Frank W. Watson Scholarship

Frank W. Watson: A Legacy of Empowerment and Opportunity

Frank W. Watson was a visionary leader and tireless advocate for education and minority business development in Central Ohio. His lifelong commitment to community upliftment began in the 1970s when he founded Tomorrow’s Education Now. This groundbreaking non-profit initiative, part of the Model Cities program, provided essential guidance to Columbus City School students, assisting them with financial aid applications and organizing college visits.

In the 1980s, recognizing the need for minority business development, Frank established the Central Ohio Minority Business Association. His organization became a cornerstone for minority contractors seeking to grow and succeed. Frank’s dedication didn’t stop there; he played a pivotal role in the creation of Ohio’s Minority Business Assistance Programs and was instrumental in shaping the state’s current purchasing goals for minority businesses.

His legacy continues to inspire and make a difference through The Frank W. Watson Scholarship. Initiated by his daughter, Ronda Watson Barber, Publisher of OhioMBE, the scholarship is designed to support students from Columbus East High School who are active in basketball or track & field. An additional scholarship is also awarded to another high-achieving high school student, aimed at funding their post-secondary education.

Frank W. Watson’s enduring impact is a testament to his belief in the transformative power of education and economic empowerment. His life’s work serves as a beacon for community development and social change, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals.

In Frank’s honor, we invite you to contribute to his enduring legacy. Donations to The Frank W. Watson Scholarship can be made at any Park National Bank or mailed to Park National Bank – 800 S. 30th Street – Heath, OH. For additional ways to support, please consider donating via the Kroger Rewards program (Rewards Number: 24581) or by selecting the Ohio Business Development Center as your charity of choice on Thank you for helping to empower the next generation.