique opportunity to participate in the Newark campus Founders Hall fundraising campaign through payroll deduction, and that was merely the start of the many successful fundraising drives that he spearheaded or participated in to show his support of the Newark Campus Development Fund (NCDF), COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark," said Coe. "Mr. Alford was an early and generous donor to many organizations and because of the culture of community involvement that he exemplified, nearly a dozen Park National Bank presidents, executives and directors have supported the college by also serving on the NCDF board of trustees."

The second recipient is COTC Board Trustee Barry Riley. Riley is the longest standing board member on the COTC fiduciary board serving as a trustee for 25 years. Riley has also served the college as an Ohio Association of Community College (OACC) board delegate for many years and is the founding trustee for OACC.

"We have been fortunate to have Barry Riley as a highly engaged board member who is dedicated to COTC. As a graduate of Ohio State, a past employee on the Newark campus and now a trustee, Barry has a valuable perspective," said Coe. "For his many years of dedication to this college and to our students, I'm honored to present him with the 2016 Legends of Loyalty award."

The third award recipient has been employed by COTC for 32 years. Mechanical Technician Steve Riley is the most senior member in the campus facilities department.

"He brings performance above and beyond the normal duties which have earned him the trust and respect of his colleagues. His work ethic and positive attitude is above expectations," said Coe. "Steve Riley is known as the 'go to' person on the maintenance team whenever it is faced with a particularly challenging problem."

The final recipient also has longevity with the college. Professor Scott Wilson has been a faculty member at COTC for 36 years. He is the most senior faculty member which gives him the honor of leading the faculty during the commencement processional.

"In my eyes, there is no one who makes a greater impact on the student experience than the faculty," said Coe. "Professor Scott Wilson is widely respected for his deep commitment to student success. He always makes sure to do what he can to provide support and then to refer a student to an appropriate office for further support when that is needed."

Recipients of the Legends of Loyalty award have their name added to a perpetual plaque that hangs in the Office of the President. A $1,000 scholarship is also donated to a COTC student in honor of each recipient, and a beautifully-engraved commemorative clock, along with a holiday wreath, are presented to each recipient.

Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.