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ohiotoday FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF OHIO UNIVERSITY

Fall 2014 State of student life: 1964-2014 • The OHIO Match


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» ON THE COVER

Students find their way to and from College Green in the scramble crosswalk at the corner of Court and Union. photo by

Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

LEFT: Students on different paths to and from Ellis Hall were featured on the 1963 cover of The Ohio Alumnus. That year Ohio University witnessed a ‘Student Revolt for Freedoms.’ In her essay response to the demonstrations, Nancy (Maidens) Trainor, BSED ’66, president of Student Cabinet, wrote for the magazine in Nov. 1964: “Society today calls on students to face increasing responsibilities in shaping the future. … I think that college should be the stepping stone where the transition from adolescence to adulthood is made.” Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections


Features CONNECTING THE DOTS

OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM AT OHIO UNIVERSITY

In April, Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign reached its $450 million goal well before the June 30, 2015 deadline. As the Campaign continues, we focus on scholarships through The OHIO Match, a new matching program that has already raised $3.2 million from 2,800 donors. And we’re just getting started.

1964. Fifty years ago. University students everywhere were beginning to question authority and learn about where they stood on the issues of the day. Through the lens of the University’s student life, Ohio Today looks back to that time of change, looks around at today’s students and takes a glimpse at the future. Much has changed, yet some things have stayed the same.

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Departments 3 Letters 4

Your Ohio

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Contributors

How did a professor’s words change your life?

Across the College Green 6 In the news Rejuvenating College Green

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Iron Man After 50 years at the Eastern Campus, professor still has more to say

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Learning to make change happen Voinovich internship changes lives

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Mighty pens Athens-area writers get their just rewards from the Ohio Arts Council

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Calendar Chapter events and campus activities

Bobcat Tracks 34 50 years a grown-up

1964 graduates recall student life

36 Your alumni updates

News from fellow alumni, photos and announcements

4 6 In Memoriam

Remembering alumni, faculty and staff 8 Last Word 4

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ohiotoday The State of Student Life

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hat a difference 50 years makes! As I thumb through this issue of Ohio Today, I am struck by the cultural shifts that have taken place over the past half century. Though the bricks and mortar endure, the experiences taking shape within those brick walls have significantly evolved. The personal testimonies on the following pages provide unique insights about the state of student life at Ohio University through the decades. It is my hope that these articles, and more importantly, the conversations that follow serve to bridge generations of Bobcats through common understanding of the times. In 1964, Ohio University Dean of Students William Butler published an essay in The Ohio Alumnus (Ohio Today’s predecessor), which served to illustrate and, in many ways, encapsulate student life and the issues of the day. Fifty years later, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Ryan Lombardi (Dr. Butler’s modernday counterpart) and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Jenny Hall-Jones provide a parallel snapshot of student life in 2014. As Lombardi and Hall-Jones will attest, much has changed since 1964. From residence life to Greek life, today’s Bobcats know and love a very different University community than the Bobcats of a half century ago. And yet, many similarities – perhaps most notably our tenacious Bobcat spirit – endure. To be sure, Ohio University alumni share a special bond. Despite the distance and time between us, we can all agree that our time at Ohio University was formative and life-changing. Today, all of us are in some way ambassadors and in other ways reflections of our University family. Ohio University’s story is one of exploration and discovery… of research and innovation… of opportunity and personal connection… of student-centered learning and profound personal growth. Ultimately, this is the place where we became our best selves. And it is this story—our shared story of transformation— that rings true through the ages.

Interim Editor Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91 Art Director Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02 Contributing Editor Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’07 Contributors Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ ’94, MS ’99 Tiffany Bumgardner, BSS ’15 Corinne Colbert, BSJ ’87, MA ’93 Kandlyn Collins, BSJ ’14 Michelle Doe, BSJ ’13, BSVC ’13 Jenny Hall-Jones, AB ’95, MED ’97, PHD ’11 Rob Hardin, BSC ’08 Ryan Lombardi Sally Parker Lauren Pond, MA ’14 Ben Siegel, BSVC ’02 Hailee Tavoian Printer The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University

President Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 Executive Director of Communications and Marketing Renea Morris, MED ’12 Executive Director of Development Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ ’94, MS ’99 Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Executive Director of the Alumni Association Jennifer Neubauer Director, Advancement Communication and Marketing Janis Miller-Fox, BFA ’77

Ohio University Alumni Association

Board of Directors Julie Mann Keppner, BBA ’02, Chair Ronald J. Teplitzky, AB ’84, Vice Chair Joseph A. Becherer, BFA ’87, MFA ’90 Robin S. Bowlus, BFA ’98 Craig A. Brown, BSC ’82 Cynthia C. Calhoun, BSEE ’88 Casey A. Christopher, BSC ’02 Brenda J. Dancil-Jones, AB ’70 James T. Daniel, BSED ‘68, MED ‘72 Steven L. Ellis, BS ’82 Alissa Galford, BSC ’05 Todd Grandominico, BBA, CERT ’00 Mike Jackson, BSED ’68, HON ’12 Matthew J. Latham, AA ’06 Jeffrey A. Laturell, BSC ’80, MBA ’82 Timothy Law, Sr., D.O. ’94 Connie Lawson-Davis, BSED ’67 Robert “Rocky” N. Mansfield, BSCHE ‘74 Lyndsay A. Markley, BA ’02 Carolyn “Bitsy” Merriman Melton, BFA ‘77 Kenneth R. Rusche, BSED ‘73 Dustin E. Starkey, BS ’98 Larry M. Starr, BSED ’68, MED ’71 Stacia L. Taylor, BSC ’82 Robert C. Wolfinger, AA ’73, BGS ’80 Rachel Sharkey, Student Alumni Board president Ohio Today is published three times a year in fall, winter and spring. Ohio Today Online is published at www. ohiotodayonline.com. The magazine is produced by University Advancement with funding provided by The Ohio University Foundation. Views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or university policies.

Copyright 2014 by Ohio University. Ohio University is an affirmative action institution.

To contact us

Roderick J. McDavis President ohiopresidentsdesk.com @OHIOPrezOffice

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Editorial offices are located at 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701-2979. Send story ideas, items for Bobcat Tracks or comments about the magazine to that address, email them to ohiotoday@ohio.edu or call 740-597-9082. Address changes may be made by visiting www.ohioalumni.org. Address changes and information for In Memoriam also may be sent to Advancement Services, WUSOC 168, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869. To reach the Ohio University switchboard, call 740-593-1000.


LETTERS

to the editor

What a treat I came home from work this past Friday to find the Spring 2014 edition of Ohio Today on the kitchen counter. My daughter put a post it with a big smiley face on it with a note to “see page 20!” I have to admit that I was a little nervous to see it...but now, I can’t seem to put it down! Thank you so much for including me in the issue. From the writing, photography and layout, it came out just beautifully, and it was wonderful working with you all on it. It is a tremendous honor to be included in it. I had to laugh, one of my OU girlfriends commented that I have a come a long way from the cupcake experiments in our food science class! I am curious to see what other comments come my way. Kindest regards, —Jenny Harper Himmelman, BSHE ’84 CCO (Chief Cookie Officer!)

As Seen Online Good to be “Liked” Readers have lots to say on Facebook! As a Home Economist from OU, BSHEC 1956, and from the hometown of Solon, I really enjoyed the article (about Jenny Harper Himmelman) and desired to print the recipe.

—Elaine Clabeaux, BSHE ’56 Congrats, Jenny! Need an assistant spoon-licker?

—Pamela Parsons Rosten Enjoyed spring issue of Ohio Today on the beach. #beachbobcats

—Kristen Barbieri-Clausen, BSED ’04

Thanks for sharing your Ohio Today action shots on Facebook and Twitter!

Wasn’t that a party? We just want to tell you that the 2014 “On the Green Weekend” was probably the best event we have ever attended. A huge and big thanks to everyone who planned and executed the activities. It was so nice to visit with President Alden. I was at his inauguration. Thanks again. —Ray Asik ’63 and fiancée Brooke Kobasher

Dear current bobcat resident

In April, alumna Stacy Oliver, BSJ ’02, MED ’04, shared on her blog (stacyloliver. com) what can happen when Bobcats connect. Ohio Today is proud to share her blog entry with the Ohio University community: In December, as part of my 31 Random Acts of Kindness, I mailed a gift card for a pizza place to the current residents of the residence hall room where I lived my first year at Ohio University. I was feeling nostalgic for finals week and, watching my current students prepare for their exams, I thought about those times with my friends in our hall fifteen years prior. Like most of my random acts, I sent it off into the world, and didn’t think much about it again.

Until this morning. I checked my mail on the way to work and there was a letter addressed to “Current Bobcat Resident” at my address. When I mailed the gift card, I was forced to give a return address, but figured it would be ignored by the residents. I assumed this letter would be from a student working with the development office. I looked at the return address, and immediately recognized it as my own former address. Inside the envelope this morning was a thoughtful thank you note from the residents of the room written by one roommate: Hello OU Alum! I just wanted to thank you for sending my roommate and I the generous gift card to study for our finals last semester! We hardly check our mail downstairs so I literally just got your letter last week. We are both new to [residence hall] this year and we love it! It is like living in a hotel… [That hall has clearly been renovated

since my time there and is no longer a firstyear hall. He went on to tell me a bit about himself and his roommate—their majors, what they’re involved in, and his plan to study abroad next year.] This was such a great idea. I think I will do something like what you did to my old room in [other residence hall]. Thanks again for thinking of us! OU, OH YEAH! I’m so glad that two students who love my alma mater as much as I do were the recipients. My heart is full this morning —this letter means the world to me and knowing that they may pass on the kindness makes it even sweeter.

