Dear YSU and Youngstown Community,
Thank you. It is, personally, a very meaningful honor to receive the Harry M. Meshel Legacy
It was an even greater honor to get to know the man himself. More than the name on a
building, or classroom at the Steel Museum, Sen. Harry Meshel embodied Youngstown’s
spirit and exemplified public service.
There is one thing beyond a doubt, that if Sen. Meshel was still with us today, he would be
mad as hell at the direction the administration has taken YSU in the past year. He fought for the
university, and the critical intersection where academic integrity emboldens the community. He
would enthusiastically cheer for the sports teams, but knew the university’s core purpose.
Programs like the NEOMFA, professors like Dr. Jacob Labendz, and schools like Dana – Sen.
Meshel loved jazz! – have a reach beyond the classroom and have a huge impact in our
It is wrong and shameful how these cuts have unfolded, and the hollow lie of the “budget”
while funding increases to nonessential areas like athletics and real estate. If budget cuts are
necessary, I recommend beginning with the over half a million dollars a year paid to President
Tressel and Provost Smith.
Thank you again for this meaningful award, the plaque will be displayed with the jazz pictures
Sen. Meshel presented to me at the Lemon Grove. His are big shoes that can never be
filled, but he will always be an inspiration to fight for the university and community in