In Memoriam: Delbert Latta '88 (hon)
Congressman Delbert Latta (center) with recipients of the scholarship named in his honor
The University is saddened by the news of former Ohio Senator and U.S. Representative Delbert Latta's ’88 (Hon.) passing and honors his memory as one of the state’s most distinguished citizens and a good friend to BGSU.
“Del Latta was an advocate for education and a true supporter of Bowling Green State University,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Over his long life he was a role model for students as an engaged citizen who worked hard in others’ behalf and achieved much for northwest Ohio, the state, and the country.”
In recognition of his strong commitment to the region, BGSU presented Delbert Latta an honorary doctorate of public service in 1988 upon his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives after 30 years of service. During his years in Congress, his responsiveness to constituents included University faculty, staff and students.
In 1992, he was named by Gov. George Voinovich to the BGSU Board of Trustees, where he served for nine years and was chair from 1997-98. During his tenure on the board, he was an active member and chair of the Student and Academic Affairs Committee and the Financial Affairs/ Facilities Committee and was instrumental in establishing the board’s Audit Committee. During his tenure, BGSU made major advancements, including approval of the student union renovation, the technology infrastructure project and the Cedar Point Center at BGSU Firelands.
As a congressman, Delbert Latta was responsible for BGSU receiving millions of dollars to support various projects and programs, including obtaining federal grants for the WBGU-TV transmitter, a mass spectrometer for the Department of Chemistry and a program to foster character development in rural schools.
He was also generous with his time, speaking to political science classes and helping BGSU students acquire internships in Washington, D.C., so they could learn more about government. Delbert Latta was also responsible for BGSU becoming host of the annual Buckeye Boys State, its home since 1978.
A Falcon Club member, he also supported the Delbert Latta Scholarship, created by his friends and family in his honor following his retirement from Congress, and the Hockey Renovation Fund.
The Latta family has a long association with BGSU. The Lattas’ daughter, Rose Ellen Latta, received her undergraduate degree here in 1977 and their son, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, is a 1978 alumnus. His wife, Dr. Marcia Sloan Latta, holds three degrees from BGSU and is the former senior associate vice president for advancement for the University.