WRITE TO US Ohio Today welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, space, clarity and civility. Please submit your letter by email to ohiotoday@ohio.edu or mail to 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701. We regret we cannot publish all letters.

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YOUR OHIO

memories and more

“Work hard,” “Be you”& other advice

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ubertus (Hugh) Bloemer [associate professor emeritus of geography, who died in 2011] told me, “TRAVEL outside of this country! Meet the people. Learn their culture and customs. It will expand your thinking, your horizons and your world perspective.” So I travel—a lot. Hugh’s advice positively affected my entire life from that point on. Every time I visit a new land, I take a piece of him with me, and I smile. RIP Hugh.

We asked alumni to share a memorable lesson or piece of advice they received from their professors, and tell us how those words of wisdom changed their lives. Here are some of our favorite responses: Sung Hu Kim [associate professor emeritus of political science], John Lewis Gaddis [distinguished professor emeritus of history], David Williams [associate professor emeritus of political science] and, last but not least, Thomas Walker [emeritus professor of political science]. Professor Kim for how to identify the bias of the author; Professor Gaddis for his belief in presenting nonrevisionist history; Professor Williams for his extreme knowledge of the USSR Politburo and being a “Kremlinologist”; and Professor Walker for challenging one’s political views on Central America...and enjoying a good classroom debate regarding some wild statement he said in class...a master at “setting the hook.”

—E. Alex Copher, BGS ’87 Shirley Slater [professor emerita of home economics] from 1965 to 1970. Graduating with my master’s degree in education, she said it’s time you move on and change how things are done. You don’t need to be here anymore, go out there and make it work. Great mentor. And Dr. Ray Wagner [professor emeritus of communication studies, who died in 2011], Interpersonal Communications...always be who you are and reach for the best.

—Nancy M. Hahn, BSHE ’69, MSHE ’70 The venerable Michael Bugeja [former professor of journalism] said, “Once you tell a lie, you no longer own it.” I cannot remember a more important statement coming from a professor during my time at Ohio University. His instruction, mentoring, and dedication made the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism a unique experience.

—Ben P. Rosenfield, BSJ ’99 24 •• oo hh iioottooddaayyoonnlliinnee..ccoomm

—Cynthia Eugenia Cox Ubaldo, BSC ’94

Nicholas Dinos [professor emeritus of chemical engineering] taught me that science and technology are not ends in and of themselves: what really matters is what they do for the betterment and advancement of the human race.

—Ron Minto, BSC ’98 Christine Scherer Wolfe [professor of business management] was my academic adviser and instructor in most of my classes in the Computer Science Technology Program at the Lancaster Campus. She told me at least several times when I was feeling overwhelmed, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it—and you are doing it.” I think she is one of the best professors I had the pleasure of learning from. She inspired me to stick with it.

—Tim Riddlebarger, AAB ’12 Howard Beebe [professor emeritus of music, who died in 2010] taught me that having potential and working hard at what you want to achieve allows you to be successful in all areas of your life. He was insightful, difficult, and such a blessing in my life!

—Theresa Anne Ordian Dick, BMUS ’87 I learned a lot from Aethelred Eldridge [professor emeritus of art]. I learned that education in school and beyond is completely my responsibility, as is work, art, and all investigations of life. Motivation should not be an assignment. Think. Work. Create. Be really good at being you.

—Stephen Davis, BGS ’76

Fuh-Cherng Jeng [associate professor of communication sciences] gave me some of the best advice I have ever received. Being known as the outspoken one in my program, he told me sometimes it’s more important to protect yourself and keep your head down than to be the spokesperson for a group that may not appreciate it enough to make it worth your trouble.

—Cassie Costilow, BSHSL ’10 Phillip Bebb [former associate professor of history, who died in 2007]. I was going through a difficult time my second year, and as a first-generation college student from a small town I was feeling really inferior to my peers in the Honors Tutorial College. I confessed all of this to Dr. Bebb one morning. He gave me the best pep talk of my life, and convinced me to stay in the program as well as college. He told me he had faith in me and believed I was just as smart and capable as anyone else. I am now a history professor. And I wish I had thanked him.

—Carolyn Herbst Lewis, AB ’97, CERT ’97, MA ’01, CERT ’01 NEXT ISSUE’S QUESTION: We’ve all heard of the dreaded freshman 15, the pounds put on by some students their first year of college. How did you get your exercise while at Ohio University? What did you and your friends do to stay in shape and ready to face the daily climbs up Jeff and Morton Hills? Write to us at 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, or email us at ohiotoday@ohio.edu. You can also “like” the Ohio University Alumni Association on Facebook to respond to this and other fun questions.


CONTRIBUTORS

Photo by Rob hardin MA ’14

Ryan Lombardi, near left, is Ohio University’s vice president for Student Affairs. He came to Athens from Duke University in May 2008 when he was appointed the University’s associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. He completed his doctorate in higher education administration from North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 2012. Alumni and friends can follow him on Twitter @OHIOVP. Ryan resides in Athens with his wife and two young daughters.

Sally Parker is a journalist in Rochester, N.Y. who enjoys learning about people and their passions. She writes features and profiles for colleges and universities as a freelancer, and works full-time as an editor for a business newspaper. A fan of local history, Sally is intrigued by forgotten stories about her city’s past. For the last decade she has been uncovering the story of a local 19th-century family of abolitionists and suffragists.

Michelle Doe, BSJ ’13, BSVC ’13, works for the Denver Post as a graphic artist and page designer. As a print-based artist, she loves to make maps and create fresh data visualizations that express information in a story-telling fashion. The Alabama native has morphed into a true Coloradan. She loves hiking the beautiful Rockies, enjoys healthy eating and running. Not a day goes by when she doesn’t miss her time in Athens — especially the farmers market, the ease of walking Uptown, and biking the neighborhood hills.

Tiffany Bumgardner is a freelance photographer who has traveled to over 15 countries. Her work has appeared on displays in New York City’s Times Square, on magazine covers, in newspapers, and in galleries. Her book, The Color of Beauty: Sunrises and Sunsets, was published in 2013. Bumgardner is an Ohio University student at the Eastern Campus and volunteers her time with charities like the Wounded Warriors Project.

Jenny Hall-Jones, far left, is the associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. She is a three-time Ohio University alumna, having most recently earned her PhD in higher education in 2011. Jenny has worked for the University for more than 17 years, beginning her career in Residence Life. She has more than 4,300 Twitter followers @JennyHallJones. She resides in Athens with her husband and two teenage sons. ABOVE: Lombardi and HallJones welcome freshman to Ohio University and to the College Green for the Student Involvement Fair. Earlier that day the class of 2018 were welcomed to Ohio University during the Freshman Convocation which takes place each year at the Convo before classes begin.

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college green

WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOING ON

The sound of the Marching 110’s drumline was replaced by jackhammers this summer as the University launched a $2 million facelift for the College Green. The project is both cosmetic (sprucing up landmarks and painting) and structural (improving sidewalks and rehabilitating Lindley and Tupper Halls). Work will resume and be completed next summer. photo by Brien Vincent BSVC ’15

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In the News KEEPING COSTS IN CHECK The rising cost of attending college is a hot topic these days. To answer this national lament, Ohio University’s leadership decided to do something unique to make an Ohio University degree more accessible. The OHIO Guarantee program sets the cost of a degree for first-year or transfer students starting fall 2015 at the same rate for 12 semesters or four years. A guaranteed-tuition model isn’t a new concept in higher education, but The OHIO Guarantee has an innovative twist: The plan not only calls for the tuition rate established at enrollment to remain the same, but also keeps housing, dining, and fee rates the same as well. The program is good news for parents and student looking for transparency and predictability when budgeting for college.

TEAMING UP FOR BETTER HEALTH Ohio University launched a first-of-its-kind doctoral program in August that promotes interdisciplinary education for students who want to tackle complex health issues. Called translational biomedical sciences, the program teams students with faculty mentors from two disciplines who together work toward improving the health of individuals and the community. Teams do this by turning research discoveries into diagnostic tools, medicines, procedures, policies and education. The translational biomedical sciences program was made possible in part by a gift from Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor John Kopchick and his wife Char, assistant dean of students for campus involvement.

BIG IDEAS TAKE FLIGHT The Office of Technology Investments looks for and helps fund big ideas, thanks to one of its major components, the Ohio Third Frontier program, an internationally recognized technologybased economic development initiative. The program funds Ohio University’s TechGROWTH Ohio, which saw the potential in a big idea created by Russ College of Engineering and Technology students. The students created 3-D visualization software that’s used during aircraft design and testing. The advantage? It gives engineers a 3-D view of a plane’s systems so they can see in real time how those systems are communicating with each other. The result offers a more efficient oversight of the systems, increased testing accuracy and shorter development time.

