Ohio State's beloved football coach Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes was not only a fierce competitor on the field, but was also an active and astute observer of military history and national security. He was interested in both athletics and academics, a combination that enhances the legacy he has left Ohio State.
As a veteran of World War II, Coach Hayes had a strong interest in military strategy. Among other things, he hosted a local television program that discussed national security in a historical perspective and guest lectured on the topic at colleges and universities around the United States, including Harvard University.
After his death, the university community proposed making an academic tribute to Coach Hayes. Honoring his commitment to the academic fields he was interested in was "beyond his wildest dreams," said his widow, Anne Hayes.
Through the efforts of Coach Hayes' widow, Anne; his son, Judge Steven B. Hayes; his many friends and admirers; and the university community, the campaign to fund the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair of National Security Studies was completed in 2001.
The income from this endowment provides funds for the Mershon Center to be home to a high-profile, tenured professor who conducts research and educates a new generation in the issues of national security studies.
The Hayes Chair at the Mershon Center is currently open.