Mission and History

Ralph Mershon
Ralph Mershon

The mission of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies is to advance the understanding of national security in a global context.

The center does this by fostering research in three areas of focus:

  • The use of force and diplomacy.
  • The ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security.
  • The institutions that manage violent conflict.

The Mershon Center encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects within the university and with other institutions around the world. It supports research by both individual faculty members and multidisciplinary teams.

The center also organizes conferences, symposia, and workshops that bring together scholars, government officials, and business leaders from around the world to discuss the latest research in national and international security affairs. Finally, it hosts visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows, and supports student research.

Our History

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies is the fulfillment of a bequest by Col. Ralph D. Mershon to The Ohio State University for the exploration of matters pertaining to national security. The Mershon Center is also supported by community gifts and grant money.

Mershon was a man of action in public life. He organized the American engineers for service in World War I and led a public effort to create the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He was also an inventor who held a number of patents for his work in electrical engineering. Mershon died February 14, 1952, and is buried in Zanesville, Ohio.