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college green

photo by Tiffany

Baumbardner BSS ’15

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Iron Man

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ike McTeague was supposed to teach for one semester at Ohio University Eastern Campus when he was assigned a history course there in 1965. Nearly 50 years (and three retirements) later, he is still there teaching history. “I didn’t actually apply for the job, but I wound up being here forever,” says McTeague, an assistant professor emeritus of history. In five decades, McTeague has performed almost every academic and administrative task imaginable in regional higher education. “I’ve been almost everything except a librarian and a janitor,” he says. “Although they let me drive the tractor last summer, so I cut the grass.” In today’s university, one tends to be either an academic or an administrator. But McTeague—who has frequently added administrative work to his teaching load and retired as an associate dean in December—recalls when it was common for regional campus faculty to do double duty. At Eastern, faculty used to spend one evening a week at the academic advising desk in the dean’s office, helping students with financial aid and registration forms.“You had to be multitalented to be a faculty member teaching class and hold an administrative position at the same time,” he says.

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When McTeague started teaching at Eastern, most students were adults hoping to improve their chances in the job market. Nontraditional students remain fixtures at the regional campuses, but many more are college-aged. And where they once had to transfer to Athens to complete their degrees, many students now use the Ohio University Learning Network to pick up required courses without having to move. McTeague started teaching at Ohio University in 1963 on the Athens Campus. Had his one semester at Eastern actually been just one semester, he probably would have had a very different career. “I stayed in one place—I’m probably the last of my breed,” he says. Through all the changes, McTeague has remained a happy man. “I never, ever didn’t want to come to work,” he adds. Despite “retiring,” McTeague isn’t finished. He spent summer 2014 in Florence researching the de Medici family, and returned to the classroom this fall. “I’m probably here until they say, ‘Your services are no longer needed,’” he says. The generations of students who have passed through Shannon Hall hope that day never comes. » CORINNE COLBERT


Think, do, win

Konneker Medal rewards innovative Bobcats

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now a Bobcat who has a knack for new ideas? If so, alumni can submit a nomination for The Ohio University Foundation’s 2014 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. The award recognizes current and former faculty members, students and alumni who have demonstrated a penchant for innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship. The award is named for Wilfred Konneker, BS ’43, MS ’47, HON ’80, who has a distinguished record in research and entrepreneurship. In 2012, the prize went to alumnus David Scholl, founder of Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., and John Kopchick, a faculty member whose laboratory discovery became the basis for the Pfizer drug Somavert®. Former faculty member and Athens

Career help from your alma mater? You bet. It’s not news that the Career and Leadership Development Center helps Ohio University students with career coaching, leadership training and job and internship searching. But what alumni may not know is the Center also offers them the same services as they look for guidance regarding their career path—no matter what career development stage they are in. Want to switch careers? The CLDC can guide you. Like one aspect of your work, but not your other job duties? The professionals at the CLDC work with you to tease out what job/s may be a better fit. Overall, the Center, the result of a merge between Career Services Center and the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center, offers a holistic and comprehensive way to serve past and present Bobcats, says Assistant Dean for the CLDC Imants Jaunarajs. “We ask where are you now, and where do you want to be, and assist you on bridging the gap.” » KANDLYN COLLINS

entrepreneur William Beale, founder of Sunpower, Inc., recieved the medal in 2013. To make a nomination, send a letter and an optional appendix of supporting documentation. The nomination should address, and will be judged by, the degree to which it establishes a record of demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship by the nominee. Up to three awards may be given per year. The Konneker Medal will be presented at the Innovation Awards ceremony in March 2015. Please submit nominations for the 2015 award electronically or in hard copy format to Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity, shieldj1@ohio.edu, or 120 Research and Technology Center, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701.

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Sometimes two heads are better than one — especially when creating a tribute to legendary scientist and entrepreneur Wilfred Konneker. Siblings Gregory Seymour, BSEE ’10, and Jayne Seymour, a senior in University College, won a competition to design the new Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, beating 49 other entries. “We immediately began brainstorming. We realized that we had a solid idea and decided that it would be worth it to give it a go,” said Gregory Seymour.

Learning to make change happen

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ach summer, a student at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is chosen for the Jeffrey A. Finkle Ohio University Economic Development Internship. The opportunity was created when the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) made a $25,000 gift to The Ohio University Foundation to establish an internship support fund in honor of Finkle, BSC ’76 and IEDC president and CEO. Interns spend 10 weeks in Washington, D.C., working with staff from IEDC, the world’s largest economic development organization, on consulting projects for real clients. “The opportunity like this for a student to work on a national and international level is tremendous,” said Mark Weinberg, founding dean of the Voinovich School. “Their leadership in economic development and entrepreneurship complements Ohio University’s national leadership in these endeavors and our students benefit in multiple ways from this experience.” The program’s first recipients are thriving. Rebecca Cochran, BSJ ’12, is an aide to Ohio Sen. Gayle Manning, who represents the people of Huron and Lorain counties in Ohio’s 13th senate district. Elizabeth Young, BA ’13 is attending law school at the Ohio State University. Both said the internship profoundly affected how they approach economic issues and their ability to effect change. » CORINNE COLBERT

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More to the story

Author explores the complicated history of diamonds in Africa Political realities

“Stones of Contention: A History of Africa’s Diamonds,” by Todd Cleveland. Published in July 2014 by Ohio University Press.

In each issue, Ohio Today features a brief review, written by a staff or faculty member, of an Ohio University Press book. “Stones of Contention: A History of Africa’s Diamonds” by Todd Cleveland explores the major developments in the remarkable history of Africa’s diamonds.

Diamonds in Africa

Are diamonds a blessing or a curse to Africans? Todd Cleveland’s “Stones of Contention: A History of Africa’s Diamonds” offers a thoughtful and convincing response to this question. While there are Western films (e.g. the blockbuster film Blood Diamonds) that link African diamonds to bloody civil wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia, this significant and original piece of work demonstrates that “blood diamond theory” does not tell the whole story of diamonds in Africa. The wealth generated from the production and export of diamonds by Africans has “prompted Africans to pursue creative migration, livelihoods, and household strategies,” Cleveland writes. It has also enabled some Africans to acquire technical and managerial skills. In Botswana and Namibia, diamonds have facilitated cooperation across political divides and in the construction of peaceful democratic states. Therefore, while conflict over diamonds may have fueled violence, widespread suffering and exploitation in some countries, this is not true for other African countries.

In many ways, this is an important and innovative study that places the history of Africa’s diamonds in a global context. The discovery of diamonds in parts of Africa at the end of the nineteenth century was an impetus for the European colonization of the continent. Although Africans had been using and exporting precious metals for millennia, the continent’s diamond industry started expanding rapidly in the 1870s following the discovery of diamonds in South Africa and the emergence of the diamond industry giant, De Beers. Although global demand for diamonds reduced drastically during the great depression years in the 1930s, Africa’s diamonds regained their importance during the World War II era. Diamonds from Belgian Congo (now the DRC) and French Guinea (Conakry) were invaluable to the Allied Power’s war effort. At the time, 98 percent of the industrial diamonds came from the continent. This demand for Africa’s diamonds continued well after the world and the post-independence era in the 1960s and 1970s. » ASSAN SARR, assistant professor of history, Department of History, Ohio University. Photograph by Kayla Hoffmann, BSVC ’16

Other recent publications Ohio University’s published authors are many, and alumni across all majors have found inspiration in poetry and prose. This list includes recent publication announcements. Authors should send their information to Ohio Today, 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, or via email to ohiotoday@ohio.edu. Secret Rivers, a poetry chapbook and recipient of the 2013 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize, by Marilyn Rauch Cavicchia, AB ’95, MS ’02 • The Kennedy Connection, the first in a series of suspense thrillers featuring a reporter for the New York Daily News, by former Daily News Managing Editor R.G. Belsky, BSJ ’67 • The Bones Poems, a book of poetry by William Davis, AB ’62, MA ’65, PhD ’67 • The Body in Bodega Bay: A Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler Mystery, the second book by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, AB ’63 • Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption, a historical nonfiction novel

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by Nathaniel Grow, BSC ’02 • Contemplative Man, the first book of poems by Brock Guthrie, BA ’01, MA ’05 • Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics, which uses the daily lives of Homer, Bart, and other Springfield residents to demonstrate economic principles, edited by Josh Hall, BBA ’97, MA ’99 • Shattered Secrets: A Cold Creek Novel, the first book in a suspense trilogy set in Appalachian Ohio, by Karen Harper, BA ’67 • Diagramming Sentences: A Playful Way to Analyze Everyday Language, by Amy Lynn Hess, MA ’01 • The Mystery of Bila Land, an adventurous tale by Nitish Krishna, MBA ’06 • A Moveable Beast, the fourth book by Barry H. Leeds, PHD ’67 • Life in the Pinball Machine: Careening from There to Here, a chronicle of “an accidental life in learning and human performance,” by training pioneer Robert F. Mager, AB ’48, MA ’50 • My Faire Lady, a young adult romantic comedy by Laura Pinnix Wettersten, BMUS ’03


Mighty pens: Five area writers recognized The Ohio Arts Council recognized not one, not three, but five Athens-area artists for their poetry or prose through its Individual Excellence Award in February, 2014. The award supports artists with $5,000 they can use to continue their outstanding work. Regional artist Ivars Balkits; University Instructor and Associate Coordinator of the Student Writing Center Becca J.R. Lachman; School of Art + Design’s Associate Professor of Photography + Integrated Media Laura Larson; Hillel at Ohio University’s Executive Director Rabbi Danielle Leshaw; and alumna Christina Veladota, PHD ’02, received awards. Read how Rabbi Leshaw began her journey as a writer and the impact of the award on her work.

