Remembering Willie Young, Sr.

December 10, 2020

Willie Young, Sr. was a Buckeye legend, a trusted friend, advisor to many and an advocate for all Ohio State students.

Willie Young, Sr. joined The Ohio State University in 1990 in Residence Life and became the Senior Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services in 1998. He received a BS in education and an MA in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University.

During his long and storied career, Willie received the Ohio State Distinguished Staff Award, Gerald Saddlemire Mentor of the Year from the Ohio College Personnel Association, James Hurd Award from the Association of College and University Housing Offices - International for outstanding professionals of color in the field of student housing, the Sadie Yancey Award from the National Association of Student Affairs Professional, numerous awards from his alma mater, Bowling Green State University, and served in numerous capacities with dozens of service, non-profit and church organizations.

Willie was a tireless champion for town-gown relations between Columbus and the university, working with students, property owners and business managers on a wide variety of issues, building community, creating programs and inspiring engagement to support the academic success of commuter students and to make the off-campus area a safer and better place to live for all residents.

He was one of the most beloved members of the university community, dedicating his career to serving students and taking a personal interest in their well-being, as well as serving as a mentor and advisor to countless students with wisdom and a sense of humor that led all who knew him to call him a friend.

Willie’s passing leaves sadness, but also the knowledge that his legacy will live on.

Share Your Memories

Pay tribute to Willie's legacy by sharing your favorite memories, photos and nickname with us through our online submission form.

Downloadable Posters

In the top right of this webpage there are two downloadable posters with Willie's infamous quote, "Every flower doesn't bloom on the first day of spring." The black and white version is available for people to color based on their feelings about Willie. The color version includes colors from the institutions where Willie worked.

Ways to Give

The Ohio State University 

Give to the Willie J. Young Sr. Fund for Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services

Bowling Green State University (BGSU)

Give to the In Memoriam: Willie J. Young, Sr. Scholarship

Articles About Willie

Willie J. Young, Sr. Obituary (Tribute Archive)

Today's Update: Tuesday, November 24 (Office of Student Life)

In Memoriam: Willie J. Young (Office of Diversity and Inclusion)

Young is Restless, Vigilant in Protecting Students (The Lantern)

Staff Spotlight: Willie Young, Sr. (Ohio State Alumni Magazine)

Willie Young, Sr. shares his sports memorabilia on BTN's Big Ten Treasure Hunter (YouTube)

Willie Young Sr. acted with ‘habitual kindness,’ was loved and respected by family, Springfield, OSU community (Springfield News-Sun)