Issuu on Google+


SPRING 2012: Swimming to success • What’s a shookie? • True story of the long-lost Bobkitten


2 0 1 2



Once a fixture of the campus scene, the Bobkitten disappeared in the 1990s. Who was that masked woman?



Ohio University offers every course imaginable — and then some. These unique classes take majors and nonmajors alike outside the walls of a typical classroom.



From “Biddle bird” to “shookie,” chatting ’cats have a language all their own. How well do you remember your campus lingo?



You might call Keith Wandell, BBA ’72, the boss of the HOGs; in his new role as CEO of Harley-Davidson, he’s riding high and positioning the iconic brand for success.

26 On the cover: Senior Kristen Witham placed sixth at the Mid-American Conference swimming and diving championship in February. What’s next? Applying to law school. photo by

Ryan Young BS’12

14 Departments 2 Letters 4 Your Ohio


What was your favorite campus food or restaurant? Why?

Contributors Across the College Green

6 In the news

Pies in the sky for a political cause; a “particular” smiley face

8 Time-traveling tweets

First alumna tweets about life in the 1870s, with a little help from friends

10 Athens and the asylum

Author’s history examines “moral treatment” at the hospital on the Ridges

11 Merited praise

Newly inducted emeriti faculty reflect on lessons learned from students

12 Calendar

Chapter events and campus activities

Bobcat Tracks 36 Slice of Life

Influential article celebrated President Vernon R. Alden’s accomplishments


Your alumni updates News from fellow alumni, photos and reunion announcements


47 In Memoriam

Remembering alumni, faculty and staff 8 Last Word 4



to the editor

For the record In the fall issue of Ohio Today, you had a timeline of Ohio athletics on page 9. I could not believe that you did not show in that timeline the 1960 Ohio football team that was undefeated and untied with a record of 10-0. Not only was this team Mid-American Conference champs but also national champions. This team is still considered to be the best football team Ohio University has ever had. It doesn’t get much better than that. —Gerald Zawacki, BSED ’66, Winder, Ga. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

Remembering Dr. Wagner

I recently read in the Fall 2011 Ohio Today of the passing of Ray Wagner. Dr. Wagner was one of the very many outstanding professors I was fortunate to be mentored by during my OU years, 197176. As a communication student, I had the opportunity to take several classes with Dr. Wagner, and I always looked forward to listening to him and participating in his classes. As a public school teacher for more than 35 years, I can honestly say that a part of Dr. Wagner lives on in my daily teaching. I am a better man for having been mentored by him. Ohio University has always been such a dynamic institution of higher learning, and for the Ray Wagners of the world — thank you! —Mark L. Striebich, BSC ’76 Greenon High School, Clark County

Two Bobcats in Tonga Your Fall 2011 issue with Jim Dine on the cover is outstanding — impressive with one of our most famous alums and the College of Fine Arts’ 75th anniversary. My second favorite freshman class was art appreciation, and Miss Isabelle Works invited a group of us to come with her for a week in New York City. I have continued to enjoy travel and last month found myself in Tonga with fellow Bobcat Caroline Mann Koller, BSJ 1996. I was waving my husband off for the long sail from Tonga to New Zealand with Oakland Yacht Club friends, but she was enjoying

2 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

a six-month trip around the South Pacific after almost five years working with Oprah Winfrey. Since one of her favorite books is John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley,” she calls her website Congratulations on a motivational issue, and I look forward to your 2012 issues. —Mari Kandel Campbell, BSJ ’66 Alameda, Calif.

The ’60s? I was there Regarding Karen Harper’s article about Ike (“Ohio University liked Ike,” Summer 2011), and the “Also in 1965” column, I distinctly remember some of the items highlighted in these articles: Marcel Marceau, The Gravel Pit, and of course WOUB (pretty radical for its time, I thought). I graduated in ’68 on a hot summer day sitting with two very good friends, Al Jackson and Irv (Buddy) Glaser, on the main green on a hot Sunday morning. Some of the performance highlights of my years there were seeing Ray Charles, The Temptations and one of the greatest of all, Junior Walker and the All Stars. What a gig, I’ll never forget it. Numerous teachers made deep impressions on me. Orrin Frink, who taught Russian. OK, true confessions ... I took a third year of Russian, not because I cared about Russian, but because I had a crush on one of the young ladies who I knew would be in the class! In retrospect, it’s unbelievable to me that we could actually

smoke in many classrooms, during class. What a joke! I became thin as a rail there walking between classes all the time! Of course, I remember Lyndon Johnson speaking. He made an unfortunate gaffe wherein he referred to our school as “Ohio State,” which immediately garnered murmurs and groans. I can’t believe I missed Eisenhower. That irritates me so much, to this very day, given that he is one of my big heroes. What were my very favorite things about going to school at OU? Well, I couldn’t imagine a more exciting decade to attend college, given the political and social turmoil of our country. And the freedom. The opportunity to make so many decisions, some wise, some laughable, some simply stupid. And falling in love! Oh my goodness! I’ve referred to this period many, many times as the four best years of my life, but I must say the last few have been pretty wonderful also. To all the alumni, I simply pray for your well-being and peace. —Paul Tidyman, AB ’68 St. Johnsbury, Vt. I am writing in response to your Summer 2011 edition (“Also in 1965”) of Ohio Today. In the fall of 1965, I was a wide-eyed freshman entering into Johnson Hall on the East Green. I chose the hall because it was small and on the campus map looked like it was fairly close to the academic buildings. Little did I know that I would be climbing up and down “Bryan Hill” several times a day! I had graduated from a very large high school with 795 students in my senior class. I so enjoyed the smallness of Johnson. One of my dearest friends, still today after 46 years, was one of my freshman roommates. My first two years on campus were wonderfully spent; my junior year I was fortunate and blessed to be able to spend in Madrid, Spain, on a jointly sponsored academic year abroad between Bowling Green State University and OU. That was a pivotal year in my life. I met my husband there (also with the group), made lifelong friends, still keeping in touch after 44 years,

and developed a love for Spain that has permeated my life and being. In regards to Karen Harper’s article (“Ohio University liked Ike”), I remember as a child in elementary school seeing President Eisenhower wave to us from a train while we were in a playground in Toledo, Ohio. October of 1965 I was listening to him outside Mem Aud. Your article and pictures were very nice. To say that OU influenced me is a gross understatement. One always hears and reads in print the negative aspects of university life. However, for me, my years at OU were wonderful, fun, enlightening, challenging and unforgettable. Thanks for the memories. —Cindy Hasselschwert Griesheimer, BA ’69 Toledo, Ohio

You can make a difference. Your online gift is immediate. It’s fast. We’re talking 4G fast. Your college, program or campus has access to the funds immediately. The student who needs scholarship support or the department that needs one small tool to make a big breakthrough can get it. Now.

A familiar place

I always enjoy receiving my edition of Ohio Today and keeping up with the past and present of Ohio University. How amazing to see my exact dorm room, Fenzel 234, shown in the Summer 2011 story “Dorm, Sweet Dorm” and a picture of the Bobcat sailboat in Rocky River, Ohio. I’ve taken several pictures of the boat while at the Cleveland Yacht Club, but never knew who the proud alums were. Thanks for always producing a top-notch magazine! —Melissa Zapanta Shelton, BSJ ’90 Huntersville, N.C.

You also can set up a recurring gift that will make a difference again and again.

It’s as easy as deciding to attend OHIO in the first place.

Thumbs up, Ohio Today! I’ve never looked at the publication before because I am a student and not yet an alum of OU, but the Summer 2011 issue was brought to my attention. I love the redesign! Although I never want to leave Athens, Ohio Today seems to be something to look forward to after I graduate. —Danielle Morris Athens, Ohio

WRITE TO US Ohio Today welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, space, clarity and civility. Please include your Ohio University affiliation, address and phone number when you submit your letter by email to or mail to 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701. We regret we cannot publish all letters.

Log on to and think about where your passion lies at our University. Then, set up that recurring gift — even if it’s $15 a few times a year — and watch what becomes possible.

Together, we can ensure that The Promise Lives. Contact the Annual Giving Office at 800-592-FUND or

spring 2012

• 3


memories and more

What was your favorite campus food or restaurant? We asked our readers and Facebook friends to comment on beloved eating spots. Here are some of our favorite responses: I’d like to thank Bakery Pizza and the Burrito Buggy (after a night at the Greenery, of course) for my Freshman 15 that I still have with me! Once I was out of the dorms it was all about Souflaki’s and Miller’s Chicken.

Tom’s Pizza on Court Street. They were the first to cut pizza in squares! It was amazing. —Sally Fairfield Miner, BSED ’71

The Frisch’s Big Boy on Union Street. It was a link to my home in Columbus, and as a scared freshman, it was always comforting. My friends Stanly and Craig and I from Parks Hall made frequent visits there — a nice break from the Grosvenor dining hall food. The 50-cent grilled cheese sandwiches had a flavor that I never experienced anywhere else! Now, no one lives in Parks, no one eats in Grosvenor and Frisch’s has left the campus, but all those wonderful memories of OU in the mid-’60s remain.

—John Denti, BS ’70 A Baker Center “burger” in the Frontier Room. For two years my board job was busing tables, being a “soda jerk” and a short-order cook. I made untold numbers of “have it your way” burgers and phosphates (for those old enough to remember what those are) of every imaginable flavor combination, as well as milkshakes and malts. Other than having to work a Friday or Saturday night shift it was the best board job on campus.

—Jim Strnad, AB ’67 Hobbit House rocked! Neat little place in the basement off of Court Street. Mystical theme and great sweet wheat rolls.

—Michael Massa, BSC ’82 Frisch’s for shakes; Miller’s Poultry; Boyd cafeteria on grilled cheese day.

—Sandra Smith Boehm, BSED ’75 I signed up for a dining club in a private home on Elliott Street, as best I can remember. The club contained eight members who enjoyed the daily conversations as much as the food. We were a very diverse group of students

4 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

James Yang

—Melanie Bassett Abrajano, BA ’00

with majors running from engineering to psychology. We talked frankly and openly about a wide range of issues despite the sensitive nature of some topics and shared a lot of laughs as well. Never able to duplicate the experience quite as well in the years that have followed.

—Leo Everitt, BSEE ’53 When my parents came to visit me it would be Sylvia’s because not only was the food awesome, but I could only afford to eat there when my parents paid for it!