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hat do I write? I answer as people have answered for centuries. I write what I know. Which means that I write Jewish. I write Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I write Holocaust. I write Jewish American identity and how it crashes against Israel. I write the choices Jews make as we navigate the waters of assimilation, anti-Semitism, and pride. Unlike most Jewish writers, I do it from Athens. At Donkey, at Casa, at Alden. Athens is a great place for writers. In 2002, I arrived here to serve as the Hillel Rabbi. I looked forward to what campus offered. I hoped to carve out time for some kind of artistic pursuit—maybe printmaking classes in Siegfried Hall. But when I looked at the schedules, I was reminded that I had a growing family and responsibilities at Hillel. Several years passed before I was able to make time. When our second child was 18 months old, we went to the beach for spring break. As Ruthie toddled after her older brother,

I read three novels in the course of five days. And as I put the third and final book down, I quite simply announced to myself that it was time to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote that spring. I tried to create characters, plot, scene, and address issues of Jewish communal memory and experience. But could I write a story worth telling and a story worth reading? The Ohio Arts Council certainly thought so. Twice, in 2012 and again in 2014, for different sections of the same novel. I’m not above admitting how necessary this was. For strength, endurance, and perhaps most importantly, for the process of identity formation. I had become a writer. Writers love you, Athens and Ohio University, for all that you provide. The next challenge for the five Athenians who’ve won Ohio Arts Council grants in 2014? Getting these manuscripts published. Wish us luck!

» RABBI DANIELLE LESHAW is the director of Hillel at Ohio University

The Threshold of Can We Do This Now

its inventor palms our cash.

» CHRISTINA VELADOTA (PHD ’02), Ohio Arts Council award winner.

Photo by Rob hardin MA ’14

Today we will Ferris wheel. We will Tilt-AWhirl. We will long lines patiently before the Zero-Gravity of panic. We will Zero-Gravity. We will candy apples, cotton candy. Funnel Cakes. We will balloons popping, balloons floating to their escape. We will real & painted ponies. We will shouts to win tchotchkes for your women. We will Tunnel of Love & believe we haunted house. We will sometimes hands to our mouths. We will band of teenagers & lights at evening in a small city within a small city for a flash at summer’s end. We will not mystic our future until

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ACROSS THE

college green

Calendar of events for alumni and friends of ohio university | ohioalumni.org/calendar

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herever you live, Ohio University wants to keep in touch with you. Alumni chapters exist around the globe to help you meet and reconnect with fellow Bobcats. Of course, you’ll occasionally want to find a reason to return to campus — fall is the perfect time to visit! For a full schedule of chapter, society and oncampus events, including reunions, visit ohioalumni.org/calendar.

#5straightbowls

OHIO

Join the cats for a Bobcat Bash or in Peden Stadium

FOOTBALL

2014-15

Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington

RUSS PRIZE 2015 The $500K Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize recognizes a widespread bioengineering achievement that improves the human condition. Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering present the award in Feburary in Washington, D.C.

celebrate women March 20, 2015 Keynote Speaker: Naomi Tutu OHIO.EDU/LANCASTER

cincinnati • columbus • cleveland • california

ohio.edu/OUAA

Save the Date

“On the Green Weekend” 2015! Your OUAA is planning activities for May 27 through May 31 See you On the Green! Stay tuned for more details. Dawn Werry | werryd@ohio.edu 740.593.4300

ohioalumni.org/bobcat-bash

OHIO UNIVERSITY

FAMILY REUNIONS

A NEW OHIO.EDU

Bobcat Desert blast Join fellow Ohio University alumni to explore establishing an alumni group in Tucson. Register online! The Shanty | Nov. 13, 2014 OHIOALUMNIRECEPTION.ORG Tyler Gagai • gagai@ohio.edu 740.593.4300

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BobcaThon dance marathon | Feb. 14 OUAA and the Student Alumni Board announce the first annual BobcaThon. Students raise funds until February 14th, when they dance 12 hours to support the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio! Visit WWW.BOBCATHON.COM for more information.

here


CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS

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hio University volleyball aced its 2013–14 season, topping the MAC both in the regular season (14–2) and the tournament — taking it in a nine-set sweep — as well as advancing to the NCAA tournament. Kelly Lamberti and Abby Gilleland were named AVCA AllAmerica Honorable Mention, the first time OHIO had multiple honors in a season. photo by Michael Pronzato BSVC ’16

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$ 1

F R O M

A

D O N O R

+

$ . 5 0

F R O M

T H E

WHAT IS THE OHIO MATCH? • Launched in August 2013 • Investing $25 million to strengthen endowed

CONNECTING THE DOTS

scholarships • Ohio University provides $0.50 for every dollar committed to eligible scholarship accounts • Means an additional $75 million in scholarship endowments in The Ohio University Foundation • Scholarships must be designated for domestic undergraduates on the Athens Campus and be endowed and renewable

DONORS MAKE THE MOST OF

• Donors may specify the college of the awardee or

SCHOLARSHIP GIFTS THROUGH

designate the scholarship as “University-wide” • 2,800 donors have committed more than $3.2 million

THE OHIO MATCH

toward the program. Combined with matching dollars, that will amount to $4.8 million in new endowed scholarship support.

HOW THE OHIO MATCH WORKS

In April, Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign

• $16,667 (gift) x 0.5 = $8,333.50 (University’s match)

reached its $450 million goal,

• $16,667 (gift) + $8,333.50 = $25,000.50* (endowment) • Donor commits: $16,667 over 5 years

14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015 deadline. But, we’re not done yet. The University’s still raising money to support students, faculty and programs...

• $16,667 (gift) / 5 = $3,335.40 per year

*

$25,000 ESTABLISHES A NEW, NAMED SCHOLARSHIP

WHY THE OHIO MATCH?

with a special focus on students

• To improve access for students who are unable to attend

and scholarships through

• To enhance recruitment of the best and the brightest students

The OHIO Match.

• To expand the impact of scholarship fundraising

layout and illustration by

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Kelley Shaffer, BSVC ‘12

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Ohio University without financial support  • To provide endowed support that holds value over time


FACES OF THE OHIO MATCH

U N I V E R S I T Y

=

$ 1 . 5 0

F O R

S C H O L A R S H I P S

STUDENT

BROOK KNIPP DONOR

CARY AND MARY ANN COOPER

Brook Knipp almost wasn’t a Bobcat. She was all set to attend a central Ohio college in fall 2013 when she got a call that changed her path, and her life. Ohio University selected her as an Appalachian Scholar, a scholarship that covers tuition and fees for a student

Ohio native Cary Cooper has invested in the Appalachian Scholars Program, and the University is matching his commitment $.50 on the dollar. A 1964 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and an Ohio University Trustee, Cooper’s gift will support future generations of Bobcats.

“A financial boost is key in giving these students the opportunity to go school,” Cooper said. “It’s important for us to find new avenues to help students who are in need. A college education is essential in helping them grow personally and academically.” Cooper hopes his gift will shine a spotlight on the Appalachian Scholars Program and spark more

from one of Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties.

“I was jumping up and down and my mom and dad were jumping up and down,” said Knipp, a pre-nursing major with a psychology minor. “It was great.” Even though her hometown of Pedro, Ohio, is far removed from Athens in many ways, Knipp said Ohio University is the perfect fit for her. “Ohio University is more than just a university — it’s a community. The person I was in high school is not the person I am now,” she said. “My eyes have been opened to so many things that I wasn’t exposed to back home.”

Interested in learning about The OHIO Match? Contact: The Ohio University Foundation at giving@ohio.edu or (800) 592-3863.

people to give to it. “We should all try to do what we can to help other people,” he said. “You get back what you put in. What else is more important than helping others?”

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The state of student life Generations of Bobcats share the Ohio University experience. They remember key places, professors and events. When it comes to student life, that shared experience starts to vary depending on the decade when alumni walked the bricks of College Green. Last fall, the Athens Campus engaged in a dialogue during which students, faculty and staff discussed student life and student engagement. As fate would have it, 50 years ago former Ohio University Dean of Students Bill Butler’s essay “Student Revolt for Freedoms” appeared in Ohio Today (formerly The Ohio Alumnus). He sent the essay to Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi just as Ohio Today began to explore this topic. In the essay, Butler reflects on the student experience in 1964, a volatile time at the University and on campuses across the country. In his letter to Lombardi, Butler wrote: “It would be timely, after 50 years, for you to consider writing about the state of student life 50 years later.” It’s safe to say this set of coincidences inspired the stories of student life that follow. A lot will be familiar. Some may not. One thing remains the same: the Bobcat community is constant.

From “Student Revolt for Freedoms: One Dean’s Point of View,” The Ohio Alumnus, September 1964, by William R. Butler, Dean of Students

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t Ohio University we do not adhere to the totally authoritarian decisionmaking process. Nor on the other hand do we believe in an indifferent administrative attitude… As far as our campus discipline and standards are concerned, we have attempted to be forthright, to make clear our standards, to be consistent in our decisions, to be fair and yet firm when necessary. A university must examine continually its beliefs, its rules and regulations and, perhaps, must modify its position on certain issues when day-to-day experiences demonstrate that an existing position is unwise. By re-examination of standards and limits, the members of the academic community can better understand the position of the university and behavioral expectations become more clear to students and to faculty… Student values and characters are being formed and influenced whether we attempt to set forth a social philosophy or not. Thus, each university must decide for itself to what extent and how it shall attempt to influence the character and value systems of its students.

