We've asked Buckeyes what Ohio State has meant to them--and you've responded. See what a few have to say below.
Colleen Provens, Class of 2012
"Ohio State has allowed me to return to school to complete my master's. I have many dreams ranging from being the sole supporter of my family to a career I can be proud of. Tuition assistance and the top notch graduate school are helping me realize my dreams!"
Catherine Balderson, Class of 2012
"But for Ohio State, I wouldn't have been given a second chance at education. I transferred to Ohio State in the fall of 2009. Each and every one of my professors believed in me even more than I did myself. Having professors that genuinely cared about my education and thought so highly of my potential gave me the strength to pull through. I will be graduating next year with a degree in art history."
Emily McCallister, Class of 2011
"But for Ohio State, I would not have realized my lifelong goal to be a Buckeye. I am from a small town in West Virginia where going to a university away from 'home' is unheard of. But I knew something about Ohio State that no one else understood: Ohio State is home. Now, as I prepare to graduate and join a different community, I am more grateful than ever that I followed my heart and fought to be a Buckeye. Thank you, Ohio State."
Tina Love, Class of 1975
"But for Ohio State, I wouldn't have become the first college graduate on both my mother's and father's sides of the family. I also became the first to go to graduate school and receive a master's degree. My greatest accomplishments were in March 2005, when my oldest son graduated from Ohio State, and then again in 2010, when my youngest son graduated. They became the second generation and first male children to graduate from college on both sides of their maternal and paternal sides of the family."
Melissa Mick, Class of 2009
"But for Ohio State, I may never have learned to think for myself. I knew from the moment I first visited campus that Ohio State was where I wanted to go to college. There truly is some kind of magic at Ohio State. I began as an uncertain, naive, impressionable girl and came out a confident, self-sufficient, open-minded woman. I was constantly challenged to challenge myself and I was encouraged by my friends, professors, and TA's. I have never known people as passionate about their work as my teachers at Ohio State and their attitudes, work ethics, and eagerness to continue learning are contagious."
Ron Fetzer, Class of 1978
"But for Ohio State, I would not have been able to teach Ohio students. Completing my PhD at Ohio State in 1978 came at a very important point in my life and a major change in the world, the advent of globalization. This afforded me the opportunity to teach, educate, and conduct training in 13 different countries around the world. Thank you, Ohio State, for helping a farm boy from New Riegel, Ohio, to see and experience a bigger world and for giving me the self-confidence to try and make a contribution."
Joseph Sadek, Class of 2012
"But for Ohio State, I wouldn't have been able to focus my passions into academic knowledge."
Jeff Vincent, Class of 1980
"But for Ohio State, I would not have continued to better myself as a thoughtful, open-minded person, and in turn, better all those I come in contact with."
Megan Whatman, Class of 2007
"But for Ohio State, I would never have met my husband. I sat next to my now husband in Political Science 101 fall quarter my freshman year. We both lived on South Campus and ran into each other frequently but it wasn't until spring quarter that we began to date. Eight years later we're happily married, professionally successful, and have our Ohio State degrees proudly hanging in our home."
Kelly Barnes, Class of 2011
"But for Ohio State, I would not have gone to college. Ohio State was my number one choice, but I had to apply to many smaller schools because of financial hardships after my mother passed. I received the Excellence Morrill Scholarship, which afforded me free tuition. With many more scholarships and grants, I was able to attend Ohio State, only having to take out a very small amount of loans. Being an Ohio State student has been the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life. I have met so many amazing and interesting people, traveled with the ski club, participated in research, and celebrated victories. I am grateful for Ohio State and everyone who has made this experience possible for me."
Olivia Enriquez, Class of 2013
"I fell in love with Ohio State the second I stepped on campus as a sophomore in high school. Buckeye spirit filled the campus and it was like nothing I had ever felt or seen before. Ohio State became my dream school and I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Eventually becoming a student at THE Ohio State University made me realize how lucky students really are. We have alumni and faculty all over the world who truly care about the well-being of this institution and are constantly making efforts to improve the university."
"But for Ohio State, I wouldn't be alive today. I became very ill with a rare kidney disease when I was 12 years old. When I was 20, my doctor referred me to Ohio State because I was to the point of needing a transplant. I met Drs. Elizabeth Davies and Ginny Bumgardner in 1994, who performed a living donor kidney transplant between my brother and myself in March 1995. I am alive, happy, and healthy almost 16 years later because of The Ohio State University Medical Center."