—Lori Abrams Geiger, BSC ’92 My favorite place to eat was Blackmore’s restaurant on Court Street. The students fondly referred to it as “Bmores.” In addition to the delicious food, the owner, Mr. Bob Blackmore, hired students to work as servers during the school year. Mr. Blackmore requested that we work one hour for each meal. … We did not have a limit as to the size of the meal so we would usually have a BIG breakfast and very nice dinner. In addition, when we arrived a little before 5 p.m., the chief cook, Thelma, would always have a “snack to hold us over” until after we finished work. Mr. Blackmore was very generous to all of his student servers.

—Craig Gorris, BSIT ’61

Casa Nueva. Great local, seasonal food with a conscience. Excellent atmosphere, delicious specials and a great place to grab a drink. My one wish is that they would sell their salsa and salad dressings online so I could get them in Colorado.

—Sally Lasko, AB ’95, MA ’02 The Ideal Restaurant, commonly known as the “Ordeal” and formerly called The Spot, located at the northwest corner of West Union and South Court streets. … Women who lived in university housing had a 10 p.m. curfew on weekdays and 11 p.m. on the weekends. The last few minutes before curfew the lights in the lounges would be turned out or way down to give couples a small bit of “necking” time before the males were ushered out the door. After departing, it was common for the guys to head uptown for a snack, and the “Ordeal” was the closest place to eat. Their well-known egg special was just the thing to top off the evening.

—Richard Kehl, BSME ’58 If one wanted to go all out, there was the Berry Hotel. The Berry would serve a madeto-order mouthwatering steak the size of a dinner plate. The campus cafeterias were a good choice. … The Sunday noon meal was tops. One summer Sunday I recall my father and one of his employees surprised my roommate and me with a visit at Men’s Dorm. The cafeteria had completed serving; however ... the personnel said, “No problem, bring them down. This is on the house.”

—Thomas Hevlin, BSED ’49 Goodfella’s pizza. That is all I could afford at $1 a slice. Best pizza ever.

—Rachel Mullin Finkler, BSHCS ’02

NEXT ISSUE’S QUESTION: Let’s talk style — what did you wear (or regret wearing) as a student? Write to us at 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, or email us at You can also “friend” the Ohio University Alumni Association on Facebook to respond to this and other questions.

ohiotoday Editor Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’07 Designer Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02 Contributors Makenzie Bowker, BSJ ’11 Colleen Carow, BSJ ’93, MA ’97, MBA ’05 Monica Chapman, BSJ ’02 Lynsie Dickerson, BSJ ’12 Elizabeth Dickson, BSJ ’13 Peter Haapaniemi Kaitrin McCoy, BSJ ’13 Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ’91 Printer The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University

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

Ohio University Alumni Association board of directors

CONTRIBUTORS Darcy Holdorf was born and raised on 25 acres outside of Willits, a small town in northern California. After completing her bachelor of arts in photojournalism, her interest in travel and language led her to work long-term in both Latin America and Asia. She is now completing a master’s degree in visual communication at Ohio University while exploring cultural and sociological trends through documentary photography.

Arlene Greenfield, BSHE ’71, chair William Hilyard, BSED ’67, executive vice chair David L. Abram, BSC ’89 Melissa Wervey Arnold, BSJ ’99 Robin S. Bowlus, BFA ’98 Todd Calamita, BBA ’93 Cynthia Calhoun, BSEE ’88 Melissa Cardenas, BA ‘96, MBA ‘03 Casey A. Christopher, BS ’02 Charles Crews, BSIS ’93 Jeanne Gokcen, BSHS ’82, MAHS ’84 Dr. Paige Gutheil Henderson, DO ‘02 J.D. Hupp, BSSE ‘99 Brenda J. Dancil-Jones, AB ’70 Julie Mann, BBA ’02 Lyndsay A. Markley, BA ‘02 A. Cita Strauss, BFA ’77, MA ’06 Ronald Teplitzky, AB ’84 Jim Wharton, BBA ’71 Robert “Bob” Wolfinger, AA ’73, BSG ’80 Sarah Burkhart, BBA ’12, Student Alumni Board (SAB) President Ohio Today is published twice a year in fall and spring. Ohio Today Online is published at www. 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.

Senior graphic design major Nick D’Amico (illustration, “The Forgotten Mascot”) grew up in Cleveland, but calls Athens home. Nick is passionate about art and design and spends a lot of time with them. He loves most to be with good people in great places.

Lynsie Dickerson is a senior studying magazine journalism, with a specialization in marketing and English. She is currently an editorial assistant at Ohio Today, as well as managing editor of The Essay, a campus-based online magazine. Lynsie is excited to see what life after college has in store for her.

After graduating from Belfast College of Art, Barry Falls (illustration, “Talk of the Town”) spent a year in London at the Big Orange Studio in Shoreditch. Now based in Northern Ireland, working from his studio overlooking the fields of the Clogher Valley, Barry is known for his hand-drawn imagery. He has tackled and enlivened a range of subject matters with both detailed and iconic imagery of a striking color palette.

Copyright 2012 by Ohio University Ohio University is an affirmative action institution.

To contact us

Editorial offices are located at 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979. Send story ideas, items for Bobcat Tracks or comments about the magazine to that address, email them to or call the editor, Mariel Jungkunz, 740-593-1891. Address changes may be made by visiting www. Address changes and information for In Memoriam also may be sent to Advancement Services, HDL Center 168, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869 or emailed to To reach the Ohio University switchboard, call 740-593-1000.

spring 2012

• 5


6 •

college green

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

In the News DISCUSSIONS IN D.C. Twelve Cutler Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C., in October to examine the national debt with politicians and their staff members, which included several Ohio alumni. During the threeday visit, students were greeted with a reception in Alexandria, Va.; toured the Capitol; and attended a hearing by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sub-Committee on Europe and Eurasia. Prior to the visit, the students had studied and debated the national debt in class. “This was an outstanding opportunity to expand our knowledge of the issues surrounding the national debt outside the walls of the seminar room,” said Gusterov Scholar Elena Mihajlovska. NO PLACE LIKE HCOM The Ohio University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the purchase of land in Dublin, Ohio, to house the future Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine central Ohio extension campus. The college plans for 50 medical students to study at this location starting August 2014. The site, which contains 14.847 acres of land and three existing buildings, will be purchased for $11 million, pending state approval. Funding for the purchase was made available from the April 2011 gift to the college from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations. The $105 million gift supports initiatives developed during the college’s 2010-11 strategic planning process.



hile students were away over winter intercession, The Front Room Coffeehouse in Baker University Center was hardly quiet. The space underwent a major renovation in service flow to increase efficiency, thanks to the work of industrial and systems engineering students at Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Seniors Moniquea Grier, Zach Phillipi, Dereck Smith and Kyler Torrence studied the Front Room’s layout and service challenges during a two-part senior design course. photo by Ben Siegel BS ’02

PLAYING WITH PARTICLES Using a microscope that allowed atoms and molecules to be manipulated one at a time, department of physics and astronomy professor Saw-Wai Hla formed images such as a smiley face during a lecture at Baker University Center. Hla said he hoped the demonstration, titled “Nanoscience: Playing with Atoms and Molecules,” helped students visualize atoms and molecules, which are the basic building blocks for everything. His presentation was the first of the New Professor Lecture series. TWO-PIE SYSTEM This winter, College Republicans and College Democrats united in the name of pie. Standing in front of the Athens County Courthouse, members of both groups encouraged students and other passersby to pay $1 to “Pie a Republican, Pie a Democrat.” The event was a fundraiser for both student organizations. “We have a lot more in common than not,” College Democrats vice president Marika Bresler told The Post. “We’re two groups that are involved young in something we believe in, and we’re spending tonight embracing that.”

spring 2012

• 7


college green

Time-travel’s a tweet

Rallying for the team


After 18 years of swimming, senior Kristen Witham is ready for a break. “Swimming is a way of life,” says Witham, who placed sixth in the 1650-yard freestyle at the Mid-American Conference championship Feb. 25-26 and is pictured on the magazine’s cover. “My life basically has been eat, sleep, breathe, swim, school for the past few years. “Once I am done (with the season), I think I’ll try something different — like yoga or spinning.” Among the highlights of her four years with the swimming and diving team, Witham counts last year’s MAC championship win, and this year’s second-place team finish. Witham competes in the mile, 500yard freestyle and 400-yard IM; following graduation she will take her first break from the pool since she started swimming at age 5. A public relations major at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, she says she is also ready for a new challenge scholastically as well: She’ll be applying to law schools. But she’ll miss her team and what she describes as the day-to-day grind “of working for something bigger than yourself.” “I love this place,” Witham says. “Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat!” » ELIZABETH DICKSON

Diary from 1873 finds new outlet online

wo students are helping the past and present collide with their project of sharing the experiences of Margaret Boyd, the first woman to graduate from Ohio University. Boyd, who graduated in June of 1873, kept a diary during her senior year at Ohio, logging her daily thoughts and events in her life. The diary now belongs to the university, and in an effort to help students connect to the first alumna, Alden Library student employees Matt Wesley and Karah Finan are sharing her story — 140 characters at a time, via Twitter. Each day, they tweet a diary excerpt, including the date each was originally written. Based on her Tweets, students can see that Boyd experienced the sadness of senior year and the daily pressures of dealing with classes and professors, and coped with the same daily chores current students do. She wrote about the loneliness she felt at times, certain classes she didn’t enjoy and the weight of her studies. While time has passed, the concerns of college students are timeless. “Maggie Boyd is an inspirational person. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the first and only woman at a college,” Finan, a junior majoring in journalism, said in an article from the university website. “Her collection of diary entries is a unique look into the actual daily life of someone living in the Victorian period. It’s so much more than you could ever find in a history book. » Elizabeth Dickson Follow Margaret Boyd’s observations of her final year at Ohio on Twitter at @maggieboyd1873.


Jan. 7: Commenced college today — Fear I will have hard work but I will try and do it well. Jan. 26: No girl there but myself. I did not like the lecture very much. It hardly paid one for my walk. Feb. 4: Study & recite, study & recite — what monotony! ... Ella starts for college today. She goes to Tuckers. Ohio’s first alumna enrolled in 1868 under the name M. Boyd, until the university could be sure the faculty and the public would not object to her presence. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

8 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

Feb. 12: I have hard work to get my lessons today. Sitting up all nite does not agree with me. Feb. 21: We play “I admire you.” We had lots of fun. Dixon laughs at my spatting with White.