One glaring difference between students in 1964 and now is how they communicate. Meeting in person is a choice, not a necessity, for communicating with anyone, anywhere, anytime. photo by

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Ben Siegel BSVC ‘02


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1950’s: A Soulful Bobcat

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Alumni voices

A strong sense of community has long made the college experience at Ohio University stand out among its peer institutions. Ohio University students are good at making their own fun, even through changes in social norms over the decades. Student-led events and organizations have evolved over the last five decades, from organizing formal dances to running the All Campus Radio Network (ACRN). Read on for stories from six alumni who share how they navigated student life and joined in on the fun with their fellow Bobcats. » SALLY PARKER

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his excerpt from Soulful Bobcats by Carl Walker, BSEd ’56, captures the memories of 1957 graduate Alice Jones Rush. Rush earned her bachelor’s degree in education and served as a teacher in the Cleveland Ohio Public School system for 30 years. “…I turned seventeen two months before graduating from high school. On a beautiful spring weekend, I visited a friend of my mother’s who was attending Ohio University. As I arrived at Lindley Hall, I witnessed students hanging out of Chubb Library’s windows and sitting on the grassy knoll across from Lindley Hall. It seemed to me that college was going to be fun. It was then that I made my decision to go to this beautiful place.” “…There were approximately eleven black female students and perhaps thirty black males, including the African students, on campus. I had been warned that I would have to work twice as hard as the white students to make passing grades. Adjusting was slow. After about six weeks, I was called to what I call a “dummies” class meeting. Realizing that going home in embarrassment was not an option, I became a more serious student.” “…I now realize the value of the black family we unknowingly formed on campus...I did not realize how much we meant to each other and the significance of the era we lived in until about 1991 when a classmate, Dorothylou Sands, brought us together for the first Soulful Reunion. It was then that I actually took time to


remember and appreciate my experiences at OU.” “…I had been educated in and out of the classroom…I remember going to the MIA movies on Fridays. I remember attending and getting autographs from the great Count Basie when his band was there to play for a campus dance. It was at OU that I developed my love for jazz. I remember the married veterans from the Korean Conflict living in Vet Village…I had one job while I was on campus as a switchboard operator at Lindley Hall, making fifty cents an hour…I remember the joy of my mom visiting for Mother’s Weekend.” “…During my years at OU I took organ lessons in the music department…I also became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority…I know that my years at OU prepared me to relate to people of all races and to contribute in a small way to the betterment of mankind. I am a proud graduate of Ohio University.” © 2013 by Ohio University Press. This material is used by permission of Ohio University Press, www.ohioswallow.com.

1960s: The social sixties

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hen David Durham, BARC ’63, stepped onto the Ohio University campus in 1958 as a working-class kid from Dayton, he already knew the world was changing. And he was changing with it. “I remember quite a bit of World War II. … After the war ended in ’45, the age of materialism began—jobs, houses, cars. I

remember all of that. I could see even at that young age how the country was changing.” He worked in a factory for a year after high school before landing on the Athens Campus. A drafting course in high school inspired Durham to enroll at Ohio University and study to become an architect. “During my time there, because my parents had zero money, I had to earn all of my money to go through Ohio University—which is fine; lots of people do it,” he says. He worked as a resident assistant in the freshman men’s dormitories for three years. And after doing well in a drawing techniques class, he was invited to teach a section. “That paid me better than any student on campus. I was making three times the standard student rate,” he recalls. Each summer Durham worked the day shift as a garbage collector and street sweeper and, at night, doing shift work at National Cash Register. During his time at the university, enrollment exploded from roughly 6,000 to 10,000. Durham says the atmosphere shifted noticeably. In 1958, students were preparing for a good life with solid jobs. By the time he graduated in 1963, their plans for the future had become clouded by uncertainty. The threat of war loomed with the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and Kennedy’s assassination a year later. Almost overnight, students became more interested in U.S. politics and international relations. “What would it have been like in 1960, ’62, if we’d had the

ABOVE LEFT: In 1951, formal dances, complete with gowns and tuxes, were the norm. The 1952 Athena shows Betty Ashton, a Pi Phi, being crowned the Athena Queen at the Athena Dance, with her court, Chi Omega sorority members Nancy Hamilton and Helen Gerwig. The theme was “Alice in Wonderland” and the men’s gym was decked out in playing cards, a castle set and a huge paper heart on the bandstand. BELOW LEFT: This shot from the 1957 Athena yearbook shows members of the Kappa Alpha Alpha sorority making decorations for one of their many social events. Each fall, a KAA member was honored by being named as sweetheart of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. RIGHT: Students in Greek life during the mid-1960’s held several social events and even came up with some new ones. This image from the 1966 Athena depicts a “Von a go-go party.” Photos Courtesy of Mahn Center for

Archives and Special Collections

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Internet or computers? Politics back then you got from a little bit of television, some radio and newspapers,” Durham says. “The world situation was thrust upon them, and the kids at Ohio University reacted to it. “And there was talk about guys being drafted and sent off,” he adds. “I had a lot of buddies who went into premed, and they were already being told at that time, ‘When you finish med school you’ll be going into the service,’ which they did. “I think at that time I began to see in students’ awareness that it was … something that we were going to have to deal with as a generation.”

1970s: Revolution and riots

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childhood dream of becoming a journalist brought Andrew Alexander BSJ ’72 to Ohio University from the small farming town of Urbana, a couple of hours to the northwest. The years he spent in Athens were among the most volatile in U.S. history. When Alexander enrolled in 1966, and for a couple of years hence, female students still had a curfew and a dress code. But as on most U.S. college campuses in the late 1960s, Ohio University was radically transforming. Student civil rights demonstrations began in 1967. With the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, “1968 was a seriously tumultuous year,” he recalls. As a reporter for The Post, Alexander was in his element when he

was bent over a typewriter, pounding out stories for the daily paper. He had become the editor by 1970, the year student riots brought the National Guard to the University and closed it before the end of the spring quarter. The atmosphere was great training for Alexander, who went on to enjoy an award-winning newspaper career in investigative journalism and as a Washington correspondent. Alexander and the other “Posties,” a tightknit group, recorded the changes on campus. “It was a time of dramatic change. When I came here in 1966 it was still in many ways a very traditional, very staid university,” he recalls. “They had women’s hours (a 10 p.m. curfew on weeknights). We were just beginning [to experience] the social upheaval that was happening across the country.” The campus crackled with tension, Alexander remembers. Classroom discussions bubbled over into student demonstrations, and by 1968 student protests were in full boil. Students came out in force to support women’s rights, leading to an end to the University’s women’s curfew. Ongoing protests during the remnants of the Civil Rights Movement demanded that more classes in black studies be offered on campus. And rumbling in the background was the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War—an issue gaining momentum with protests of its own. The Vietnam War had a sobering effect on male students who had received deferments from military service, Alexander says. “One thing to keep in mind about the 1960s and the 1970s is that

LEFT: A group of students play a game of cards in what might have been called the Black Students Center. In the late 1970s, Lindley Hall provided recreational and social activities that were designed to meet the needs of Ohio University’s Black students. The space was later known as the Lindley Cultural Center, which played host to a variety of multicultural programs. ABOVE: The Ohio National Guard in front of the Varsity Theater. The guard arrived to quell rioting students responding to the shooting of Kent State University students in 1970 at the hands of the guard. Photos Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

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Students show up to forums in droves to listen and be heard. A note printed in the 1970 Athena yearbook says it all: “ATHENA SEVENTY stands as our statement of concern and continuing involvement in the effort to create a society where we can be the kind of human beings we want to be.” Rev. Tom Jackson, pastor at United Campus Ministry, wrote in the yearbook to give students hope. “I’m feeling a sudden boost of energy—maybe it’s from…the knowledge that I am not alone, that there are hundreds who care…We must care.” Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

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ABOVE: Finding a central place to study for final exams is still in practice with today’s students. In this photo from the 1980 Spectrum Green, students study and write while sitting, lying, and sleeping around a manual typewriter. LEFT: “Posties” put together another issue of The Post in this 1970 Athena photo. Pictured left to right is Steve Serby, BSJ ’71, a sports writer for the New York Post; Andrew Alexander; and Thomas Hodson, BSJ ’70, General Manager of Ohio University’s WOUB Public Media. Photos Courtesy of Mahn Center for

in some ways the stakes for bad behavior were higher,” he says. “I think in the back of the minds of some male students was that… really bad behavior could really dramatically alter your life.” Today Alexander splits his time between Washington, D.C., and the Ohio University Athens Campus, where he is a visiting professional at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

1980s: Reviving student life

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hio University in 1978 was just the place for a joiner like Rick Harrison. Enrollment was on the rise after a dramatic slump earlier in the decade, and Greek life was experiencing a resurgence. The Pittsburgh-area native “came in early for band camp and rolled right into my freshman year.” He didn’t waste any time. Harrison went through fall rush, pledging with Phi Kappa Tau, and was in the Marching 110 for the first couple years of college, which gave him a framework for getting to know people. He lived on West Green in Sargent Hall and took part in the tradition of J-Prom. “It was a long tradition with different Greek organizations and residence greens or halls. There was a different theme each year— skits, songs, costuming. You put together a whole theater set and you used to travel from green to green and put on performances. And it

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Archives and Special Collections

was judged.” The University provided robust support for student activities, says Harrison, BSJ ’82, citing leadership by former deans of students Carol Harter and Joel Rudy. “Our geography means that we have to have a lot of things to engage folks outside. That was an important part of the University,” he says. “It’s a lot of that that made Ohio University rich—more than just getting it in the classrooms. It’s relationships; it’s growth. And when you look at reports on what drives loyalty, it comes down to having formed strong relationships.” A fraternity brother got Harrison involved in what was then called the Pop Concert Committee. He helped stage concerts by Billy Joel, Blue Oyster Cult, Foreigner and other power groups of the time. “So between the bands and pledging the fraternity, it encouraged me to be involved in some stuff.” Harrison, who returned to the Athens Campus as a student adviser a few years after graduating, saw there was still no shortage of activities outside the classroom. “One thing students figured out early on is good time management. If you don’t, you get mustered out. Those who are survivors are those who have good balance,” he says. “There was always something to do. Sometimes the University provided it; sometimes the city did, and sometimes you figured it out on your own. “It was fun. It was fun. I smile when I think about it.”