Ashlea Hilliard Glaser
"But for Ohio State, I would not have been able to attend college. I am from a small town on the Ohio River, and I was raised by a single mother. The Morrill Scholar Program allowed me to attend The Ohio State University without worrying about how I was going to pay for tuition. I met my husband at Ohio State, and I was proud to deliver my daughter at The Ohio State University Medical Center last year. I know that Ohio State will always play a big part in my life, as well as in my daughter's life. I look forward to the day that I can say that I am a proud Ohio State mom!"
Kovey Kovalan, Class of 2000
"But for Ohio State, I would not have received the Technology Award for my business. I was supported as a graduate student by the Computer Science department. I applied what I had learned in computer graphics to build a business in medical diagnostic imaging. The company I founded and run, KJAYA Medical, received a Technology Innovation Award for Web-based Medical Imaging Data Management from Frost and Sullivan. I owe much to my foundation through the education at Ohio State!"
"But for Ohio State, my freshman son would have never found a place where he feels like he belongs and is so proud to go to. He loved Ohio State from the moment we stepped foot on campus for a tour. He has already made the dean's list and we are proud of him and everything the campus has to offer. I've worked for Limited Brands in Pittsburgh for over six years now, and am so excited that Les Wexner is investing in my son's future."
Andrew McGowan, Class of 2011
"But for Ohio State, I would not have fully realized my life's goals. Ohio State seamlessly blends public education with excellence. In my time here, I have created meaningful relationships with my peers that have inspired me to become a leader of my community. The education and experience I have received as an undergraduate is unforgettable and I will surely give back to those who have positively affected my life."
Ralph Ira Porterfield, Class of 1972
"But for Ohio State, I would not have enjoyed the great scarlet and gray tradition, with all the joys and value it has brought to me and my family. My wife, father, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, aunt, and grandfather all graduated from Ohio State. The Ohio State University is a major part of our family history. We strongly support public education and believe it is a pillar of our society and country."
John Ryan, Class of 1992
"But for Ohio State, I would not have the opportunities and quality of life my family enjoys today. My undergraduate experience at Ohio State opened up a new world of ideas and enhanced a zeal for learning and problem-solving that continues to this day. My Ohio State education opened many doors, set me on a path of continued learning and growth, and helped me make new connections across disciplines and areas of inquiry. If you give your best effort and consistently hold yourself to high standards, you can be anything and go anywhere you want with an Ohio State education."
Linda Snook, Class of 1986
"Les Wexner was the speaker at my graduation. I truly appreciate his contributions as a successful businessman. While I was attending school as a student, I had no clue what it would mean to me later in life. Everyone I encounter in the business world recognizes the incredible reputation an Ohio State education has. Not to mention the social aspect: I could be anywhere in the country and find new friends through the extensive alumni network."
Lauren Swetnam, Class of 2010
"But for Ohio State, my dad would not be alive. The James saved his life when he was suffering from a sudden onset of acute myelogenous leukemia. We will never forget the amazing staff at the James and what they did for my family.
"But for Ohio State, I wouldn't have met my husband and wouldn't have such a satisfying career. The family we have created with two wonderful boys brings us tremendous joy every day and it all started at the Moritz College of Law! I now work at Ohio State as the in-house lawyer for our Department of Athletics. That job is interesting, challenging, and immensely satisfying. Go Bucks!"
Jennifer Goodman, Class of 1999
"I would not have had the educational experiences --inside and outside of the classroom--that shaped who I am. I loved my OSU years and I continue to be committed to Columbus and the university!"
Kelly Dorsten, Class of 1986
"I wouldn't have the job or family that has made me who I am today. I began my education in the fall of 1981...met my current husband in October of that year in Psych 100 class! We dated and were married in 1987 following our graduations, he in business administration/marketing and me in nursing. We settled in the Dayton area where his family lived and started our careers and family, and just a couple years later I was offered a position as a private scrub nurse with a local surgeon. 23 years later, I am still employed by the same surgeon and consider our relationship more like extended family. My husband and I have raised two children to share our love of Ohio State. Our daughter is now a junior at Ohio State studying Athletic Training, and our son will graduate high school in June and continue our family tradition at Ohio State this fall! We are proud to be Buckeyes!"
Richlynn Moore, Class of 1981
"Our traditions and high standards continue to allow me a tangible example for my fourth-grade students."