IN THE WATER: The Ohio University swimming and diving team was named the top Mid-Major program in the country alongside the Princeton University men’s program. Ohio had a tremendous 2011-12 season, posting a 9-2 (4-1 MAC) dual-meet mark throughout the regular season before narrowly placing second at the Mid-American Conference Championship. Senior Abby Corcoran (pictured) finished sixth in the 100-yard freestyle and eighth in the 50-yard freestyle. photo by Ryan Young BS ’12

spring 2012

• 9


college green

Athens and the asylum

Author’s history examines ‘moral treatment’ on the Ridges


n each issue of Ohio Today, we feature a brief review of an Ohio University Press book, written by a staff or faculty member. “Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape” is reviewed here by professor emeritus of political science Thomas Walker, who has served on the Boards of Trustees of both the Adult Recovery Network and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Ohio. He is a past chair of the NAMI Ridges Cemeteries Committee.

“Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape,” by Katherine Ziff, PHD ’04; Ohio University Press, Ohio University Ohio’s current treatment of the mentally ill is a disgrace. Many are homeless and without treatment and four times as many are being “cared for” in jails and prisons than in our tiny psychiatric hospitals. All this has its roots in a wave of deinstitutionalization in the 1970s and 1980s when 19th century hospitals, such as the Athens Asylum described in Katherine Ziff ’s book and formerly located at The Ridges, were emptied in the name of civil liberties with the proviso that funds previously spent on hospitals would follow the patients into the community to support their recovery. They did not. This reader, therefore, feels a sort of “generational envy” in reading in Ziff ’s book that, in the period immediately after the Civil War, Ohio actually began to care for its mentally ill citizens in a generous and respectful fashion. Prodded by early 19th

century social activist Dorothea Dix and driven by the “moral treatment” ideas of psychiatrist Thomas Kirkbride, states such as Ohio spent lavishly on huge asylums into which were put the previously abused, homeless or jailed mentally ill. Patients were to be treated with respect and housed in stately buildings surrounded by lovely landscaped grounds where they could get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Such treatment, it was felt, was not only more moral from the standpoint of society but also likely to cause the patients themselves to be more “moral” — i.e. less ill. Ziff ’s narrative — skillfully interwoven with period photos and excerpts from letters and reports — keeps the reader firmly rooted in the benevolent mindset of the time. While also covering negative aspects such as endemic political patronage and eventual overcrowding, it is, nevertheless, a lovely glimpse at a kinder and gentler time in Ohio’s treatment of its mentally ill. » THOMAS WALKER, professor

emeritus of political science and director emeritus of Latin American studies at Ohio University

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, 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701 or via email to


Order the book or download a new historical guide and map of The Ridges at Asylum+on+the+Hill

10 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

Famous Chefs and Fabulous Recipes by Lisa Abraham, BSJ ’85 • Long Beach Lullaby, a mystery about two friends from Ohio University, by Richard Abrahams, BSC ’73 • The Hearing Aid Decision: Answers to Your Many Questions by Jerome Alpiner, BFA ’54, PHD ’61 • Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution by Joshua Bernstein, BSJ ’00 • Authorial Ethics: How Writers Abuse Their Calling and Grasping for Heaven: Interviews with North American Mountaineers by Robert Hauptman, MA ’67, PHD ’71 • Murder in Lascaux by Michael Hinden, AB ’63, and coauthor Betsy Draine • The textbook Unwinding the Meridians of Acupuncture by Kenneth Koles, BGS ’72 • Unraveling the Mysteries of Vocal Technique: Conceptions and Misconceptions about Singing by Marise Robinson Petry, BMUS ’75, and coauthor Ruth Manahan • Saving the Fig Tree Till Last: Diary of an American Adventurer in Southwest France by Patricia McKinnen, BSS ’05 • The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose Your Weight by Stephanie Romine, BSJ ’03, BA ’03, and coauthor chef Meg Galvin • The Red Scorpion by Ed Newman, BGS ’74 • Rare Confidence: Strategies and Inspiration to Strengthen Your Belief That You Can Achieve Anything by David Shirey, BGS ’08 • Winning the Food Fight by Ken Walker, BSJ ’73, a regular contributor of Christianity Today, and coauthor Steve Willis

Merited praise The Ohio University Emeriti Association inducted 51 members in 2011, including professors alumni of all eras would recognize. There are now 700 active emeriti — and while we’ve all heard the term, what exactly does the honor entail?


he title of “professor emeritus” is conferred on a faculty member on his or her retirement or posthumously. Selections are made based on recommendations from supervisors and colleagues, and criteria include length of service (typically a minimum of 10 years), quality of teaching and research, overall contribution to Ohio University and service beyond the university community. Over the course of their time at Ohio, outstanding faculty members have impacted countless students; no doubt they deserve accolades upon retirement. However, we at Ohio Today were curious: How have students impacted them? We asked three of our newest emeriti to comment. “Students have influenced my desire to stay in an academic role in the area of nursing because I realize that it is through affiliating with them that nursing practice has the greatest potential to meet societal needs. … Because I have primarily worked with nursing students from the Appalachian region, they have taught me about the distinct culture linked with residence in this region where generations have faced employment, economic and educational challenges. These students have taught me that mentoring and empowerment are essential for working most effectively with them.” — SHARON DENHAM, professor of nursing

“When I first started teaching Shakespeare here back in the early 1970s I soon realized that most of my students had never seen him performed. To try to remedy that problem I began to include films of his plays (long before videotape and DVDs) in my courses. I quickly discovered that students were more sophisticated readers of visual images than they were of verbal ones. As a result, while I taught them Shakespeare, they taught me film. This turned out to be a great bargain for me as I have subsequently written five books on various aspects of Shakespeare on film, and I dedicated the last one to my Shakespeare students at Ohio University.” — SAM CROWL,

“I quickly discovered that students were more sophisticated readers of visual images than they were of verbal ones. As a result, while I taught them Shakespeare, they taught me film.”— SAM CROWL

Trustee Professor of English Emeritus

If you do a good job of teaching both in the classroom and through your research, sometimes it reaches unexpected places. In 2000, I was invited to the Kremlin along with a few others to advise the Russian government, culminating in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Among other things, we urged the adopting of broad-based taxes with low marginal rates. Within two months of returning to the U.S., Russia did precisely what I advised, adopting a 13-percent flat rate income tax. American politicians often ignore my teaching, but I found a fan in Russia. — RICHARD VEDDER, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics

spring 2012

• 11

ACROSS THE college green

Calendar of events for alumni and friends of ohio university |


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 visit campus — consider joining us for Spring Alumni Weekend! For a full schedule of chapter, society and on-campus events, including reunions, visit ohioalumni. org/calendar.

It’s time to celebrate!

Tassels to the left

Ohio University’s 258th commencement exercises will honor more than 4,000 undergraduates and some 800 graduate students over the course of three ceremonies. Nancy Cartwright, a Primetime Emmy Award Winner best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address Saturday, June 9. Cartwright, who attended Ohio University in the 1970s, is an inductee of the Ohio Communication Hall of Fame. For information, contact the office of event services at 740-593-4020.

Mark your calendar now to join alumni and faculty for a social weekend celeb- rating the 75th anniversary of Ohio University’s hearing and speech program Sept. 15-16, in Athens. For information, call (740) 593-1407 or email

Ready for a close-up?

Alden Library 50th Anniversary

a Facebook tab job seekers aforFacebook tab for job seekers

12 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

On a cloudy May 11, 1962, 38-year-old Vernon R. Alden was inaugurated as the 15th president of Ohio University. The Ohio University community would like to congratulate him on the upcoming 50th anniversary of this significant event in university history. A special 50th celebration is being planned the weekend of April 27-28 at Alden Library. For more information, contact Doug Partusch at 740-593-1798.

Don’t miss the Athens International Film and Video Festival April 13-19. Founded in 1974, the festival brings outstanding and innovative independent films — and exciting guest presenters, such as Steve Buscemi (headlining presenter, 2005). Prizes are awarded by guest jurors in four categories: documentary, experimental, narrative, and animation. A full slate of films and presentations will be announced soon and available online at The festival is sponsored by the Athens Center for Film and Video, a project of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.

FAN FAVORITES With the support of loyal Bobcats, Ohio men’s basketball led the Mid-American Conference in attendance during the 2011-12 season with an average of 6,177 fans per game. “Our fans have been tremendous in helping to create one of the best home court advantages in the country,” says head coach John Groce. The team achieved a program record 16 home wins this season, including an undefeated home record in MAC play, and won the MAC Tournament by defeating regular-season champion University of Akron 64-63. At press time, they had earned a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Here, Reggie Keely dunks the ball during the MAC Tournament quarterfinals game against No. 7 Toledo. photo by Joel Hawksley BS ’12 spring 2012

• 13


n by M


zie Bo


Illustr ated b yN

ick D

14 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m


o BFA ‘12


o look at him today, you’d never guess the rough-and-tumble Bobcat has a breakup in his past. But if you flip through any of Ohio University’s well-loved yearbooks, you’ll instantly catch a glimpse of his sweet and sassy partner, the Bobkitten. She appears by his side on the field, cheering teams on, marching in the Homecoming parade — yet for all the images that exist, little is said about her exact role. Who was she? Where did she come from? And where did she go? A fixture of the campus scene beginning in 1967, the Bobkitten disappeared in the 1990s, leaving few clues behind. Ohio Today has asked some of the people who knew her best — women who donned the Bobkitten mask and kept their identities a closely guarded secret — to reveal themselves and their stories.