What’s in a brick?

The iconic Athens block has paved the way for hundreds of thousands of students through the years, from classes to Baker Center (both new and old), and everywhere in between. The history of the pavers houses the path to the Ohio University we know today.

illustration by

Michelle Doe, BSJ ’13, BSVC ’13

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1990s: Common goals

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obb Roby, BSME ’94, had Ohio University in his veins long before enrolling in 1989. Growing up in northwest Ohio, he was “third generation Ohio University and went down for Homecoming for years. Members of the 110 stayed at our house when I was seven or eight. I was listening to the 110 on vinyl before I even hit high school.” Following his maternal grandparents and parents to Athens was easy. “Once they took me down to campus, I was sold,” he laughs. “The family pounded it into me.” A mechanical engineering major like his dad, Roby branched out. “I don’t think I could just go to class and go home; it just isn’t in my DNA.” Balancing academics and nearly a dozen activities, his “social calendar reflected that diversity of experience,” he says. One commitment was to the marching band. “The 110 was like a family, and we did a lot together,” he recalls. “There were the trips, practices, games and performances, for sure. I consider that group of people to be my closest group of friends.” Full engineering and 110 calendars weren’t enough, and Roby “found time to be involved on campus in other ways.” A lot of other ways. “Clubs were a huge part of my experience, and they came in all sorts of flavors.” He performed in glee club and summer band; joined Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (music fraternity) and Theta Tau

(engineering fraternity); was president of Tau Beta Pi (engineering honorary) and was the national student representative for Golden Key National Honor Society. He also played four intramural sports. “And, of course, I went to class,” he laughs. “All of the student activities had one thing in common: a group of people with a common goal or desire willing to make sacrifices to attain that goal or fulfill that desire,” Roby recalls. “I learned that working toward that common goal could provide sustaining energy.” Valuable lessons and relationships overshadowed sleepless nights. “I spent many more late nights and all-nighters than I would prefer to remember at this stage in my life,” Roby says. The balancing act “was made easier by the people sharing the journey with me. No one can do as much as I was trying to do without the help of other people.” Those lessons carried Roby into law school at New York University and on to practicing intellectual property law in California. “It was a wonderful training ground that prepared me to survive law school. The lessons I learned along the way have been essential to building a thriving law practice,” he says. As his children start to tour college campuses, Roby remembers his days as a tour guide and being asked why he picked Ohio University. His answer: “It’s home, and I knew it from the first time I stepped onto the bricks in Athens.”

LEFT: Students watch “jamfest,” an event made up of five bands—one called “PrettyMightMighty”—that played at the inaugural Tri-Green Weekend in this 1992 Athena photo. Budget cuts caused East, South and West Green Councils to “pool their money and energy” into one weekend of spring festivities, the first time each Green didn’t host traditional Green Weekends. Other activities included an event called South Green Olympics—NOT! and Dress Up Dizzy Bat. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections RIGHT: Amanda Yezerski, BSVC ’08, (center) and Claire Oby, BSSP ’08, (right) celebrate as the Marching 110 passes by during a Homecoming Parade. Photo by: Ross Brinkerhoff

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2000s: The Bobcat spirit

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atalie Pariano visited 13 schools during her college search, and Ohio University was low on her list. But her father encouraged her to check it out, and a visit to the Athens Campus changed her mind. “I was walking on East Green when I knew I wanted to go there,” she recalls. Heavily involved in high school activities, Pariano, BSJ ’05, MED ’07, soon found more of the same at the Athens Campus: school spirit, creative outlets, leadership roles. Yet she took her time getting involved. “I was really nervous going to college because I’d been a big fish in a little pond. Before I became super-involved I wanted to find friends. It was such a big place compared to where I came from.” Pariano started with doing the news broadcast for WOUB Public Media during her first year. By her sophomore year she had landed her own music radio show, “XYZ,” the last show of the night. When she became a resident assistant in Tiffin Hall the same year, she started to learn more about campus life. “It was a super-fun place,” she recalls. “There was a lot to do on campus and a lot to do in Athens.”

Pariano became special events chair and later president of University Program Council. Her work on the council placed her squarely in the hub of activity—Homecoming, the parade, major concerts and comedians. She met three of her really good friends through her work. Pariano’s involvement in the LeaderShape Institute spurred her career in education. The institute helps student leaders become more effective in their roles. “It opened my eyes. I really felt like I had a higher calling to work with young people,” says Pariano, who works in student life at Dennison University in Grandville, Ohio. Pariano says her experience at Ohio University better reflects the photos in a 1951 Athena yearbook she bought. “All the pictures are of those spirit events, and that was my experience, too. And nobody talks about that anymore.” Staying up all night working on a float for the parade, going to the game—these are the events she remembers. “Homecoming is a huge deal. Bare on the Bricks—huge deal. International Fest—huge deal. There was just so much going on.”

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OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

at Ohio University Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones and I sat down with Ohio Today for a discussion about the state of student life, a discussion that was inspired by an essay written in 1964 about the same topic. In the transcript below, you’ll read how strongly Jenny and I believe in the importance of students engaging in life outside of the classroom and how this engagement helps to transform them into thoughtful adults and leaders. I know Ohio University is a place where students make use of all of their college experiences and leave prepared to make a difference in the world. I am proud to serve Ohio University’s students and alumni every day. After all, as alumni often say to me, Ohio University is the best place on earth! —Vice President for Student Affairs, Ryan Lombardi The photos that follow were taken in early fall 2014 during Ohio University’s first few weeks of classes. LEFT: Cincinnati Circus Company performers entertain students at the “Cirque de Ohio” event hosted by the Campus Involvement Center and Residential Housing. photo by

Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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ABOVE: Ohio University students and Athens community members gather for a discussion at United Campus Ministries’ Interfaith Impact event on August 28, 2014. LEFT: Madison Gliem and Amanda Thompson peer out the window while Krista Palmisano looks on from an Ohio University charter bus during the Campus Involvement Center’s “How to Navigate Athens” event on August 26, 2014. The bus ride began with a trip to The Ridges and ended with a tour of campus. Photos by Lauren Pond MA’14

Ohio Today: One theme that emerges from students when you ask about student life is that they “work hard and play hard.” What do you think of that?

the University not about playing hard? It was about working hard and playing hard in a community, in an environment of support, and of camaraderie…

Ryan Lombardi, VP for Student Affairs:

JHJ:…where people know each other and

(Smiling) That is the exact mantra of the institution I used to work at—what the students said. Jenny Hall-Jones, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students:

It might be a generational thing. RL: I heard that here, too, as soon as I got

here, that this is what is unique about Ohio University students. And that’s the irony. Is that really what is unique about Ohio University or is that a reflection of higher education today? There is a mindset out there that mantra is a big piece of the college experience. I guess I would dig a little deeper and challenge that to ask is it really just about working hard and playing hard at Ohio University? Or is that unique thing that people are trying to grasp onto about

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feel welcome.

RL: I think the statement short changes

what makes the magic of Athens and Ohio University because I think anyone would say that’s what a lot of college students across the country see themselves as: the work hard, play hard type, you know?

JHJ: But we also know that that’s false. We know that the students who play to hard do less well. They don’t fail, but are not doing as well academically. I mean, that’s just fact. RL: Right. Is the work hard, play hard

philosophy really the tie that binds among the generations and the decades? I would argue it’s not. It is this community and this place and the culture here.

JHJ: It’s that “outside the classroom” feel. If I am going to go Uptown and hang out on Court Street, I’m going to see people I know. I think students feel like they can be at this big place, but it feels so much smaller and it feels like a community. Maybe that’s really what they are referencing? OT: Maybe students are finding their way on how they want to define themselves as an adult, and are seeing if that model is going to work inside their community of adults. JHJ: Right. RL: And I think that’s especially true for recent grads. I think that the common models or themes that you see among young alumni now is people are getting married or partnered later on, and live this kind of bachelor or bachelorette lifestyle where they are working hard and they are playing hard. Maybe that is still part of their identity.


ABOVE: The most recent Greek Life recruitment cycle netted a record-high 1,200 students joining sororities and fraternities. Ohio University has more than 30 registered Greek social groups. Photo by Dennis E. Powell RIGHT: Mike Hageman, center, and other members of the intramural volleyball teams “Notorious DIG” and “Delta Sigma Pi” shake hands after a game on Sept. 30, 2014, on South Beach. Photo by Lauren Pond MA’14

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The shifting definition of “adult”

JHJ: I think the other thing we are seeing is adolescence is extending and adulthood is coming later and later. The 60s student would come here and not go home and they didn’t call their parents. They were on their own and it was a forced adulthood, maybe a little earlier. And that’s totally shifted… RL: Eighteen was the adult, right? JHJ: You were definitely an adult when you were 18. And we have a totally different philosophy now. We know that at 18, when our students are coming to college, that they are not ready for that carte blanche adulthood. RL: Students view adulthood, the research

says, as the thirties. The twenties are extended college.