Brian Harvey, Class of 1974
"I would not have travelled the world. I grew up in a small town in SW Manitoba, completing degrees at Brandon College and teaching public school for five years; two visiting professors from Ohio State encouraged me to apply for graduate school in psychology. In 1969 I accepted a Presidential Fellowship and began working with many wonderful profs, including Delos Wickens and David Hothersall, both of whom were amazing mentors and inspirational teachers. I also made lifelong friends, including Rocky Saxbe and Ed Razek, both proud Buckeyes. Graduating in 1974, I became a professor at U Missouri-Rolla; in 1979, I had a chance to return to Canada, accepting a professorship at the University of Victoria, from which I, after 30 years, recently retired. I now live in Seattle, where my wife, a Hawkeye, is a professor. Wanting to make my profs and alma mater "proud," I balanced my energies among the Big 3: service, research, and teaching. I am especially proud of receiving 5 "Outstanding Teaching" awards at UMR, one national U.S. award, 2 Canada national nominations, 1 U. Victoria teaching award, and an induction into the Canada Gold Leaf Society for work with international students. I loved working with both undergraduate and graduate students, and, in early March, I will see my 240th graduate student to completion, not all, happily, as supervisor. My research focus shifted while at UVic, and I am now in the 28th year of a joint project in China and the 20th anniversary of a joint project in Indonesia. But for Ohio State, I would not have travelled the world, fallen in love with a Hawkeye, and have two wonderful children and two amazing grandchildren just a ferry ride away in beautiful Victoria."
Anne Peterson/Petersen, Class of 1992
"I wouldn't have met my husband. While serving as an OWL (orientation welcome week leader) on south campus my sophomore year... we were introduced and began a heated discussion on how you correctly spell the last name "Peterson." Mine was with an 'on' and his was with an 'en.' In the end I guess he won as my name has been Anne Petersen for the last 17 years. He graduated in Spring 1992 with a degree in aereospace engineering, and I graduated that same day with a degree in elementary education."
Mary Drass Keenan, Class of 2004
"I would not have met my very best friends or my husband!"
Mohammad Firdaus M. Aari, Class of 2014
I traveled half the globe just to witness the Buckeyes' pride. Thanks to it, now I am here, far from my family, 9,400 miles from my hometown. But for Ohio State, I don't mind it.
Heather Johnson, Class of 2011
I wouldn't have had a second chance at becoming who I am today. After a few bad decisions and several of life's pitfalls I wasn't sure of myself any longer. My last career job left 500 people stranded when the plant shut down at the beginning of the recession. I had a choice - be another statistic or finally live up to the potential I knew deep down I had. I decided to go back to school to finish a degree I should have had years ago. Ohio State has given me the confidence to believe in the power of optimism, knowledge, hard work, and success that I had lost long ago. Now, I'm ready to step up and realize my dreams. I will be forever grateful for the network of support and mentoring that Ohio State students have access to.
I am thankful for the opportunity to grow into a better me. I am thankful for Ohio State.
I would not have a fulfilling career that engages me in a calling. Coming from private practice into academic medicine administration has been extremely rewarding. There is a buzz on campus you cannot replicate anywhere else. Working in the James is spectacular and I feel that I am called to my career.
But for Ohio State I wouldn’t be pursuing my career in pharmacy.
I never would have been able to march with the marching band at the national championship game, two times!
Linda Mercer, Class of 1957
I would not have had the confidence to return and complete an MA and PhD. My first degree in 1957, gave me the foundation in music education to have a successful teaching (and performing) career. I was fortunate to have some of the best instructors in music performance and education that were available. One of them, Dr. William Poland, encouraged my performing abilities, and later was my advisor for my PhD in music theory with psychology as a minor. He was exceptionally motivating and challenging - urging students to think critically. There were instructors in other areas who helped this small town girl open her mind and grow intellectually. I have many warm feelings about The Ohio State University, especially on Saturdays in the fall.
Susan Jamison Trent, Class of 1958
I would not have been able to continue learning throughout my life. They gave me the skills to teach myself. A degree in what was basically non-western History has always allowed me to understand and feel that I have a depth of knowledge of the world in which I live that is not shared by many people.
Rob Fields, Class of 2003
I wouldn't have gotten my college degree and gotten into education. And after Ohio State I completed art education certification. I moved out to DC, and now I teach children, our future, and along the way I have encountered many alumni who have helped me. My university supervisor was an adjunct with Ohio State. It gives me a lot of pride to wear my Buckeye clothing in the DC metro area, and I have even met some people in the area who are going to Ohio State.
