In honor of Black History Month, Zane State College would like to recognize Ernie Bynum. A new Foundation Board Director who was sworn in on January 26, 2021, Bynum has a rich history of helping and advocating for others in our community. He wants to use his time and talents to bridge Zane State’s resources to the people in need of those resources.
Born in Zanesville on March 4, 1965, Bynum was the first member born in his family with all the rights of an American citizen (Voting Act Rights of 1965). Growing up during the civil rights movement, Bynum shared that his loving parents encouraged his sister and him to be good people and put family first. His mother’s family has roots in Morgan County dating back 10 generations. His father’s family migrated from South Carolina before settling in Muskingum County.
“I grew up in a lower-to-middle-class, close-knit neighborhood. Everyone looked out for everyone. They were very kind people who got along like one big family. Adults looked out for the youth, and the neighborhood was filled with mentors,” Bynum explained. “I am most proud of being a good son.”
He attended college in Washington, Pennsylvania, where he fell in love with learning and the educational process. “My best memories were playing team sports. My worst memories were seeing fellow students left behind because they could not learn as fast as others,” Bynum shared. For this reason, he has great passion to serve marginalized groups in higher education.
After college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and traveled the world. After serving, he returned to Zanesville to raise his family. While he has a long and impactful list of accomplishments, his most recent achievement includes establishing the African American Community Fund (January 2020). Through his work on the Foundation Board, he would like to continue to organize events in the community allowing the underserved to have a voice and be heard.
In closing, Bynum shared advice for the young people of today, “Surround yourself with positive people, and never take life for granted.” On behalf of President Chad Brown and the entire College, Zane State College welcomes Ernie to the campus community. Together, we will work toward our vision of creating a “A Promising Future for Every One.”