Fight for Equality

Although today women rival and can outnumber men on college campuses, the women of the 1960s sometimes felt like second-class citizens, according to Susan Jewett, BFA ’69, the 1967 Howard Hall president. During the ’60s Women’s Lib movement,

Ohio University women fought key battles over strict curfews, inadequate services and lack of recognition. Howard Hall, an all-female residence hall on the corner of Union and College streets, was a key advocate for these rights. Known for its residents’ outstanding social, scholastic and athletic involvement, the hall was also a fun place to go for socials. But the women of Howard Hall wanted an outlet that would allow them to be noticed campuswide and in turn, promote their residence hall. It was there that the female mascot and counterpart to the Bobcat was born. Jewett still remembers the day when the residents created a full-body costume complete with a head made of chicken wire and fur. Francesca Femia Hahn, BSC ’69, served as the model — and would go on to play the first Bobkitten. “We went to Belk’s, got fake fur cloth and attached it to the head,” Jewett says with a laugh. “We tried to make eyeholes too, but Francesca complained that she was getting stuck inside with all the chicken wire and that it was hot. We weren’t experts, but we did what we could.” During that first year, the Bobkitten became an integral part of football games and school spirit, just

spring 2012

• 15

like her counterpart, the Bobcat, who was created in 1960 and was based at the all-male Lincoln Hall. In the second year, Hahn shed most of the furry get-up and wore a cheerleading skirt and sweater with the costume head. She practiced with the cheerleaders weekly in preparation for the games. While she couldn’t join in the jumps (due to the oversized head), Hahn wore bloomers with OH-IO written on them; she would flash them at the audience during games. Only Howard Hall residents and top-level administrators knew the identity of the Bobkitten, and Hahn liked to keep her role a secret. She remembers a couple of close calls. “I usually kept the head in the locker room and took my uniform in a bag to the games, so I would look like a regular student going to the game,” Hahn says. “Two guys were walking behind us, saw me go to the locker room and said, ‘I think that’s her. I really think that’s her. I’d recognize those legs and fanny anywhere.’ “My roommate said, ‘They’re talking about you!’ So I took off running to the dorm and dashed in.” Hahn served as the one and only Bobkitten from Howard Hall during her time at Ohio University, and the tradition of the female mascot went dormant for 10 years after she graduated. The women of Howard Hall created the original Bobkitten; Chi Omega updated her look in the early 1980s (opposite page, circle) to match the new Bobcat. Her identity, however, was always kept secret. Photos Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

16 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

A New Home

The women of Howard Hall had no way of knowing their hastily constructed cat would become a fan favorite for years to come — in fact, few of the Howard Hall women interviewed knew the Bobkitten returned in the late 1970s. When Howard Hall closed in 1976, Chi Omega sorority stepped in to resurrect the tradition. With the help of Athens native Joyce Wickline Vander Werff, BGS ’79, a Chi Omega sister and an Ohio University cheerleader, the sorority took on Bobkitten duties — this time with a lot of teamwork. Vander Werff had grown up watching the Ohio football games and noticed the Bobkitten missing; with the help of the athletic department, she discovered the Bobkitten head. “We got her back on the field to continue a much-loved tradition,” she says. The Chi Omega sisters did their best to spruce up the costume and ordered a new cheer uniform to match the current ones. The sister who wore the costume also wore a brass Chi Omega pin. The Bobkitten costume was guarded closely, according to Chi Omega alumna Ann Stevens Rush, BBA ’88. “We kept the costume in the front closet on the second floor of our house in a black trash bag,” she says. Eventually, the Bobkitten came to be featured on the Chi Omega yearly composites, as she became a regular part of the chapter. No strangers to tradition, the Chi Omegas were one of the first chapters founded on campus in 1913. The Chi Omega sisters rotated the duty of donning the Bobkitten gear, with the only requirement being that the woman had to fit into the cheerleading skirt. They also attended the cheerleading practices to learn the routines, prepare for the upcoming game and practice with the costume head. Often, the sisters would switch out during the games because the costume was so hot. “I remember putting on the costume at the Miami vs. Ohio game,” Beth Barrett Wallace, BSEE ’82, explains. “It looked cute, but you couldn’t move around too quickly or your head would fall off! I was scared to death to go out in front of the Convocation audience, especially with the crazy rivalry with Miami.” The Chi Omega alumnae purchased a new costume head — made of dark brown fur and featuring a fuller face — when the Bobcat changed his look in the early 1980s. They performed at basketball games, swim meets and during halftime performances at football games. “We would call out our friends’ names and watch as the audience member looked confused,” Katie Kirchner Grgetic, BSED ’83, says with a laugh. “[We] would call out your name, and we would turn away!” While it was well known that the Bobkitten was a Chi Omega member, the women enjoyed the thrill of keeping their exact identities a mystery. “I had a black pearl ring,” recalls Amy Goyer, BMUS ’84. “One time, a guy was flirting with me, and [later] that night … he came up to me and recognized the same ring on my finger. I had to convince him to keep it a secret.”

A Memory Lives On

The tradition continued until the mid-1990s, when interest in the Bobkitten began to fade. Although she appears in the 1996 yearbook, little is known about her whereabouts since then, and the costume has been lost. As athletics branding became more important on a national and university level, the Bobcat morphed from a goofy, lopsided character to the physically fit representation of today, reflects former Ohio University Alumni Association director Barry Adams, BSJ ’74 and MAIA ’83. The perceived need for a companion changed and evolved as well. “The Bobkitten came at a time when women’s rights were in the forefront, certainly and appropriately, and we were looking inwardly and asking, Are women being represented and advanced equally?” says Adams, who served as director throughout the 1980s. With the approval in 1972 of Title IX, which emphasized equality in education for women and men, students questioned female representation in all aspects. Just as some lobbied for a female mascot, others questioned her cheerleading uniform. “You really did start to see with Title IX the whole new development of opportunities for women to take part in something beyond club sports,” says Rick Harrison, BSJ ’82, Alumni Association director from 1994 to 1998. “Representationally, that was part of why the Bobkitten existed.” The memory of the Bobkitten lives on through Howard Hall and Chi Omega alumnae. Tracy Popovic Galway, BSC ’93, paid tribute to her days as the mascot with a vanity license plate (“BOBKTN”), while Hahn still refers to herself as “OBK69” in her email address to honor her days as the original Bobkitten. “I loved being at the games and interacting with the fans, especially the kids,” says Galway, with a nostalgic sigh. “They were always your biggest fans.” Whether celebrating athletic prowess or equality, the university’s mascots serve as a symbol that elicits an instant response — no matter the costume style or gender, says Harrison. “It’s a living, moving representation of the university, and that’s what’s important.” Additional reporting contributed by Mariel Jungkunz.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The seven former Bobkittens included in this story shared many memories with Ohio Today; if you have stories to share as well, write to us at Ohio Today, 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, or Francesca Femia Hahn, 1967-69 Bobkitten (aka “OBK” or The Original Bobkitten) | Hahn is currently on hiatus after having worked as a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry for 13 years and working in government budget analysis. Previously, she taught theater and speech communication at the high school level. She resides in New Jersey with her husband, James. Joyce Wickline Vander Werff, 1975-79 Bobkitten | On Athens in the 1970s: “I was a Chi Omega and a cheerleader; that doesn’t happen often because of the time commitment. … Sororities were really, really big then, and everything stopped in Athens for a football game.” Her younger sister, Jill Wickline Darbe, BBA ’83, went on to play the Bobkitten as well. Today, Vander Werff is the owner of Vander Werff Insurance in San Diego and is recruiting agents all over the country. Beth Barrett Wallace, 1978-82 Bobkitten | Wallace is semi-retired, living in Louisiana near New Orleans. Katie Kirchner Grgetic, 1980-83 Bobkitten | On her favorite memory: “I was also a member of the OU karate team and used to love calling their names at games. They had no idea who the Bobkitten was.” Grgetic is an Atlanta-area elementary school teacher focusing on special education; she married her college sweetheart and has two children. Amy Goyer, 1980-84 Bobkitten | Amy Goyer is the AARP’s family, parenting and grandparenting expert. A published author, she writes a column on and acts as an AARP media spokesperson. She lives in Arizona and Washington, D.C. Ann Stevens Rush, 1980-84 Bobkitten | Rush works for Alliance Data on product development, and lives in Gahanna, Ohio. She and her husband, Phil Rush, BBA ‘85, have two daughters; they attend the University of Cincinnati and Gahanna-Lincoln High School. Tracy Popovic Galway, 1989-90 Bobkitten | Galway works with Athens County Job and Family Services as a special projects coordinator. She lives in Athens, with her husband, Tim Galway, BSC ’93.

spring 2012

• 17

Beyond blue books

21 48 •• oo hh ii oo tt oo dd aayy oo nn ll ii nn ee .. cc oo mm

Unique classes engage majors and nonmajors alike At Ohio University, there are plenty of learning opportunities to be had beyond the typical classroom walls — from serving at a hospital in Africa to signing the letter Z. International cuisine, anyone? Aviation? Why not? There’s no better time than college to think outside of the box. Flying over friendly Southeastern Ohio skies, multiengine flight instructor Cory Lombard (right) instructs a student in the aviation program’s Baron 55. The speed and performance of the Baron — a highperformance twin engine plane — make it a common industry aircraft. “Other schools can’t believe we have a Baron for use in training,” says staff flight instructor George Armann. “It’s really a major reason why many students choose to come here to pursue aviation.” photo by

Mark Dawson MA ’11

spring 2012

• 19



t’s another early morning class, at the dreaded time of 8 a.m. But for you, there’s a reward waiting. Instead of lining up shoulderto-shoulder in a lecture hall, you’re headed for a birds-eye view of campus. Such is life for students enrolled in AVN 430, a multi-engine flight course offered by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology’s aviation program. Not just anyone gets to learn in a classroom thousands of feet off the ground, though — to even be accepted to this enroute operations and single-engine approaches and landing course, students must already have their pilot’s certificate. The class gives them experience flying with one engine inoperative and with the effects of airplane configuration on engine-out performance. Department Chair Bryan Branham says the field of aviation is rapidly expanding. “The industry forecast for the potential hiring of pilots in the next 10 years is the largest in all of aviation history,” he notes. No special skills are needed — just dedication to learning, application of knowledge gained and a love of flying. Students

20 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

choose from two- and four-year degrees — and the department also offers nondegree programs for those who just want to learn or fly for fun. All are taught by faculty with a wide range of expertise, from air traffic control to certified aircraft maintenance — one faculty member is also a military test pilot. Sharing first-name rapport with all students because of the program’s small size, Branham singles out a greater point of pride: safety. The Flying Bobcats, Ohio University’s student flight team, can attest. They’ve won the safety award at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s regional competition the last two years running, also taking first place in the flying events category at the last match-up. » COLLEEN CAROW Senior Sam Trost (left) checks the propeller on the Baron 55 for any dings — signs of small bits of gravel hitting the prop — as part of the multi-engine training course, while multi-engine flight instructor Cory Lombard does a visual check on local weather. A dual major in aviation flight science and aviation management, Trost interned last summer in the corporate aviation department of a prestigious Ohio corporation, working on maintenance, dispatch and its employee shuttle service. photo by Mark Dawson MA ’11

NIGHT VISION “The sky’s the limit” takes on a literal meaning for students in PSC 140: Observation Astronomy Lab, who spend one night a week learning about the night sky, as well as venturing outside to see it for themselves. Throughout the quarter, students learn about different constellations, planets, lunar cycles and other objects in the sky. These classroom sessions are followed up with trips to Strouds Run, where students can actually see the stars and planets they’ve been learning about. » LYNSIE DICKERSON

Students in Tom O’Grady’s introductory astronomy lab viewed Jupiter through a telescope at Strouds Run this winter. photo by Rebecca F. Miller MA ’12

spring 2012

• 21



hen UC 115 was created in the late 1970s, it was an experimental course, according to Amy Pieper, an academic adviser and course coordinator for UC 115. “At that time, it was open to all students, but because such an important focus of the curriculum is on major and career exploration, it’s the most beneficial to the undecided population,” Pieper says. Today, the class, known as the University Experience Course, is offered as the first-year seminar course for University College students. University College serves incoming students who have not declared a major; each fall, nearly 1,000 students are enrolled in one of the 60 sections of UC 115 offered. UC 115 provides these students a common ground in their first months at the university, says Pieper, who has taught more than 10 sections of the course in recent years and sees the benefits first-hand. The course introduces topics such as major and career exploration, strategies for student success, campus resources, the importance of getting involved on campus and in the community, and some study skills — all information a first-year student needs to get started off right.

