The OSU Alumni Club of Muskingum County (OSUACMC) announces the selection of the recipients of its annual awards to recognize individuals who have provided significant contribution and support to the causes of the local alumni group, as well as to The Ohio State University and/or The OSU Alumni Association.  Donna Cole has been selected for the 2014 OSUACMC Outstanding Alumnus Award and David Mitzel has been named the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Friend of OSUACMC Award.  The awards were presented during the club’s 15th Annual Scholarship Auction, held Thursday, April 10, at the VFW Post 1058 in Zanesville.


Donna Cole – OSUACMC Outstanding Alumnus Award

 Donna ColeRecipients of the OSUACMC Outstanding Alumnus Award must be graduates of The Ohio State University and are selected on the basis of submitted written nominations which present information in support of the candidates, giving consideration to criteria which emphasize distinguished professional or work experience and public service, and service and support to The Ohio State University, The OSU Alumni Association (OSUAA) and/or The OSU Alumni Club of Muskingum County (OSUACMC).

Donna Cole is a 1970 graduate of Ohio State and a founding member of The OSU Alumni Club of Muskingum County, which was chartered in 1988.  She has served as the Treasurer of OSUACMC since 1994, and has been extremely active in alumni matters for well over 25 years.  She was selected to be a member of the National OSU Alumni Association Nominating Committee in 1995.

Donna was born and raised in West Union, Ohio (Adams County), where she grew up on a tobacco farm, the youngest of 4 children.  She moved to Columbus after high school graduation to attend Columbus Business University, from which she graduated with a degree in Airline Communications and Reservations.  She worked full time for over a year for Remington Rand Office Systems before enrolling at OSU, where she completed a Bachelor’s program in Social Work in 3 years.  Donna and Dean Cole were married the day after she graduated from OSU and then traveled for two years as Dean was in the military.  The Coles settled in Columbus after the military and Donna began her professional career as a Community Organizer and Professional Fund Raiser for United Way of Franklin County.  They moved to Zanesville in 1975 and started a family and Donna was a stay-at-home mom for 9 years.  In 1984 she worked at Zane State College as a facilitator for handicapped students and in 1986 the Coles bought their first business.  Donna managed Dresden Specialties until taking a job with Muskingum County in 2009 as a Foster Care Coordinator.

As a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Donna has held various positions of leadership within the church over the years, and she has served her community through involvement with numerous organizations, including the following:  Zanesville Day Nursery; Member and Past Chair of the Private Industry Council; Muskingum County Member and Past Chair of the Private Industry Council of a 5 County Consortium; Bethesda Hospital Foundation Board; Member and Past Chair of the Dresden Village Association; Muskingum County Tourism Board; Scholarship Central; and Member and Past Chair of the Muskingum County Community Foundation.  She is currently involved as Board Member and Secretary of Six County, Inc., Member of Muskingum County Workforce Development Board, and Board Member of Bethesda Hospital.

Donna is married to OSU graduate Dean Cole and their 2 sons Matthew and Michael and 2 daughters-in law Kathy and Heather are all OSU graduates.  The 3 grandchildren, Mattison, Kaitlyn and Maxton are, of course, future OSU graduates.  Both Donna and Dean Cole credit their education from OSU as being the stepping stone that launched them to the productive lives they have been able to achieve.  Regarding her many years of service as an Ohio State Alum, Donna stated:

I have a real “soft” spot for scholarships, as I know how important it is to have good financial resources to finance one’s education.  Working with the alumni club to raise money for scholarships is a great way to “pay forward” all of the wonderful things that OSU has given to me and my family.


David Mitzel – Outstanding Friend of OSUACMC Award

David MitzelThe recipient of the Outstanding Friend of OSUACMC Award is not required to be a graduate of Ohio State and is selected on the basis of submitted written nominations which present information in support of the candidate, giving consideration to criteria which emphasize participation in events and activities of The OSU Alumni Club of Muskingum County, distinguished professional or work experience and public service, and service and support to The Ohio State University.

David Mitzel is the founding and current Executive Director of the Muskingum County Community Foundation (MCCF), cited as the model for community foundation development.  MCCF now has more than $21 million in assets and has contributed more than $11 million to the community since its first distributions in 1989.  Mitzel holds a B.A. cum laude in Honors History from Williams College, an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from OhioUniversity. He previously served as an administrator at George Washington University and Ohio University where he was the founding vice president of the Ohio Continuing Higher Education Association.

Mitzel and MCCF have provided outstanding support of The OSU Alumni Club of Muskingum County by regularly contributing to the club’s projects and ongoing activities.  For the past 7 years all meetings of the OSUACMC Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee have been held in the MCCF board room and the club has been provided access to various materials and equipment which have greatly contributed to the success of the club’s operation and its special events.

Mitzel is the editor of the text, Resource Development in the Two-Year College, published by the National Council for Resource Development which he served as a Director and Vice President. In 2002, he co-authored the book Artistry, Community, and Legacy with the late Ray Thomas, the Founding President of the Muskingum County Community Foundation.  He has served as a Founding Director of the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations; President of the Hills of Ohio Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE); and on the Steering Committee that formed the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.  He is a past Trustee of the Donors Forum of Ohio and its successor, the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, the regional association of grantmakers serving the state of Ohio.  He has served for more than twenty years on the Forum’s Community Foundations Committee.  Mitzel is also a member of the Midwest Community Foundation Ventures (MCFV) Board which represents community foundations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.

Mitzel’s interest in local history led him to membership in and presidency of the Putnam Historic Association and membership in the Putnam Preservation Group.  Historic properties owned by Mitzel have included the Alvah Buckingham House (1820) and Pioneer School (1915), where until recently he and his wife Katherine resided.

Founder of Leadership Muskingum, a community leadership program, Mitzel recently acted as fundraising counsel for a successful campaign that raised more than $5 million for the new Muskingum Recreation Center.  Mitzel’s next major project is the Contemporary Ceramic Competition to be held in October 2014.  The $20,000 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics will be the largest best of show prize in ceramics in the Western Hemisphere.

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2017-18 OSUACMC Officers

Terry Kopchak - President
Jean Bell - Vice-President
Bo Coconis - Secretary
Donna Cole - Treasurer

Contact Info

The Ohio State University Alumni Club
  of Muskingum County
PO Box 146
Zanesville, OH 43702
(740) 624-6058

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OSUACMC Constitution

Download a PDF of the New OSUACMC Constitution, revised in April 2014.