OT: A rather large number of Ohio University students are involved in clubs, organizations, faculty-mentored undergraduate research, all of which takes them outside of the classroom. How does that robust engagement help students transition into adulthood? JHJ: The uniqueness of a residential campus is that students are literally in a living laboratory, a place where they can apply what they are learning in the classroom to their life outside the classroom. We know life skills cannot always be taught–they have to be experienced.

ABOVE: Kelsey Higgins (left) and Jordan Ballinger enjoy gourmet hot dogs and french fries at O’Betty’s Red Hot Dogs in Athens on Aug. 30, 2014. LEFT: (from left) Ohio University students Natsumi Kishi, Yumi Ssaki and Riho Yamadai participate in a game of cornhole during the Ohio University Intramural Sports Beach Party Kickoff event on South Beach on August 27, 2014. Photos by Lauren Pond MA’14

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RIGHT: Students take in a one-man performance. The event was part of “Laugh, Listen and Play” a week-long series of events for first-year students. Photo by Rob hardin MA ’14

RL: Depending on which data source is used, we estimate between 88 to 92 percent of our students are engaged in some type of co-curricular activity. I believe our unique community combined with a high level of on-campus student engagement is what makes Ohio University so special. JHJ: And we foster a safe environment

where students can explore those lessons and responsibilities.

Lead on

OT: How do the outside-the-classroom experiences transform students into the exceptional leaders they become? JHJ: Students are only in class 16 hours

a week. The rest of their waking hours are spent engaging in life with us outside of the classroom! We model Ohio University’s 5 Cs: character, community, citizenship, civility and commitment. I believe exploration and definition of your personal value system is a core component of growth–and this growth happens in so many ways here. Students translate their experiences outside the classroom into realworld applications as leaders and citizens.

RL: I was sitting with the recruiter of a major employer and Fortune 500 company this past spring and asked her what she was looking for in a new college graduate. Her response: Leaders. Students must have a mastery of their discipline, but their ability to work with other people, communicate and solve problems with others, lead their peers—these are the traits that will set them apart when they leave our campus.

A message to alumni

OT: What message about the state of Ohio University student life in 2014 do you want alumni to hear? JHJ: Students love campus just as much as alumni did! They feel incredible pressures

to succeed, they are super involved, and they are connected not only to their parents and families but to each other in ways not possible before social media and smartphones. RL: There is this common refrain that I’ve heard from alumni since I stepped foot on this campus: Ohio University is special and their college experience was special. We know that a big part of this love for the University is the unique community we have on campus. We spend every day trying to preserve that sense of community and ensure that we are offering students opportunities to be successful both here and after they leave our brick sidewalks and streets.

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FROM COLLEGE STUDENT

to bobcat

Across the decades, Ohio University students have balanced the rigors of academic life with the experiences that come with student life. As Nancy (Maidens) Trainor, BSED ’66, wrote in The Ohio Alumnus in 1964, “I think that college should be the stepping stone where the transition from adolescence to adulthood is made.” Today, Lombardi and Hall-Jones work to ensure that students make that transition in a safe and engaged community that values the 5 C’s: character, community, citizenship, civility and commitment. More than what’s behind a “work hard, play hard” label, Ohio University is a community where students are transformed into the best version of themselves—on the bricks of College Green and on the bricks of Court Street. Alumni still feel part of this community and continue to share their stories of becoming the best Bobcats they can be. A bird’s eye look at the Alumni Gate and the corner of Court and Union streets on a late August evening. photo by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends

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Back in the day at work and play Sack races, learning new dance moves and catching a flick at Schine’s Athena Theatre (now the Athena Cinema) were some of the fun students had in 1964. Students in Greek life, which had a strong presence on campus then, had a range of events to choose from.

EARLY 60S STUDENTS WERE JUST STARTING TO STRETCH THEIR WINGS 1. Bird Is the Word! Whether stepping to The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” or taking up Dee Dee Sharp’s call to “Do the Bird,” everyone tried out the latest dance fad. The idea was to imitate a bird: Raising knees high, the dancers pranced on the balls of their feet with their upper bodies bent slightly forward—like a bird pecking—and hands extended out, fingers spread like feathers. (Nobody said it was graceful!) 2. Like many of the regional campuses, Ohio University’s Chillicothe Campus got its start offering night classes in the local high school. In 1964, work began on a three-story brick building to be named for the city’s prominent Bennett family. Bennett Hall opened in 1966. 3. Schine’s Athena Theatre provided wholesome entertainment. Now owned by Ohio University, the Athena Cinema will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2015. 4. Greek life was a big part of the Ohio University experience in 1963 and 1964. Of course there was fun to be had—a few fraternities even had Roman toga parties! But fraternities and sororities also supported good works, like aid to children in need and funding a fine arts scholarship. Photos Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

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50 years a grown-up 1964 graduates remember student life

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hree Golden Bobcats took a break during the festivities at Ohio University Alumni Association’s inaugural “On the Green Weekend” in May to talk about how students “let loose” during the early 1960s. Larry Griffith, BSCE ’64, Dan Ruck, BSJ ’64 and Edward Vlcek, BS ’64, tell it like it was. When Larry Griffith entered Ohio University as a firstgeneration college student, he didn’t have anyone in his family “It was shocking how many to talk to for advice. “I didn’t hours of Bridge you could play know what I wanted to do,” he during finals. It was a way to says. A native of Bainbridge, Ohio, Larry thought his best blow off steam.” chance at getting a good start was to go to the Chillicothe Campus. Now a retired city engineer, Larry says coming to the Athens Campus and going Greek was a good choice. “I was a Delta Upsilon member. It was a great bunch of guys.” In the early 60s, fraternity members looked after each other, he said. “Almost like brothers.” They blew off steam in a variety of ways. “We would go to the MIAs (Movies in the Auditorium, now the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium) or to the movie theaters Uptown.” But because he was the first to pursue a higher education, Larry felt the weight of the responsibility to do well. “I studied a lot. I’m not the brightest light on the block. I felt more pressure to do well because I was a first-generation college student.” Another first-generation college student, Edward Vleck, had an atypical Ohio University experience from the start. First, he came to Athens to attend summer camps during his high school years, giving him some familiarity with his surroundings before landing as a firstyear student. Next, he didn’t join Greek life, wasn’t an athlete and didn’t identify as an “egghead” (today’s “nerd”). Instead he claimed

ALSO IN 1964 . . .

A sitting president and other national figures visited campus, making 1964 a prominent year.

• The Board of Trustees accepts the Belmont County Commissioners’ offer of 270 acres of land west of St. Clairsville as the permanent home of the Eastern Campus.

• From the steps of Memorial Auditorium’s West Portico, President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks for the first time of the “Great Society,” his vision of an America “where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.”

• Volunteers with the Athens Civil Rights Action Committee risk arrest by delivering clothes and goods to Southern blacks who lost their jobs for trying to register to vote.

“*#@!damn Independent” status, also known at the time as a “GDI.” Edward studied zoology and was pursuing a minor in chemistry. He lived in Biddle Hall his first two years, then spent his junior year in the old barracks buildings on East State Street, which was housing set up for WWII veterans who came to Ohio University through the G.I. Bill. It was a great way to save money, he said. “For four guys it cost $45 per month to live out there.” His student experience continued to be unique: He got married his senior year, lived in married student housing and stayed on for another year to do post-graduate work. Retired journalist Dan Ruck remembers exactly where his fraternity, the Acacia House, used to be: “Down the street from Scott Quad, at the bottom of the hill. Right by the railroad tracks,” he says. He and his brothers were taught table manners by the housemother and spent a lot of time sitting on the fraternity’s front porch. He says each fraternity had its own reputation. “Our fraternity was considered the “eggheads”—the smart guys. We resented that. The Tri Delts were the guys on the football team. They were more like ‘Animal House.’” There were many things to do as a student, whether you were in Greek life or not, he says. Students studying journalism worked for The Post or interned at The Athens Messenger. Dan, who wrote for the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star and Reuters News Service, remembers fondly his first front-page story. He covered the education beat for The Athens Messenger and got a big surprise at an Athens City Schools Board of Education meeting one night. “At the meeting I was covering, the board president stood up and said, ‘That’s it! I quit!’ [My story] made the front page.” And they played Bridge, he says. A lot of Bridge. “It was shocking how many hours of Bridge you could play during finals. It was a way to blow off steam.” » KELEE GARRISON RIESBECK

• Former astronaut John Glenn helps to dedicate the Veterans Memorial Room in Baker Center. • Two weeks of torrential rains bring the Hocking River to crest at 24.2 feet, filling Peden Stadium and forcing 1,400 students to evacuate West and East Greens. The disaster leads to the diversion of the river around campus, completed in 1971.

