On October 8th, Bol Aweng received the Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award , presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves in service to humanity and who have best exemplified the university’s motto, “Education for Citizenship” by having performed significant voluntary service beyond the call of business or professional duty.
Below is the transcript of Bol’s introduction speech given by James Smith, President and CEO:
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Bol Aweng’s story is an incredible one. It begins in 1987, when he is 6 years old and fleeing his village of Piol as it’s under attack by government troops. Bol walks and walks, hundreds of miles, and for years he has no true home.
The threat of death is real. Half of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan succumb to starvation, attacks by wild animals and assaults by enemy soldiers.
It’s a remarkable story of survival, inspiring to the core. But what’s even more inspiring is what happens next.
Bol comes to the US and graduates from Ohio State — and then he returns to South Sudan to see what little remains of his village. He decides to help. He recruits his friends from Columbus and Ohio State, and a few years later Piol is home to the Buckeye Clinic, which serves the immense needs of the village’s mothers and children.
Bol has helped raise more than $300,000 for his village. He once inspired a first-grader in Bexley to donate her allowance. He calls his story “The Journey of Hope,” and it’s one that we all can learn from.
Bol, will you please accept your award?