THE AUSTIN C. Furbee Award is an impressive one. It was first given in 1981 and is bestowed annually to an individual who has shown dedication, commitment and service to Ohio University and to the community.

Keith Sommer definitely fills the bill. As a result, the highly respected Martins Ferry attorney is this year’s recipient of the Furbee Award.

Sommer is most deserving of the award as he has been a strong supporter of Ohio University and Ohio University Eastern for more than 40 years. That speaks volumes for the character of the man, as he is a Bowling Green graduate before earning his law degree at The Ohio State University.

Sommer’s commitment to Ohio University has included longtime service to the Eastern campus. He has been a member of the Regional Coordinating Council while also being an integral player in fundraising.

In addition, Sommer has also been an adjunct instructor at OUE.

Sommer’s passionate work with OUE is just one of his many community involvements.

He is a member of the Belmont County Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, Belmont County Community Improvement Corp. and Estate Planning Council of the Upper Ohio Valley.

The Bowling Green Athletic Hall of Famer has also a long history of service with the Martins Ferry Lions Club and the St. Clairsville Sunrise Rotary.

Sommer, also a dedicated family man, has proven himself as a pillar of the Eastern Ohio community. Receiving the Austin Furbee Award is further evidence of his selfless and generous civic-minded deeds over the years.