"As our nation prepares itself for change, it's vital that we bring influential policy-makers like Congressman Hobson to this campus so that all of us may actively engage in raising the level of public debate," said Mark Preston, Wittenberg's senior class president. "We are also a campus that appreciates the value of selfless service, and we are fortunate to welcome such an accomplished public figure and champion of the liberal arts."
Throughout his career, Hobson has consistently earned the respect and support of both Congressional colleagues and his constituents for his leadership, accomplishments and commitment to the 7th District. In addition to promoting economic development, including the creation of jobs, improving access to quality health care and strengthening the nation's defense, Hobson has also been a strong advocate for education, securing significant funding for area primary and secondary schools as well as for area colleges and universities, including Wittenberg.
In 2005, Hobson secured $1 million in federal dollars to expand and enhance research partnerships in computational science between Wittenberg, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Two years earlier, his vision and leadership helped secure $1 million in federal funds, which aided in the completion of the university's state-of-the-art Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. Wittenberg recognized Hobson by naming the three-story glass atrium and focal point of the 47,000-square-foot expansion of the center in his honor. Hobson also received an honorary doctorate of law from Wittenberg in 1992, one of several honorary degrees awarded to him by higher education institutions in Ohio.
Now in his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Hobson has earned key committee posts on the House Appropriations Committee. He is also the ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which he formerly chaired, and serves as a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Additionally, Hobson's service includes serving as chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, as a member of the Veterans Affairs/Housing Subcommittee and as a member of the Budget Committee. Prior to being elected to Congress, Hobson served in the Ohio Senate from 1982-1990, where he was the president pro tempore, the second-highest-ranking official, majority whip, and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.
Dedicated to ensuring that the needs of his constituents are routinely met, Hobson regularly returns to the 7th District to meet with area residents and actively involves himself in community affairs. When his schedule requires him to be in Washington, D.C., Hobson sponsors monthly "Open Door" meetings across the district, which allow constituents to share their thoughts on issues as well as their concerns directly with his staff members.
As part of his efforts to assist students and support education, Hobson also sponsors the annual 7th Congressional District Art Competition for high school students along with military academy seminars for prospective students. Occasional forums on health care, veterans' affairs, agriculture and national defense sponsored by him also provide regular avenues for engagement with his constituents.
At the same time, Hobson continues to help nurture the pro-business environment necessary for communities to prosper. Toward that end, he has worked diligently to bridge the public and private sectors in order to strengthen area economic development efforts, as in the case with the establishment of the Springfield Technology Park and other high-tech development projects.
The recipient of numerous awards, including several Legislator of the Year awards from various social and government-related organizations, Hobson, a veteran himself, received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and his J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law. He and his wife, Carolyn, live in Springfield and have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Written By: Karen Gerboth
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