October 11, 2021

In Memoriam, Buss Ransom

H.R. “Buss” Ransom (BArch ’61), one of the Knowlton School’s most dedicated friends and supporters, passed away on September 16, 2021, at the age of 84. Over the past 15 years, his generosity enriched the experiences of numerous Knowlton students. As an architect and developer, his decades-long career leaves a lasting legacy in Central Ohio.

Born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on October 16, 1936, Buss entered Ohio State knowing he wanted to study architecture. After graduating, he worked for a number of architectural firms before founding his own company, HR Ransom, Inc., in 1972. The firm was known for designing and building high-quality land and commercial development projects, single and multi-family residences, and condominiums. His innovative designs led the way for riverfront development in and around Columbus. Buss’s design vision is on display in projects such as The Quarry on the Scioto, The Woods at Muirfield Village, and Scioto Pointe.

In recognition of his work, Buss received the Building Industries’ Washburn-Schofield Award and an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. Buss was an industry spokesperson for the building community and served as president of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio and The Ohio Homebuilders Association. In 2009, he was inducted into the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio’s Hall of Fame.

Buss served on Professor Ann Pendleton-Jullian’s advisory board and funded two international traveling design studios when she was school director. During the Knowlton School’s past capital campaign while Professor Michael Cadwell was director, Buss expanded his support for the school.

In 2013, Buss and his son Eric Ransom created the Ransom Family Scholarship Fund. Since 2014, the endowment has distributed nearly $100,000 in scholarships to a dozen Knowlton undergraduate students. In 2016, Buss established the Ransom Family Endowed Graduate Scholarship Fund, which since 2016 has provided nearly $160,000 in scholarships to 16 Master of Architecture students.

Since 2015, the Knowlton Hall Student Services area has been named for Buss and the Ransom Family. Funds from his generous naming donation were directed to building enhancements that have benefited students throughout Knowlton Hall. Over the past 15 years, Buss donated to numerous other school funds, including the Robert S. Livesey Teaching Award.

In 1989, Buss received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Engineering.

Beyond this history of service to Knowlton, Ohio State and his profession, Buss and his wife Lou Ann Moritz Ransom have given to the local community by being long-time supporters of Columbus’ Homeless Families Foundation. His two endowed scholarships will support future Knowlton School students in perpetuity.