B.A., Denison University
J.D., The Ohio State University
Citation awarded on Saturday, June 4, 2016
With Denison’s liberal arts heritage, Bob Howarth’s professional goal has been to fill his days with a variety of rewarding experiences.
After law school, Bob spent his first few years “growing up” as a trial lawyer, setting the stage for the important role that advocacy would play throughout his life. In 1975, he was asked to join the Ohio Governor’s administration as President of Ohio’s Controlling Board, the powerful state budget oversight committee. Four years later, he became the Governor’s Executive Assistant. Bob has served on two gubernatorial transition teams.
In 1983, Bob returned to the private sector as Senior Vice President of the Huntington National Bank, directing community relations in Ohio and government affairs in both Ohio and Washington. Thereafter, he became a partner in a national law firm and later started his own law firm.
Paralleling his civilian life, Bob enjoyed a long military experience. After 30 years as a Judge Advocate, he retired from the United States Air Force Reserves and the Ohio National Guard with the rank of Brigadier General. Among his commendations are the Legion of Merit and the National Guard’s Minuteman Award.
His life has been enriched by various activities on the state level. Bob served on Ohio’s Board of Regents, which oversees Ohio’s institutions of higher education. By appointment of the Ohio Supreme Court, he sat as an Ohio bar examiner. He was named an “Ohio Commodore” to honor his service to the state.
At the local government level, Bob became, on an emergency basis, Executive Assistant to the Columbus Mayor to resolve disorder within the administration. Later, he successfully headed two Columbus Charter Revision Committees. Most recently, he chaired the capitol city’s Economic Advisory Committee, which recommended an increase to the city’s income tax and was approved by the people. Columbus now rests on sound economic footing.
Bob is currently the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Shawnee State University, an open-enrollment university in Ohio’s Appalachian region, which experiences many challenges. This follows years of work on numerous boards, including the Capital Area Humane Society, Columbus Children’s Hospital and the Columbus Academy.
Bob and his wife, Lain, have two children: Macy, who lives in Lexington, Mass., and Clinton, of Ridgefield, Conn. Accompanied by their rescue dog, Dilly, they spend a great deal of their time in New England with their children and four grandchildren.