This fall, University College Dean David Descutner and graduate student Cimmeron Taylor team-taught a section of UC 115 and celebrated the end of the quarter with a dinner for their students. “We wanted to treat our students to some of the unique food in Athens, so we had Miller’s chicken, which they all loved!” says Taylor, a second-year graduate student in the college student personnel program. Rebecca F. Miller MA ’12

22 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

But it also creates a unique experience for its students. The classes are small — no more than 20 students. Sections are taught by a university faculty or staff member, or a University College adviser. Each instructor takes on the task of advising his or her UC 115 students academically. This model helps in developing a strong adviser/advisee relationship. In addition, a peer mentor is assigned to each section. The peer mentor organizes out-of-class activities and provides guidance and insight from a student perspective. This unique set of experiences, combined with other successful programming at University College, has helped boost retention and success rates of undecided students. “I’m such a believer in the class,” Pieper says. “As the coordinator and an instructor for this course, I get a lot of satisfaction talking with former UC 115 students. Often times they talk about how the course helped them to discover their major, get connected and be better informed about things. But most importantly, they comment how the class gave them a place to go every week where they had classmates sharing in a similar experience and had an instructor who genuinely cared about them.” » KAITRIN MCCOY AND MARIEL JUNGKUNZ

TASTY OFFERINGS Imagine spending a class cooking in a restaurant or preparing an international dish, and receiving a grade on it — sounds appetizing doesn’t it? For Restaurant, Hotel, Tourism students, this is what RHT 439: International Cuisine is all about. This course, which focuses on two aspects of their field — restaurant operations and international cuisine — offers them the opportunity to gain realworld experience and a creative outlet all at once. “Students get hands-on experience in a full-service restaurant setting,” says professor Donald Brown. “They also are encouraged to learn more about things they aren’t familiar with. It takes them out of their comfort zone.” Students serve as part of the cooking crew at Baker Center’s Latitude 39, a casual dining restaurant offering USDA prime steaks, fresh seafood and handcrafted dishes. At the end of the quarter, they present an international dish of their choosing. With this project, they are also expected to research and discuss the origins of the food. The class appeals to students for a variety of reasons, says Brown, who has taught it for two years. “I think it has a lot to do with the freedom students have.”

» Elizabeth Dickson

Students in Ohio University’s International Cuisine class do everything from polish silverware to prep meals at Baker Center’s Latitude 39 restaurant. Senior Jillian Hora (right) plans to train as a pastry chef following graduation. photo by Rebecca F. Miller MA ’12

spring 2012

• 23

Offered three times a year, the Silent Get-A-Way weekend — no voices allowed — is attended by Ohio University instructors, Ohio University sign language students and members of the Deaf community. Students practice what they learn in the classroom, says Becky Brooks, coordinator for the Deaf Studies Interpreting program. “We get students who come into an introductory sign language class, and they fall in love (with the language).They are hooked.” RIGHT: Ohio University adjunct instructor Lori Woods acts as referee during a game at the Silent Get-A-Way at Camp Oty’ Okwa in the Hocking Hills. First held in 2007, the weekend now draws more than 75 attendees, who participate in games, skits, hiking and fellowship. photographs by Mark Dawson MA ’11

24 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m



hen Becky Brooks lectures, everyone is silent — including her. As the coordinator for the Deaf Studies Interpreting program, Brooks lectures in American Sign Language, and to visit DSI 111: Sign Language and Deaf Culture I is a mesmerizing experience: Emotions are conveyed by facial expressions, and questions are answered and asked through signs. The only sound is the frequent laughter of her students. “Our approach to language is unique,” Brooks says. “It’s all based on immersion. And as a result our students are able to carry conversations — basic conversations — very early in the process.” The Lancaster Campus is home to the DSI program and a very active ASL club that sponsors events every quarter (bowling nights, skate nights), drawing attendees from the local and Columbus-area Deaf communities. Brooks requires her students attend one or two of these sponsored events to interact with others. “In order to understand the language, you have to understand the culture of the signs and how to use them,” she says. Each quarter, students are invited to a three-day Silent Get-A-Way at Rocky Fork State Park or Camp Oty’ Okwa. With activities such as games, skits and lodge dinners planned, the camping trip seems like most others — with just one twist. First offered in 2007, the getaway is intended to be a complete immersion in Deaf culture and language; participants agree to communicate via ASL the entire weekend. This fall, Ohio University’s switch to semesters will allow professors to offer several exciting new classes, Brooks says. These include visual gestural ASL and miming, which will help students develop their physical gestures and expressions in tandem with their signing skills. “People think ASL is just a language of the hands, but it’s not. It’s a language of everything you are,” Brooks says. » MARIEL JUNGKUNZ


(pictured on the back cover)

For Jenny Chabot, service is an integral part of learning. The associate professor of child and family studies has led two student service trips to Cape Town, South Africa, over Ohio University’s winter break. This year, 11 students volunteered four weeks with the pain management team at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, while also serving at a handful of other sites throughout the city, including pediatric medical clinics and a medically assisted orphanage for young children. “I’m a real advocate of service learning,” says Chabot, a certified child life specialist. “It really provides a huge service to the hospital and brings to life what I’ve been teaching them in the child life courses here.” The students who traveled with Chabot are pursuing a concentration in child life — a field that seeks to normalize the hospitalization experience for children and their families — and earned two credit hours for their work. Ohio University is only one of two colleges in Ohio that meets the standards for child life certification. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” says senior Christina Schumacher, who participated. “But especially with (child life), the more you can learn about diversity and leaving your biases at the door, the better off you’ll be to provide support to children and their families.” All students in child life are required to complete 500-plus hours interning at a children’s hospital, according to Chabot. The university has a 100 percent passing rate on the certification exam, taken once they successfully complete the required child life internship. » MONICA CHAPMAN

spring 2012

• 25

26 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

Ohio University campus life is full of catchy phrases, fun nicknames and off-the-wall terms. Where else can you complain about a mysterious number called the RAC or grab a shookie between classes? Compiled by M ariel Jungkunz, Lynsie Dickerson, Elizabeth Dickson Kaitrin McCoy Illustrated by Barry Falls

B is for Basics — for all Bobcats

First things first, there are some basic terms that today’s young Bobcat needs to grasp. Alumni and students united efforts to compile a list of words essential to the university experience; see if your favorites made our list. Uptown Chances are you made that crucial mistake at least once. You were new in town, talking about your weekend plans and you said you would be heading “downtown.” It didn’t take you long to realize that Athens does not have a downtown — despite its similarity to downtowns you may have known and loved. It has an uptown. Interestingly, the term refers to a location (higher or upper portion of a town) rather than taking on the more contemporary meaning (an affluent residential area).

Buggy If you made it all four years without setting foot inside, er, next to a buggy, then some sort of congratulations are in order for this dubious milestone. For the rest of us, the buggies were a staple of campus cuisine, and whether you favored the bagel, Mediterranean, burrito or (most recently) Cuban buggy, chances are you’ll never think of this word the same way again. Be sure to tell your foodie friends Athens is the home of the original street food carts!

The College Gates Ohio University has two gates, and though distinct in their names (Alumni Gateway is at Court and Union streets; the Class Gateway faces College), they are informally known as “the College Gates” due to their proximity to College Green. Alumni Gateway was a gift from the class of 1915 to commemorate the university’s 100th graduating class and, as the de facto entrance to uptown from campus, it serves as a handy meeting spot. Just do your best to dodge the petitions, leaflets and information tables! The roomier Class Gateway makes a perfect study spot and, of course, the ultimate location for those cap-and-gown photos with the folks after graduation. (continued on page 31) spring 2012

• 27

L is for Lindley

As far as Ohio University history goes, you know more than you think: Your everyday Bobcat vocabulary (“Chubb,” “Alden,” “Scripps,” etc.) included the names of many prominent individuals with a connection to alma mater. How many do you recognize? Extra points if you know the full name of our auditorium. Alden To say that every student visits Vernon R. Alden Library at least

Chubb Poor Edwin Watts Chubb. Students dread a visit to “Chubb”

once would be an understatement — some of us practically lived in this seven-story building full of books, study areas and the evergrowing number of computers. Previously housed in Chubb Hall, the new “Alden” opened in 1969 and honors the 15th president of Ohio University. (See page 36 to learn more about Alden.)

to turn in a pink slip to drop/add classes or wait in line at the Bursar’s Office. Its namesake served twice as the acting president of the university: in 1920 following the death of President Ellis, and again in 1934 after President Bryan passed away. Chubb was also the dean of the College of Liberal Arts starting in 1907.

Mem Aud Its formal name is Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial

Lindley Named after the first president of Ohio University, Jacob Lindley,

Auditorium — say that three times fast! Everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to President Lyndon B. Johnson has paid a visit to this auditorium, which is named after the first African-American male (John Templeton) and female (Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn) to graduate from the university.

this hall houses the school of media arts; women and gender studies programs; and the ROTC. Once upon a time, this ivy-covered building was a women’s dorm and housed the Lindley Lovelies. (See page 31.)

