Frank Willis


ONU alumnus Frank Willis, LLB 1893, served as Governor of Ohio from 1915-1917, and as a U.S. Senator from 1921 until his untimely death in 1928.

He was a respected lawyer, teacher, and political leader. After graduating from ONU, he stayed on to teach economics, history, and law. Elected to office multiple times during his career, he also served in the Ohio House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives.

As Ohio's governor, he implemented reforms to road laws and civil service, and he advocated for progressive measures such as the eight-hour work day.

He was campaigning for the U.S. presidential nomination in 1928 when his political ambitions were cut short. Only 56 years of age, he suffered a fatal heart attack just minutes before he was scheduled to speak at a campaign event on Ohio Wesleyan University's campus.