Bret Apple, Class of 2011
I would not have been able to realize my dream of becoming a professional nurse, saving lives every day as my career. My dream of becoming a nurse has been made possible by The Ohio State University. I will forever be indebted to it and will always be a Buckeye. Forever.
I would never have attended college. It was the Depression years and $411 a year for room, board and tuition allowed me to matriculate. I met my husband at Ohio State, and I have always l-o-o-o-v-ed my university for seventy-six years.
Candie Lester, Class of 1996
I would not have the ability or understanding to assist students reach their academic goals. I returned to Ohio State as a non-traditional student in 1989 to complete the last year of my Bachelor's degree. My academic advisor in Arts & Sciences was a tremendous help to me. She made sure I received credit for all relevent coursework taken and completed degree requirements in a timely manner.
Mark H. Wilits, Class of 1992
I would not have opportunity, friends, and a chance to discover new places.
Connie Merrick, Classes of 1965
I might have gone to the University of Michigan.
I would not be able to travel anywhere in the US and immediately find good people by shouting two syllables: O H!
Sam W. Wohlfort, Class of 1950
I would never have had the opportunity of becoming a "glass chemist" at the Sharp-Schurtz Company in Lancaster Ohio!
While at Sharp-Schurtz we were blessed by the addition of our first-born
"Mark Jacob" whom we adopted with the help of Doctor Jacoby at White Cross
Hospital in Columbus. My wife Betty also helped by working at one of Mr.
Wexner's stores "Victoria's Secret" in Columbus, and actually met "Les"
during one of his visits to her store!
Les is an amazing man, and I hope that his gift will be used to lower tuition rates at Ohio State, so that many more students can afford the top-notch education that I got!
Leonard M. Goldstein, Class of 1950
I can't imagine the success and happiness I have received. The University changed my life story - my wife of 65 years, my first job that led to my ultimate career, my dearest lifelong friends and all the good things that followed.
Brian G. Johnson, Class of 2000
I would have never reached my lifetime dream of becoming an attorney. As a child I loved to read and write and also to watch Perry Mason reruns. I decided early on that I wanted to be a lawyer despite the fact that I had never met one in real life. My Dad was factory worker and my mom a secretary. In order for me to pursue my dream I would be have to go outside of my element and seek out opportunities to make my dream possible. I would have to be the first in my family to graduate from college, and still go further by completing law school. I did it... But for Ohio State my dream would have never been realized.
Peggy Talley, Class of 1984
But for Ohio State and the education I received, I would never have had the wonderful life I have experienced since attending Ohio State on an Ohio Air National Guard scholarship. Thank God for Mr. Wexner; Ohio State; the 220th EIS, Zanesville; and my husband!
I attended Ohio State as an older, married student on an Ohio Air National
Guard scholarship. The only advice I got from my husband to get through
Basic Training was, "Don't go to sleep on Guard Duty."
I am grateful to the 220th EIS, Zanesville, Ohio and Lt. Col. Jon MacMahon for allowing me to join the Guard and receive the scholarship. I appreciate each of my professors and graduate student teachers.
It took the whole six years of the enlistment period for me to graduate with a degree in Journalism, but it was worth every single march, every single drill, every single assignment or test!
I am no longer a journalist; I am a pastor in Arizona. I have a wonderful husband and two of the greatest children alive! Go Bucks!
Lois Beery, Class of 1969
I'd have graduated from a university not important enough to have The...in it's name. name. I just love having graduated from The Ohio State University. No matter where we lived or visited, our "O-H's were always answered with I-O's!! People have always respected the University. My husband, Merl Beery, carried the banner of the college of Agriculture/Food Science with him wherever he went. He went on to a great career at the wonderful Bob Evans Farms, who had shared a love for Ohio State... showing it with their on-going support. We are also thrilled that our University has provided 4-H a home environment where our students can grow and be nurtured . Bobby Moser and the group are, truly wonderful individuals who lead by example.
Matthew Gaddis, Class of 2007
I would not have had such a complete undergraduate experience. Attending college was dream of mine and like all students graduation was a goal from the beginning. Feeling the pressure of keeping my academics in line was my primary goal, and to some extent that could have kept me in a "comfort zone" socially and academically. Thanks to the various encounter's with University staff, resident advisors, social organizations, and professors, I feel that I was provided one of the most well rounded college experiences. My experience included intramural sports, chair of a few different student organizations, a student employee, success in the class room and a unforgettable study abroad trip to Brazil. My undergraduate degree in Construction System's Management has allowed me an effective member of my family construction company. I have no regrets about attending The Ohio State University.