Scripps This catch-all term refers to a building, a man and a college!

C. Baker, the 14th Ohio University president, whose name resides on both buildings at once. The Old Baker Center is no longer functional but will soon be home to the College of Communication. Today, students spend their free time at the new Baker University Center, which opened in 2007, complete with The Front Room Coffeehouse and West 82 dining area.

E.W. Scripps Hall was once a library and is now home to one of the top journalism schools in the country. Originally named Carnegie Library, the building was renovated and renamed in 1985 after a $1.5 million endowment from the Scripps Howard Foundation founded by E.W. Scripps, a major American newspaper publisher.

Baker The tale of two Baker Centers sprouts from the legacy of John

A is for ALICE

What’s in an acronym? With the dawn of the computer age, students have learned to juggle new acronyms and multiple identification numbers. PID: a nine-digit personal identification number printed on university ID cards DARS: a report (by the Degree Audit Reporting System) outlining a student’s progress toward graduation RAC: a Registration Access Code required for online course registration ALICE: the university’s online library catalog

You can ask ALICE ­— she’s the university’s online library catalog, covering all campuses, including the regionals. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

28 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

TRIPS: a phone-based registration system (formally the Touch-Tone Registration and Information Processing System) that replaced the need to register for classes in person at the Convocation Center (aka the infamous Convo shuffle).

C is for Coach

We asked the Facebook friends of the Ohio University Alumni Association to “name names” — that is, let us know their nicknames (good, bad and the ugly) for their favorite or most feared professors. We won’t divulge the identities of those who commented, but we will tell you who they reminisced about and what they said.

The Slasher in Lasher:

Sandra Haggerty, journalism “Lots of red ink on graded papers, tests ... but she made you a better journalist!”

Glide with Clyde: Clyde Baker, physics

Bebblonian Time: a Phillip Bebb history class Uncle Jack: Jack Matthews, English Beerbong: Jan Palmer, economics*

*It is Ohio University legend that Professor Palmer makes an appearance at the spring party on Palmer Street, Palmerfest, every year.

Drucilla the Grammarian:

Dru Evarts, journalism “Would fail you for spelling her name wrong.”

Dr. Hottie: ????

“We simply referred to our favorite SOC prof as ‘Dr. Hottie.’ I visited campus and met with some students years later, and the new generation of students were using the same nickname for the same prof.”

Mel’s Hell: a Mel Helitzer journalism class*

*“Humor Writing for Fun and Profit” had a oneyear waiting list, so it couldn’t have been all bad.

B is for Beez

Were you known as a frosh your first year? (If you graduated in the 1950s, you were!) • Did you carry a gin-jug (gin and juice in a large milk can)? • Or did you take your best girl on a Coke date to drink a soda or catch a movie in the Varsity dating seats? • Did you have strict hours (a curfew)? • Did you serve on the micwic, a precursor to student government formally known as the Men’s and Women’s Interdormitory Councils? • You might have known a Beard, or a man with a beard —an unusual sight for a conservative Jeff Hill campus, according to The Post in 1965. • If you walked up this steep hill What about the Beez? This twice-a-week near Jefferson Hall, no doubt you remember it well. Though it hasn’t show at Bromley Hall cafeteria in the ’60s always been open to traffic, it has featured “psychedelic nights” with acid always been perfect for sledding and rock, strobe lights and black light art. • a cause for complaint — especially Did you love Post cartoons by Jorgy? for those living on East Green. Bruce Jorgensen, BSJ ’71, made a name for himself with his political satire in the 1970s. • Do you still listen to ACRN online (the student-run radio station that first broadcast in 1971) or remember its mascot, Rock Lobster? • In the 1980s, you probably attended the South Green Beach Party or its spawn, Son of a Beach Party and Grandson of a Beach Party. • Did you get your quick cash with your Jubilee card at a Jubilee machine? • Late at night, does your heart skip a beat for Burlesque belles Dixie or Gypsy, two of the hot dogs on the menu at O’Betty’s, which now has two uptown locations? If so, you might be a Bobcat.

spring 2012

• 29

B is for Biddle Bird

In the 1960s — the days of single-sex housing — residence halls were an important part of the campus social scene, and students promoted hall spirit (and engaged in friendly rivalries) with wacky nicknames and goofy mascots. Berry Beasts were the men who resided in

Berry Hall, the renovated hotel uptown. They earned their name from their wild behavior, including adorning their dorm banner with a large pair of women’s underwear at hockey games. (Not to be outdone, the men of Boyd Hall also claimed the name “Beasts” during this era.)

Biddle Bird Biddle Hall created the Biddle Bird mascot in the early 1960s; it could be seen in the main lobby of the dorm.

Bromleyites Ohio University’s first coed

dorm, Bromley Hall, opened in 1966 with “a new standard of dormitory living.” Bromleyites enjoyed study lounges, air conditioning, highspeed automatic elevators, a swimming pool and the ability to make phone calls from their own rooms.

The Penthouse The Penthouse was another

name for Center Dorm, located in the top floor of the original Baker Center, which housed

56 upperclassmen women of high scholastic achievement. “Small in number but great in enthusiasm” is how the Athena described them.

Lindley Lovelies Now a building comprising

classrooms, Lindley Hall was once a residence hall, built in 1917 and home to female students affectionately called the Lindley Lovelies.

Gam Men The men of Gamertsfelder were

proud of their affiliation with this dorm; in 1962, the Athena praised their athletics feats and trophy-winning Homecoming float.

Annex Girls The women of Bryan Annex lived in the basement of the Agricultural Building. Each year, they hosted a Santa Claus party and Mothers Weekend.

Tillie Tiffin In 1965, Tiffinites — the residents

of Tiffin Hall — could be seen wearing sweatshirts with a cartoon character known as Tillie Tiffin on the front.

G is for Gang

In the 1960s, the Dolphin Club presented synchronized swimming performances such as “Forever Feminine,” honoring famous women throughout the ages. Above, the group in 1963. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

1 4 •3o0h •i oothoi do at yood na ly ionne l. c i noem .com


This triple chocolate chip cookie is served today at the Shively Grab-n-Go. The popular Shively Dining Hall received a major renovation in 2009, and students rave about its stylish “food court” approach to dining.

Before they had a swim team of their own, women performed as the Dolphin Club (left) or Finnettes, adapting classic stories with lighting and scenery at the natatorium. • Whenever the number 110 comes up — whether it’s 1:10 p.m., or page 110, or $1.10 in change — current and former Marching 110 members shout “HIO!” • At 11 a.m. every Nov. 11, the secretive J Club, a men’s honor society active until the 1970s, inducted 11 juniors. • They’re not environmental activists, but they are … very active. Now in its 10th year, the O-Zone is a student fan section with dedicated seating at both Peden Stadium and the Convo. • Not to be outdone, the hockey team has its own fan section: Gang Green. • Jim Snyder’s basketball team, aka the Snydermen, was so popular in the 1950s, students could only attend every other game!

(continued from page 27) Kissing Circle Though we’ve yet to meet someone who claims to have taken advantage of this legend, it is Ohio University lore that a man may kiss a woman who happens to be walking through the Kissing Circle on College Green at the same time. Couples have chalked messages of devotion (including several marriage proposals) to each other on its bricks, but if you do use it as your own personal mistletoe, and it doesn’t get you slapped, let us know.


The event formally known as Junior Prom in the 1950s and ’60s wasn’t just a dance; it involved months of campus-wide preparation for its festivities, elaborate skits with costumes and dances, and the crowning of a king and queen.

The Fest (any fest!) Everyone likes a reason to celebrate, and no matter the era, there’s been at least one springtime “fest” to mark the end of another year. Today, streets such as Mill, Palmer and High celebrate their own fests. The 1985 Athena devoted coverage to the fests that were once held on the greens — East, South and West — as well as the annual Springfest. Each fest offered food, games and prizes, leading up to Springfest, held in late May and which featured a large concert at Mill Street Fields. Whether affiliated with the university or the result of students’ own creative efforts, the tradition lives on.

Q2S This year’s hot term is “Q2S,” which refers to the impending quarter-to-semesters switch. It won’t be the first time; alumni who graduated prior to 1969 will recall the university followed a semester schedule then as well. (But they didn’t have a snazzy acronym back then.)

OAK ID Since the advent of the computer age, students have not just been referred to by class rank or major, they’ve had numerical ID numbers (see page 28) to contend with and an “OAK ID” as well. The OAK ID combines initials (“js” for “John Smith”) with a randomly assigned string of six numbers to create an ID and an email address ( that is, for all intents and purposes, as important as your real name; you use this ID to log in for WiFi, enrollment, registration and more. Raise your hand if you still remember yours!

The Wall, or the Graffiti Wall According to the 1976 Spectrum Green yearbook, by the 1970s the Graffiti Wall at the top of Richland Avenue had become an important spot where you could “write without fear of reprisal.” At first, the wall was used to showcase scores from Bobcat games and (before the days of social media) to broadcast where the weekend’s parties would be held. Today, students try to paint the wall at least once before graduation and use it to advertise events, such as the Student Senate elections.

The Seal All together now: If you step on “The Seal,” you won’t graduate on time!


