LIMA - Jaye McCain refers to OSU-Lima as one of the city's great gems. Apparently, the school and its people think the same of her.
McCain, a financial adviser for Edward Jones and Associates, received this year's Violet I. Meek Town and Gown Award Thursday. She is the sixth person, and first woman, to receive the award.
The award goes to someone who, like Meek, supports the community and its relationship with the campus. McCain is certainly a cheerleader for both and has given to both.
"I think that we all truly as citizens of this country have a lot of privileges, and I think it is our duty and responsibility to pay back," she said. "And attempting to make our community a better place to live, and work and raise a family is our responsibility."
Meek, who retired as dean and director of the school in 2003 after 12 years, spoke of a bumper sticker that fits McCain: "Speak out, even if your voice is shaking." Meek said McCain joins a group of people for whom she and the university are grateful.
"It is a remarkable thing to have in this community so many people who work so hard to bring about a good relationship, a strong relationship, between the school and the community," Meek said.
Called an "excellent ambassador for this university" by OSU-Lima Dean John Snyder, McCain's involvement goes back to when she enrolled at OSU-Lima in 1970. A first-generation college graduate, she graduated from the main campus in Columbus. She remains proud of the Buckeyes.
"We have the No. 1 state university and are among the top 20 universities in the country, and that's right here in Lima," she said. "I'm very pleased to be affiliated with them and honored."
McCain credits her parents for encouraging higher education and for teaching her to help others.
McCain is co-chairwoman of OSU-Lima's Comprehensive Capital Campaign. She served on the Citizens Advisory Committee in the 1980s and continued when it was reorganized as the OSU-Lima board of trustees. She spent nine years on the board, two of those as president.
From 2000 to 2006, McCain served on the OSU Alumni Association Advisory Committee. She has served the community in numerous ways, including on the Allen County Development Council, American Business Women Association, Exchange Club and United Way board of directors.
Past award winners have been David Adams, Tom Francis, Clyde Rauch, William Ackerman and Bob Schulte.