Theresa Schmitt, Class of 1980
I completed a Bachelors Degree and made many new life-long friends. I received my Bachelor's degree in Therapuetic Recreation in June 1980 from Ohio State University. I have many fond memories of OSU and still have a few good friends from my college days. I have stressed to my own children the importance of an education, just as my mother and father did to me. I truly believe that anyone can get an education, if they are willing to wrok for it!
Peggy Allis Murriner, Class of 2002
I would be a shadow of the woman I am today. I studied overseas, competed as a Varsity athlete in rowing's inaugural Big Ten Championship, earned prestigious business degrees, and formed friendships that will last a lifetime. My years at OSU were a crucible for refining my character and discipline, accelerating personal growth. It was a launching pad for me to become an entrepreneur, start a franchise system, and become a wife and mother. It changed my life. I'm deeply indebted for the opportunities, the scholarships, and the staff that allowed me to squeeze every last drop out of my experience there!
John R. Gaudion, Class of 1977
I would be wandering aimlessly through life with few friends and little spirit.
OSU has literally meant everything to me. If it were not for the faculty,
I may have never graduated or figured out what to do with my life. They
not only gave me knowledge, but they gave me advice, mentorship, and
If not for the friends I met while in Columbus, I would not have nearly the contacts, the success, nor the memories that I am blessed to have.
If not for the Athletics Program, I would not have the stories to tell (I have met Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin), nor half of my wardrobe (Scarlet and Gray, with OSU logos).
I now live in Connecticut. My twin sons have wanted to go to THE Ohio State University since they were born. If it weren't for the extra costs for out-of-state students, there would be two more Buckeyes in this family!
Stacy Jenkins, Class of 2010
I wouldn't have extended family all over the world like I do. Being a military wife, I don't have the option of choosing where I want to be or where I want to go. In the past year alone I've lived in three different states. Ohio State alumni are all over this country. Whenever I see anyone wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt or see an individual proudly displaying their "Ohio State University Alumni" decal on the back window of their vehicle, I burst with pride and I feel like maybe, just maybe I'm not alone in this new town, and I'm a little bit closer to home. And no matter where the military takes us, "home" to me will always, always be Ohio State.
Rachel Long, Class of 2011
I would not have learned that through tragedy, one can find success. I was a sophomore when I transferred from Case Western Reserve University to The Ohio State University. The transfer was necessary, as my mother had taken ill and I needed to be at home to care for her. During the day, I sat at her side and at night, I attended class. Now, as graduation is only a week away, I realize that if it were not for my mother's illness, I would never have become a Buckeye. Through the experience of losing my mother, my senses were heightened and interests sparked. Now, I anxiously await the first day of graduate school, this coming fall. I will embark on my second OSU degree in September, when I begin working towards my Master's of Science in Nursing to be a nurse practitioner. But for Ohio State, I would not have found hope, opportunity, and the ability to find success through tragedy. But for Ohio State, I would not be who I am today.
D W Miles, Class of 1980
and God's grace go I... I'm a Business Administration graduate from the class of 1980. I'm currently a General Manager for one of the largest Transportation Services companies in the US. Although my concentration was accounting, I quickly learned there's so much more to business than keeping score and reporting. So I shifted my professional focus to Sales and General Management. However, I've always attributed my success to my accounting foundation! OSU has a terrific business school. I've always been proud of my OSU heritage, and I'm so touched about Mr. Wexner's enormous gift of appreciation! What a man..What a gift..What a university!..The OHIO STATE UNIVERISTIY..Go Bucks!!
Karl Lumpkins, Class of 1985
I would have a shallow understanding of integrity.
Sarah Honacki, Class of 2011
I never would have discovered who I am. I left Ohio State during my sophomore year due to personal hardships. Everyone at the university was understanding of my situation and offered to help in any way that they could. I left with a determination to one day return and finish my education. Almost 2 years later, I realized this goal and returned to campus. Now as I look forward to graduation in the spring, I realize that if it weren't for Ohio State, I never would have had the determination to finish my degree. Because of Ohio State and all that it represents and offers, I was focused on returning to the university and becoming a Buckeye once again. If not for Ohio State, I never would have discovered my true passions, career goals, or lifelong friends. I never would have had the opportunity to work in the biomedical informatics field, meet open minded professors, or learn to think for myself. But for Ohio State, I never would have learned who I am, how to overcome my problems, or how I can share my story and use my skills to help others.