Visit Ohio Today Online at to read more Bobcat terminology and take our campus lingo quiz. Where do you rank? You’ll also find feature stories on the Voice of America’s latest Internet sensation (hint: she’s an Ohio grad) and an engineer with a creative hobby — and mustache to match. Not on our email list? Share your email address at www.ohioalumni. org/update-your-information.

spring 2012

• 31

IN HIGH GEAR: Appointed CEO and president of HarleyDavidson in 2009, Keith Wandell, BBA ’72, is leading the company in a new direction, including more customization options for bikes. “The urge to make a personal statement is central to the soul of motorcycle riders,” he says. photo by brad chaney/harley davidson motor company

32 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

Getting Back on the Road At Harley-Davidson, Keith Wandell, BBA ’72, is leading an American icon into a successful future.


hen Keith Wandell became the CEO of Harley-Davidson in May 2009, he clearly had his work cut out for him. Although the 109-year-old motorcycle manufacturer was, and is, one of the most revered, high-profile brands in the world, it had been going through a rough patch for some time. Revenues were down, manufacturing was struggling to deliver motorcycles efficiently, and the company’s stock had declined from more than $75 a share to less than $10 shortly before his arrival. And the recession was in full swing. What’s more, Wandell was the first outsider to become the Milwaukee-based company’s CEO in nearly three decades — and not all employees and investors were convinced. Many saw this departure from tradition as an ominous sign. When Wandell’s hiring was announced, Harley stock actually edged down a few percentage points. Nevertheless, Wandell quickly launched a series of changes at the company. To better focus on the core Harley-Davidson brand, the company shut down its Buell and sold its MV Agusta motorcycle lines and renegotiated labor agreements. A lot of tough decisions had to be made — and here, says Wandell, the good thing about being an outsider was being able to bring an objective eye to bear on problems, and find ways to build on an already-strong brand. Three years down the road, the company appears to have turned a corner. Its stock has moved up into the mid-$40 range, and 2011 was a year of earnings and sales growth. In February of this year, Wandell was named chairman of the board. Outgoing Chairman of the Board Barry Allen marked the occasion by calling Wandell “a transcendent

leader who has done an outstanding job of guiding Harley-Davidson in a period of extraordinary challenge and transformation,” and citing “the company’s tremendous progress under Keith’s leadership over the last three years.” Wandell, too, is pleased with the results of the transformational efforts — but characteristically, he prefers to look forward and avoid any sense of complacency. “There’s no question that we’ve made a lot of progress. But when things are going in the right direction, you have to remember — it’s only going in the right direction as of yesterday. You have to think about tomorrow,” he says. More succinctly, he adds, “The minute you fall in love with yourself, the minute you start believing your own headlines, you’re done.” With that in mind, he is now continuing to focus on the company’s transformation, with the goal of positioning the company to sustain its success and thrive in a changing world.

FASCINATION WITH THE FACTORY Back in 1972, when Wandell was completing his work on his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Ohio University, the kind of executive position he has today was far from his mind. But he was interested in the path that eventually led him there. “I’ve always been intrigued with manufacturing and industry — how things are made, how do you make things better, those kinds of things,” he says. “I never dreamed about being a CEO, but I did have this vision that I wanted to be in operations.” That vision was based on experience, Wandell continues. “I grew up in a family where my father was in industry. He had

spring 2012

• 33

Jeremy Pick

Under Wandell’s leadership, Harley-Davidson expects to add up to 150 international dealers (including Queretaro, Mexico, pictured left). Harley Owners Group chapters are based in 70 countries (below, Switzerland riders), and growing; in 2010, the brand was ranked No. 2 in the European motorcycle market (up from No. 6 in 2007).

34 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

been a union bargaining chairman of a plant and then got into management, so I was around factories my whole life,” he says. During his time at Ohio University, Wandell worked summers in a factory in his hometown of Lima, Ohio, to help pay for school. There, he helped build schoolbuses, ambulances and motor homes — and, he says, “learned a whole lot.” After leaving Ohio University, Wandell continued to learn, taking night classes to earn his master’s of business administration from the University of Dayton. In 1988, he began working with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., the $40 billion global manufacturer, where he ran a car-battery factory near Toledo. By 1996, he was in charge of the company’s entire battery business, which accounted for more than one-third of the global market in lead-acid auto batteries. He became president and COO of Johnson Controls in 2006. By 2009, Wandell had spent 21 years at Johnson Controls, and along the way, he and his wife, Deb, had five children — and managed to squeeze in a fair amount of golf. He was comfortable and happy in his role, and the opportunity to move to Harley-Davidson came as something of a surprise. “I had no reason to be looking for a job or even thinking about it,” he says. “I had actually turned down a number of

Kim Walker

opportunities. But this one was different, and really kind of exciting. Harley-Davidson is one of the great iconic American companies, and the brand is treasured around the world.” But beneath that brand, Harley needed to change on a number of fronts. Having been successful for so long, the company had more or less stayed the course for decades. But by the mid-2000s, the world was changing, a fact underscored by the economic crisis and credit crunch. The company was hit hard, and some new approaches were in order. Wandell and his team developed and began to execute a strategic plan for moving forward. In addition to shutting down and selling off non-Harley brands and negotiating new labor contracts, Wandell guided the company through the closing of some operations, focused on rethinking product development and manufacturing, and worked closely with the company’s 1,400-strong independent dealer network to drive the right customer retail experience. That kind of business transformation is notoriously difficult, and it was likely to be especially so in a century-old company with such strong traditions. But here, Wandell encountered a pleasant surprise. “The employees were really eager to make the changes that needed to be made. People could see where the company was going and the changes that were taking place in the world,” he says. He told employees that “we’re not here to change all the things that made the company great. But what are the things we do need to change to make sure we have a sustainable business into the future?” Wandell says that the company’s existing culture was a real asset in many ways. But there was one change he was adamant about making — a stronger focus on continuous improvement. With

When Ohio University unveiled Rufus, its new mascot, he roared into Peden Stadium on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Harley’s successful history and tremendously loyal core customer base, continuous improvement had not really been a prominent part of the culture. But going forward, it had to be, he says: “No matter how good we are or how well we’re doing, we can always do better. It’s not a condemnation of where we’re at, it’s just always setting the bar higher.” Wandell has also made some changes in his own style to fit the Harley culture. “You don’t come in and say, ‘We’re going to wear shirts and ties here because this is a business.’ You say, ‘OK, I’m going to dress the way you guys dress.’” Typically, that might mean jeans and Harley shirts. “But you still conduct business the same way.” Wandell has also taken up riding — “a big part of the culture here,” he says — and has purchased three Harley motorcycles for his own use. He has ridden in customer rallies in locations ranging from Mount Fuji in Japan and the Great Wall in China to Hamburg, Germany, and the legendary annual Harley gathering in Sturgis, South Dakota. Attending those events is part of his job, but as he points out, “They’re also a lot of fun.”

FASTER, AND MORE FLEXIBLE Looking ahead, Wandell’s focus on sustained success is driving action in several areas. The company is expanding globally, and under Wandell, it has added dealers in areas such as India, Russia, Turkey, China and Ecuador. Closer to home, the company also is pursuing demographic groups beyond its traditional customer base, marketing products to female, young, African-American and Latino motorcycle riders. And it is jumping into social media in a big way, using crowd-sourcing techniques to gather advertising ideas from customers. The company’s efforts to streamline manufacturing will be key to meeting the needs of tomorrow’s customers. Processes are being made faster and more flexible, so that products can be built and delivered in much shorter time frames. Before long, says Wandell, “we’re going to be able to have a customer walk into the dealer and order a bike the way they want it, and get it within two to three weeks, which is impossible today.” Harley is also expanding a program started last year that lets riders customize their bike orders on the web. “As we go forward, we may do that across the line, so customers can go online to customize their bike … and get the special color paint job they want, the handlebars, seats, mufflers — those types of things.” From a broader perspective, Wandell hopes these efforts will help point the way for the reinvigoration of U.S. manufacturing. “Since 1903, we’ve manufactured all of our bikes in America,” he says. “As we go through our manufacturing transformation, we’re going to demonstrate that it’s possible to make products in America and still be competitive and compete everywhere in the world.” Looking over the past three years, Wandell concludes, “I feel very comfortable and confident in the changes that we made, the direction that we’re going and where we’re at here. So far, the program is working.” But only so far, he is quick to add: “We have to change to make sure we can be as successful in the future as we’ve been in the past.” In time, he says, “we’ll look back and history will tell us how well we did.”

spring 2012

• 35

BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends



Slice of Life


A trailblazer from the start, a 38-year-old President Vernon R. Alden came to Ohio University from Harvard Business School in 1962. Three years later, he was, as Life magazine described it, “moving at top speed,” with ambitious plans for the university’s expansion and strengthening of its curriculum. This spring marks 50 years since Alden’s inauguration; we honor this milestone with a look at the article that put Ohio on the map.

36 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m



1. President Vernon R. Alden, a former associate dean of Harvard Business School, looks over the plans for construction on the Ohio University campus. With the support of public funds and private developers, he embarked on a building program to accommodate an additional 6,000 students on campus by 1968. 2. Alden (middle) sits with financier Gerald Loeb (left) and past Ohio University Board of Trustees chairman John Galbreath (right) as the Ohio football team defeats Dayton. The Loebs were old friends of Alden and were shown the growing campus during a visit. Alden hoped Loeb would be interested in helping the university; during his tenure as president, private gifts increased by 300 percent. 3. Alden and Luverne Lausche, the university’s business manager, visit a new dorm complex. 4. Alden’s wife, Marion, greets Lillian McCracken with a smile at the formal dedication of McCracken’s late husband’s portrait. Thomas Cooke McCracken served as dean of the College of Education, as well as the first provost of Ohio University. 5. Four-month-old David Alden catches the attention of two visiting trustees as his parents and nurse look on. David is the youngest of the four Alden children; his siblings are Robert, Anne and James. Alden and his family served through 1969, when Alden embarked on a distinguished career in private industry. Today, he is retired in Brookline, Mass.

Photos Courtesy of Steven Schapiro


“It takes all my stamina to stay on top of the job,” Ohio University President Vernon R. Alden told Life magazine in 1965. “Sometimes at the end of a 16-hour day I feel drained. But I think this is the most exciting job in the world, and I bounce back like a rubber ball.“

Like ‘a rock star’

Some 40 years later, alumnus meets his idol


he website claims to provide “the most accurate and up-to-date information you can find anywhere about colleges, careers and majors.” One of its college ranking categories is “overall satisfaction and happiness with choice.” And the past several times it has updated this category, the same school has come out on top: Ohio University. You won’t get any argument from me. I love Ohio University. I went to school there. Our daughter went to school there. Our nephew went to school there. His wife went to school there. We even had a dog that spent two years in Ohio University off-campus housing. And I know exactly when the love affair started. The Jan. 15, 1965, issue of Life magazine ran a feature on Vernon R. Alden, president of Ohio University at the time, elaborating on his accomplishments and plans for the school. In case you have forgotten or never knew, a feature in Life magazine was the equivalent of a segment on “60 Minutes” today. And what a story it was: 14 pages of how this human dynamo, Vernon R. Alden, was putting Ohio University on the map; attracting top students and faculty; working weekly in Washington, D.C., with the Job Corps; getting President Lyndon Johnson to debut his plans for the Great Society in a speech from Athens; doubling enrollment and faculty within the decade; working with the Army Corps of Engineers to move the Hocking River to stop the flooding that had plagued the campus. It was thrilling. Fourteen pages in Life! By comparison, the cover story about Ted Kennedy was seven pages. And one on America’s most exciting athletes, Joe Namath, was two pages. I was sold. If a university president could be compared to a rock star, Vernon Alden was it. Two months later I sent my application. And in September 1965 I began my journey of “overall satisfaction and happiness with my choice” of Ohio University. I was just there not too long ago. A friend and I attended an Ohio basketball game. It was fun and nostalgic, and we swapped stories

Also in 1962 ... Ohio University welcomed Vernon R. Alden as its 15th president, but he wasn’t the only Bobcat earning recognition for his hard work. The year was filled with memorable moments and milestones: • Nine graduate students and six faculty members of the electrical engineering department conducted a research project on leak detection in missiles on behalf of NASA.

