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NC State College Graduate Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award

College Foundation Board member, Matt Smith; College President, Dr. Dorey Diab; Ricky Branham; and College VP of Finance, Koffi Akakpo stand outdoors after award ceremony.

Mansfield, OH – The Ohio Association of Community Colleges awarded North Central State College’s President of the Alumni Association, Ricky Branham, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award on June 8th, 2017.

The OACC’s Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to an alumnus of one of Ohio’s 23 community colleges who has, throughout the course of his or her life, demonstrated a passionate level of commitment to the local community and higher education.

Branham graduated from North Central State College in 2004 with an associate degree in registered nursing.  He now works as a registered nurse for Willard City Schools and Mercy Health in Willard.  He also serves at the Senior Pastor of Ripley Church in Willard. 

In a nomination letter, President Dr. Dorey Diab expressed Branham’s dedication to the college and higher education.  Diab writes, “Ricky cares.  He cares for the human spirit.  He cares about education.  Ricky genuinely wants the best for everyone he meets and especially desires to encourage young people to pursue their dreams. “

Branham is a Willard, Ohio native.  As one of eight children, college didn’t seem like an immediate option, but he never let go of his dream to go to school and work to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.  He received an Academic Dean Scholarship from North Central State College, giving him some of the support he needed to continue his education.  After earning his associate degree, he furthered his education at Malone University in Canton, Ohio by earning his Minister’s Ordination from the School of Ministry, his Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and his Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

“North Central State College is like a family to me.  NC State College does a wonderful job of continuing to support the alumni even after they have graduated years and years ago,” Branham explains.

Branham says winning the award has been a humbling experience.  He adds, “I know there are many other deserving candidates and to be picked as the winner was one of the biggest honors I have ever received.”  He goes on to say, “For North Central State College to show this kind of love and appreciation towards me confirms again that I made the right decisions to start my college career at NC State.”

One of the main criteria for the award is to have a proven track record for giving back to those communities and institutions that have given so much to them.  Branham does as much as he possibly can to give back to the community.  He serves as the Executive Director of Willard Area Chamber of Commerce.  He also serves on many advisory boards including:  the Willard Area Economic Development Corporation (WAEDC), the Willard Community Connectors Program, the Willard United Fund, The Willows at Willard, the Willard Area Ministerial Association, the Willard Business Association, the Willard Rec Center Committee, and the Huron County Project Lifesaver.  He also serves on the NCSC College Foundation Board and as the President of the NC State Alumni Association Advisory Board.

Branham stays involved in North Central State College because of the family environment, and he firmly believes in the mission of the college and intends to continue to be a part of that mission.  He wants to assist future students desiring to further their education. He proclaims, “I want to help students the same way North Central State College helped me.  I was given a change to attend and the chance to be successful in life, and I am forever grateful.”

Ricky resides in Willard with his wife, Victoria, and their three children.



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