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BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends

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BOBCATS REUNITE EVERYWHERE

1. Ray Asik, BSED ‘63 and David Yuhas, BBA ‘63, were among more than 425 alumni and friends who gathered in Athens May 29 through June 1 for the inaugural “On the Green Weekend.” The event included Golden Reunions for the classes of 1963 and 1964. 2. Barton J. Rice, AB ’96, and his family stand Boston Strong with Rufus on OUr Day. 3. Kate Posavad Dorden, BA ’07, and her bridesmaids spell out O-H-I-O-U in their wedding finery. 4. How do you say “O-H-I-O” in French? Can you say “OH-ASH-EE-OH” with a French accent? 5. Dan Laird, BA ’14, Nolan O’Connor, BSSP ’14, Ben Schlater, BBA ’14, Andrés Castillo, BBA ’14, Kyle Krist, BBA ’14, and Steven Saraniti, BBA ’14, kissed Court Street goodbye on their last night as Ohio University students. 6. When her cousin and his wife visited her in Washington, D.C., Karen Hartman, BSHSS ’91, talked them into photographing Flat Rufus at various landmarks. It looks like his favorite was at Lincoln Memorial.

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7. Kelley, BSED ’09 and Ron Dravenstott, BSIS ’09, MSIE ’12, bring a little Green and White to the colors of the Grand Canyon. 8. Bobcats practice good skin care! Just check out Joan Considine Johnson, BSC ’81, trying a DIY skin treatment with Dead Sea mud on a trip to Israel in February. 9. U.S. Air Force Maj. Jason Taylor, BSA ’99, and Capt. Mike Cahill, BSIT ’03, show their Bobcat pride from the skies of Afghanistan during a recent deployment. Both men are stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina. 10. Ohio University alumnus Matt Lauer joined the Singing Men of Ohio for a tune on the TODAY plaza, located at Rockefeller Center, in March. SMO was visiting New York City as part of its Spring Break Tour. (Reportedly, Lauer later tackled Al Roker on air for referring to Ohio University as “Ohio State.”) 11. Lindsey Elling Thompson, BSJ ’05, and Matthew Thompson, BSSP ’05, outfitted their whole family in Bobcat gear for an official portrait. 12. After Marilyn J. Parker, BS ’72, showed him the effects of the Western drought on Lake Mead, Rufus hopes all Bobcats are doing their part to conserve water. 13. Seth Landesman, BSED ’01, and his son cheered on the Bobcats when they played the University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks. “Love when Bobcats visit where I live!” Send your photos to ohiotoday@ohio.edu or Ohio Today, 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701.

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BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends

Bobcat Family Reunion stars take a bow

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he city of Athens comes to life each fall when Ohio University alumni return to their alma mater for Homecoming; the graduates rejuvenate Bobcat pride with the history, spirit and enthusiasm they bring with them to campus. Several of these outstanding alumni are honored each year at the annual Alumni Awards Gala during Homecoming. This year Robert D. Walter, BSME ’67, HON ’97, was named Alumnus The Alumni Awards date back of the Year. Walter is the former to 1940 when the first Medals chairman and CEO of Cardinal of Merit were presented. Health in Columbus, Ohio, a They recognize men and company he founded in 1971 at the age of 26. He has previously women who have remarkable served as chairman of the Ohio relationships with Ohio University Board of Trustees and University. Most are graduates, on The Promise Lives Campaign some are special friends, and Steering Committee. With the all have achieved great things dedication of Walter Fieldhouse this that benefit Ohio University. fall, Walter and his wife Margaret “Peggy” Walter, BFA ‘67, have now supported the construction and renovation of three facilities on campus. This year’s recipients of the Medal of Merit, awarded to alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields, are Joe B. Harford, BS ’73, cancer researcher and educator at the NIH; Arthur J. Marinelli, BA ’64, professor of business law; Jack

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Myslenski, BSIT ’73, former marketing executive; and Gary J. Olmstead, MFA ’66, acclaimed percussionist and emeritus professor. The Distinguished Service Award honorees are President of the OUAA Dayton Chapter Ralph J. Hopper, Jr., BSED ’63; former Trustee Dell D. Robinson, BSPE ’88; and accomplished photojournalism Professor R. Smith “Smitty” Schuneman, BFA ’58, MFA ’60 and his wife Patricia Schuneman, BSED ’59. Jacob R. Sigal, BSIS ’03, MS ’05, 32-year-old entrepreneur and founder of two successful enterprises, is the recipient of the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award for his outstanding professional success in less than 15 years from his graduation date. The recipient of the Honorary Alumna Award is Betsy Ross Koller, contemporary American artist, southeast Ohio native and supporter of the Appalachian Scholars Program. The Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame inductees for 2014 are Anthony L. Gressick, BSSP ’08, former baseball team captain, 2006 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and two-time ABCA AllAmerican; Nathan S. Mayle, BSS ’07, who holds multiple school records in football and track & field; and international swimming standout Kim van Selm Roux, BS ’02. This year Ohio Athletics also selected Michael H. Schuler, BSED ’62, for the Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame Glenn C. Randall Lifetime Achievement Award, for his many years of success as both a coach and an athlete at Ohio University. » HAILEE TAVOIAN Visit ohioalumni.org/alumni-awards-nominations to nominate a Bobcat for a 2015 OUAA award! Nominations are due Dec. 1, 2014.


Join OHIO UNIVERSITY for the

INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI FAMILY REUNION APRIL 15-18, 2015 Step back onto the Athens bricks during International Week – a singular University event paying tribute to OHIO’s global heritage. Together, we’ll celebrate 120 years of international connections and the Center for International Studies’ 50th Anniversary. You’ll enjoy

join us now! to s n la p e k Ma

• Campus Tours and Welcome Stops • International Week keynote speaker • College-Hosted Gatherings • Networking for alumni and students • International Flag Procession and Welcome Luncheon • International Alumni Film Screenings • Archival Exhibits and Oral Histories in Alden Library • International Alumni Gala Dinner • International Street Fair sponsored by ISU

… and more!

Register for International Alumni Family Reunion 2015 online at

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To read Class notes online, visit http://www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday/print/notes.cfm To read In Memoriam online, visit http://www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday/print/obit.cfm


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LAST WORD

Being himself

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tudents seek out sociologist and criminologist Thomas Vander Ven’s classes, maybe because of the easy way he connects with students. This rapport earned him the University Professor prize in 2011. He loves sports, music, and wonders if he’ll ever get to Africa. Vander Ven’s research delves into the tough topic of serial rape, one of today’s most serious yet least-researched crimes. » KELEE GARRISON RIESBECK

What are you reading right now?

The last thing I read was a mass shooter’s unpublished memoir. It was an account of his troubled childhood and an attempt to explain why he felt that he had no other choice but to destroy the people that represented all his frustrations with the world. Very grim stuff but fascinating. What’s the last music concert you went to?

The Hold Steady in Columbus. Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

What’s playing on your iPod (or CD player or whatever) right now?

“Straightaways” By Son Volt. I was nervous the night before I taught my first college class. My daughter (then in kindergarten) told me to “be yourself.” This may seem extremely trite but it has worked so far. I try to relate to my students and not take some kind of intellectual or authoritarian pose. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

NFL football player. Name a fictional character you most identify with.

For most of my life, I would have said “Holden Caulfield.” As I’ve entered middleage, I don’t know if that’s true anymore. There are aspects of Walter White’s life (lead character in the TV show Breaking Bad) that appeal to me, but we are very different people.

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photo by

What’s the best advice you ever got?

What’s your favorite sport to watch? To play?

To watch: NFL football, Indiana University basketball, OHIO football, and any game that includes my 17-year-old son. To play: I run. Name one destination you’d like to visit but don’t think you’ll ever get there.

Africa. What is the one trait in others you value the most?

What’s the opposite of being neurotic and feeling anxiety much of the time? That’s what I want to be.

If you could be a top-notch, world-renowned expert at one thing outside of your work, what would it be?

I’m interested in cults, new religious groups, and people with unorthodox or deviant beliefs. I once attended a Bigfoot conference just to be around a unique group of true believers. If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

True crime writer.


WELCOME TO OUR NEW HOUSE On Monday, August 25, Ohio University celebrated the dedication of the University’s newest building: Walter Fieldhouse. Made possible through the generosity of 475 donors who made gifts totaling $11.15 million, the 89,000–square-foot facility includes a full-sized football field and regulation track. Much of the funding for the project was provided by an $8 million commitment from Robert D. and Margaret “Peggy” M. Walter and the Walter Family Foundation. The Walters both graduated from Ohio University in 1967, Robert Walter with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and Peggy Walter with a bachelor of fine arts degree. Cadets from the University’s Army ROTC program participate in physical fitness activities in the new Fieldhouse—a welcome reprieve from early morning runs in the rain and snow. photo by Ben Siegel BSVC ‘02


NONPROFIT ORG U. S . P O S TAG E

P A I D CO LU M B U S , O H I O P E R M I T N O. 4 4 1 6

CRUISING FOR A CAUSE

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he Ohio University Alumni Varsity Band (AVB) joined forces with vintage automobile enthusiasts on Saturday, May 14, at the fourth annual Cruise In at the Convo, which hosted more than 300 attendees from 18 counties in Ohio and West Virginia and showcased 75 registered vehicles. The event raised more than $1,500 to support the Marching 110 and the Ohio University Marching Band Society of Alumni and Friends (OUMBSAF). The AVB—a group of marching band alumni who have organized to perform at Ohio University volleyball and basketball games, swim meets, charitable events and veterans’ festivities—donates its performance earnings to the Marching 110. The next Cruise In at the Convo will be Saturday May 16, 2015. photo by Jonathan Adams MA

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Ohio Today Fall 2014  

Fall 2014 issue of the Ohio University alumni magazine, Ohio Today. Please use the zoom tool to read.

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