• Eleven students joined 6,000 others in a national February march for peace in Washington. The twoday event included picketing for disarmament at the Soviet Embassy and a meeting with the office of Ohio Sen. Steven Young. • Doctoral programs in English and clinical-counseling psychology were approved. At the time, only four other doctorates were offered: chemistry, education, speech and physics.

the whole time. Then, just after halftime, the announcer called our attention to a special guest in attendance: Vernon R. Alden. Even my friend, an Ohio State alumnus, knew of Alden’s substantial reputation. But I embellished it further. “Oh, man,” I said. “He did more for this school than anyone before or since. He got people excited about Ohio University. He put this place on the map. Wow!” Dr. Alden stood when he was introduced, leaned a bit on his cane and waved to the 6,400 of us in attendance that day. I felt very warmly about seeing him there. From that point on I found myself watching him almost as much as I watched the game. When the game ended, my friend and I were crossing the street, toward the building where Alden had presided over seven graduations ... half a block from the river he had caused to be moved ... down the hill from the 3-million-volume library named after him ... across from more than 6,000 dormitory rooms constructed during his tenure, when we came upon two men moving slowly down the sidewalk. It was Vernon R. Alden and his Ohio University host. I did not hesitate, hurrying after them and extending my hand. “Dr. Alden? Jim Busek, class of 1969. I just wanted to say Ohio University is one of the best things that ever happened to me. And you are the main reason I came here. Thank you for everything you did while you were here.” He clasped my hand with his wizened one; the same hand that had welcomed Presidents Johnson and Eisenhower to campus, smiled his famous easy smile and nodded his appreciation for my comments. “He’s 87,” the man with him said. I wished him a long and healthy life and walked to my car, across the campus that Vernon R. Alden had put on the national map, savoring a sweet moment with a man who in my mind is even bigger than Life. Reprinted with permission from the Norwalk (Conn.) Reflector. Jim Busek, BBA ’69, is a freelance writer and can be reached at

• The school of architecture found a new home in the Space Arts building, whose basic layout was designed by advanced architecture students. It was the first time the entire school was under the same roof. • Jefferson and Shively dining halls received music sound systems over winter break. Thanks to the new phonograph players, speakers, cabinets and microphones, students could enjoy music with their meals.

—compiled by Lynsie Dickerson Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

spring 2012

• 37

BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends


1. Cindy Grimes, BSED ’03, and James Saunders, BSSE ’99, wed in July at Galbreath Chapel. “There was never any question about where we would get married!” she says. 2. Melanie Raese, BBA ’06, and Ryan Quatman, BSED ’07, wed in June. The wedding party included Trent Quatman, BSED ’11; Kelly Moser, BS ’05; Cara Kouse, BS ’03, BS ’04; Emily Kasson, BSS ’07; and Melanie’s father, Warren Raese, BSED ’69. The couple met at Ohio University; pictured is the Ohio contingent at the wedding. “Thanks for bringing us all together, OU!” Melanie says. 3. During Homecoming 2011, George Cheripko III and his wife, Cathy, proud parents of George Cheripko IV, AB ’90, stopped by alumni coffee hour at the Front Room. They visit Athens for every home football game. 4. Gwen Hubach, BSSPS ’10, enjoys the Rock the Block party on Court Street at Homecoming 2011. 5. Laura Piazza Moore, BSED ’07, of Canal Winchester, had an unexpected guest at her wedding on July 30: Rufus. “My husband (Christopher Moore, BBA ’03) and I got






3 married at Oakhurst Country Club in Grove City, Ohio. It just so happened that the Ohio University Alumni Association and a huge, blow-up Rufus were at the country club the same day as our wedding! ... It just seemed like fate!” 6. On the eve of the OHIO v. Ohio State game, Sara Schackow, BSED ’10, conspired with her aunt (Nancy) and uncle (Rick Baldwin, BSED ’75) to give her grandfather’s Brutus a makeover. 7. (From left) team members Matt Strader, BS ’99, MBA ’11, partner and COO; Alan Schaaf, BSCS ’10, founder and CEO; and Sarah Schaaf, BSC ’08, communications director, at the Crunchies Awards, where Imgur was recognized as the “best bootstrapped startup.” Send your photos to or Ohio Today, 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701.

38 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m


Ready? Set? Volunteer!


ith Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign ramping up for an April 14 public launch, we asked a few Ohio University Alumni Association regional campaign chairs about their volunteer work for the campaign. They shared a preview of regional alumni campaign events.

STEVE (BS ’82) AND TRACI MCBRIDE ELLIS (BSC ’82) Cincinnati/Dayton area co-chairs Your vision for campaign events? We

TODD CALAMITA, BBA ’93 Charlotte, N.C., chair (pictured, right ») Your vision for campaign events? I’m

planning to have Bobcats attend large events already happening in the Charlotte area. These fun events will be in a great venue and will serve as a way to thank loyal Charlottearea alumni for their support. I also want to reach out to other Charlotte-area Bobcats and invite them to reconnect with each other and with Ohio University. Why volunteer? I loved volunteering for the Student Alumni Board, and I left OU knowing that I wanted to continue that level of involvement. Having served as the president of the Charlotte, N.C., chapter for five years and as the president of the College of Business’s Society of Alumni and Friends, I know what there is to gain from staying

involved! Now I serve on the OUAA Board, which gives me the chance to come back to Athens and work closely with the Alumni Association and meet with students. They always seem to reinvigorate me with all their energy.

You married a Bobcat! Tell us how you met. After the graduation ceremony, I called

Teresa’s (BBA ’93) sorority house, thinking no one would be there. But she was the only one in the house and almost didn’t answer the phone. I took it as a good sign that she did! (Laughs.) We kept in touch through visits and phone calls, and married in 2005. Our first child, Colin, was born in 2008.

will help build a stronger community of alumni in southwest Ohio by encouraging more networking, support and camaraderie. Why volunteer? We both had unique learning opportunities — in the classroom, with our peers and by serving in student organizations. The opportunities prepared us for a rewarding life after college. Serving as OUAA regional campaign co-chairs means we can connect with other alumni in southwest Ohio and give back to Ohio University, a place that has deeply touched our lives. You married a Bobcat! Tell us how you met. We met at Steve’s fraternity in the fall

of our sophomore year. Traci left her jacket at the house, and I returned it to her at her sorority house the next day. We began dating and always enjoyed taking walks around the beautiful campus. We have been married for 28 years. Our two daughters, Lindsay, BSED ’10, and Meghan, a junior, are proud Bobcats as well. » KELEE RIESBECK

spring 2012

• 39

To read Class Notes online, visit To read In Memoriam online, visit


Good chemistry


ince its founding in 1970, the University Professor program has recognized five outstanding student-nominated professors each year. Honorees have the opportunity to develop two courses of their choosing. Lauren McMills, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry who is among those honored this year, is working on “Chemistry in the News,” which will focus on current topics in chemistry such as energy, climate change and medicine. We asked her to share a few insights about life as a scientist — and world traveler.

If you weren’t a professor, what would you like to do?

I enjoyed art history classes in college, and at one point in time thought about combining my knowledge in chemistry with my interest in art and work in a museum. What do you love most about what you do?

Darcy Holdorf MA ‘12

I love teaching general chemistry. I enjoy the interaction with the students. Do you recall what first sparked your interest in chemistry?

What is the proudest moment in your career?

Receiving the University Professor award because students select the honorees. What is your perfect Friday night?

Family time with my husband and daughter. That could be going out to dinner, going to a concert (music or dance) or staying home and watching TV. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

Mary Lyon. She was the founder of Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Mass., where I earned my undergraduate degree in

48 •

o h i o t o d ay o n l i n e . c o m

photo by

My father and grandfather (mother’s father) were both chemists, so chemistry and science were something I grew up with. I really enjoyed my chemistry class in high school, and I found it challenging. I like being challenged and so decided to go into chemistry. chemistry. I would love to hear about the early years of the college from someone who was there (the college was founded in 1837). She was a scientist and encouraged women to pursue the sciences. Where’s the most exotic place you’ve visited?

As a child (from 3 months to age 7), my family lived in Hong Kong (my father taught at the university). We were able to do a lot of traveling while we lived there so I was privileged to travel throughout Asia and Europe. Japan and India are the countries I remember the most, as my parents would take my sister and me to zoos wherever

we went. In India, I was allowed to pet a cheetah while my father took a picture. It’s a memory that stands out to this day. What is your favorite talent or hobby?

I like to read for relaxation. I’m reading the biography about Steve Jobs right now but like mystery stories as well as historical novels and biographies. If you had all the time in the world, what hobby would you take up?

I like to cook and bake. I have limited time to try new and different recipes but do so when I can.



he door to John Butler’s office is seldom closed, but when it is, students get a glimpse at the collaborative project that is his door décor. Students, friends and colleagues add clippings to the mix; Butler contributes the occasional photo. An instructor of field sound recording and mixing technique, Butler has taught at the school of film for more than 20 years and encourages students to stop by for conversation and a soda from a fridge stocked for their visits. “Mentoring and talking gets students through a stage when they are unsure and think that they aren’t cut out for this,” Butler says. “It is a way to encourage them not to give up.” photo by Ben Siegel BS ’02


P A I D Advancement Services HDL Center 164 1 Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701-0869



my Rupp works on crafts with a child at Maitland Cottage, a residential home in Cape Town, South Africa, for children who are bedridden with various orthopedic diagnoses. A student service team traveled to Cape Town during winter break for credit as part of the university’s child life program, one of six unique course offerings highlighted in this issue. Turn to page 18, “Beyond Blue Books,” for more.

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

Ohio Today Spring 2012