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Contacts: Carol Harmon, 614/251-4000, (cell) 614/738-2755,; Amy Vick,, 614/251-4000


The Columbus Foundation’s “Jerrie” Recognizes Denny Griffith

Columbus, Ohio (April 18, 2014)―The Columbus Foundation named Denny Griffith, president of Columbus College of Art & Design, the 2014 winner of The Spirit of Columbus Award at an event held at the Foundation on April 17.

The Spirit of Columbus Award, affectionately known as the “Jerries” in honor of aviatrix Jerrie Mock, was established in 2013 and recognizes individuals who have exhibited exemplary community spirit through their accomplishments. This award is designed to celebrate emerging leaders and contributors to our civic spirit, and those who support emerging talent.

“Through the Jerries, we recognize those in our community whose exemplary accomplishments build our community and inspire us to go further,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “Denny’s transformation of CCAD clearly exemplifies what The Spirit of Columbus is, and his contributions will for many years, positively affect our city and beyond. He is, and lives, our community brand of smart and open.”

Upon accepting the Foundation’s award, which was presented to Griffith by Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, he said, “Thank you for believing in the power of CCAD to incubate talent and shape culture and commerce in Columbus.”



Griffith was presented with a “Jerrie,” a bronze maquette of the new Jerrie Mock sculpture at Port Columbus International Airport designed by Columbus artist Renate Burgyan Fackler, and had the opportunity to select one nonprofit from PowerPhilanthropy®, the Foundation’s online marketplace, to receive a $5,000 grant.

Griffith chose the CCAD Creative Excellence Fund, which provides last-dollar grants to high-performing, high-financial-need students. “It gets high-performing kids to the finish line!” he said. Mock was named the first recipient of The Spirit of Columbus Award in 2013, along with Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and David Brown of the Harmony Project. The Foundation’s event commemorated the 50th anniversary of Mock’s historic around-the-world flight.

Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world, in her 11-year-old Cessna airplane with “Spirit of Columbus” emblazoned on its side. The 38-year-old Bexley housewife and mother of three took off from Port Columbus on March 19, 1964. She landed safely back in Columbus on April 17 after 29 days, 21 stops, and more than 23,000 miles. The Foundation also announced three special grants to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mock’s flight.

  • A $2,500 grant to The Works, an interactive learning center inspired by the history, technology and artistic accomplishments in Newark, Ohio, Mock’s birthplace.
  • A $2,500 grant in honor of Mock’s accomplishment as the first woman to fly solo around the world to the Spirit of Columbus Chapter of Women in Aviation, a nonprofit founded in 2011 that is dedicated to bringing together Central Ohio aviation interests and providing networking, education, mentoring and outreach.
  • A $2,500 grant to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, where Mock’s plane, The Spirit of Columbus, hangs in their Virginia facility.



About The Columbus Foundation 

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,000 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy®, makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.

April 18, 2014