The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Letters to the editor

Carol Schwiebert ’17 MPA writes about growing into philanthropy, and other alumni write about Ohio State’s engineering legacy, campus memories and more in this installment of letters to the editor.

What would you like to share?

We welcome your letters, which we ask be limited to 250 words or less. Please send them to Letters selected for publication typically address topics raised in Ohio State Alumni Magazine, although the editor reserves the right to make exceptions. All published letters appear online, and a selection appears in our print edition. We edit letters for space, clarity, accuracy and civility. When readers’ published views prompt others to write, the latter submissions are the last published on a particular topic. All letters represent the opinions of the letter writers, not those of the magazine team, alumni association or university.

Philanthropy: forever in style

Graduates Sarah Nerad, Alex Reed and Angee Acquista
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Graduates (from left) Sarah Nerad, Alex Reed and Angee Acquista meet at a gathering of Women & Philanthropy, which supports the innovative work of students and faculty.

A photograph in the summer issue of Ohio State Alumni Magazine captured three alumnae sharing a moment of enthusiastic connection at a recent Women & Philanthropy celebration. The photo was snapped moments after I introduced Sarah Nerad ’15 MPA, a former classmate of mine in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and Alex Reed ’15, a new friend I met through Ohio State’s Young Alumni Academy, to my aunt, Angee Acquista ’86. I admire each of these women, along with more than 200 other members of our organization, for their strength and passion to serve their communities.

Women & Philanthropy provides us with an opportunity to connect with one another and pay forward together by choosing the causes and students we fund each year through a unique voting process. We connect across generations to empower future Buckeyes, advance research pursuits and impact our university community.

As an alum, stewardship professional at Ohio State and council member for Women & Philanthropy, I was delighted to see the story on our organization and to read the feature on Sarah Parker, one of our four inspiring scholarship students.

Never before have I encountered such a kind, giving, genuine group of women, united in a common purpose. I could not be more proud of Sarah for living out her values as she pursues a career in fashion, commits to sustainability and seeks opportunities to volunteer. A life rooted in a philosophy of giving will always be in style, and I invite others to join our mission to pay forward. You can find out more

Carol Schwiebert ’17 MPA

Ohio State of mind — in NY

Following up on your Where I Live story on the capital region of New York (summer 2019), I wanted to share our story about life in the Empire State. Eight years ago, my husband (and fellow 1991 graduate), Scott, and I left Ohio to pursue better jobs. We landed in the Corning/Horseheads/Elmira area of New York, also known as the Southern Tier.

Renting our first house in Big Flats, New York, led to my cherished friendship with Connie Zehr, an Ohio State graduate of 1960. She is an artist who specializes in glass and sand installations, and her studio is truly a sight for the creative eye. It has been a blessing to meet her, and she remains one of my favorite people on the planet.

My love of books and reading brought me to another Buckeye. Owen Frank ’90 is the local librarian at Horseheads Free Library, less than two miles from our house. He always has a smile on his face and an “O-H!” to exclaim as I enter the library. He proudly displays the book Brutus Buckeye on the corner of the children’s section and has the artist who does a mural for the library inconspicuously incorporate an Ohio State icon in the drawing each season.

These Buckeyes of the Southern Tier mean a lot to me. Buckeye blood runs deep, even 440 miles from Columbus. Be proud of your alma mater; the four of us most definitely are!

Juliann Erdman ’91
Horseheads, New York

Standing O for humanity

Thanks to Jim Smith and his colleagues for the summer issue of the alumni magazine and their efforts to illustrate what is surely the essence of The Ohio State University community: a common desire to do good and the willingness to live out this desire with action.

I first noticed that Ohio State was a different sort of place when I transferred in as a student in 1980. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t recall the loving care of instructors such as Claire Rothenbuhler and professors such as Steve Still and Frank Himes. Those people and the community at large understand the inherent worth and value of the individual. Above all else, I hope the university continues to embrace and celebrate care in action.

Please keep up the good work, President Michael V. Drake, professors Emily Rodgers and Jerome D’Agostino, alumni Edison Fowlks and Pete Edwards, along with the many others who exemplify much of what is good in this world.

Sam Ogilvie ’84
Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Building on firm footing

I was so glad to see the importance of civil engineering highlighted with The Legacy’s focus on a 1900 surveying camp in the summer issue.

Over 100 years later, geospatial measurements are still foundational to the work of civil and environmental engineers — with several exciting differences: Today, a 14-student Ohio State crew like the one you pictured would include four women and one or two members with a nonwhite racial identity. Plus, crews can be smaller because they are aided by drones, digital imaging and satellite remote-sensing tools.

The images obtained by these diverse teams ensure that civil, environmental and geodetic engineers can continue their ever-critical work to raise the quality of life for rural and urban communities by providing and monitoring safe and reliable built infrastructure.

Allison MacKay
Professor and chair
Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Department

Stories spark appreciation

I spent just one year at Ohio State achieving my master’s degree in engineering courtesy of the GI Bill. But it was happy and productive, and it led to the Procter & Gamble interview that defined the rest of my working life.

However, my ties to Ohio State and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute have remained tight, and I always enjoy the alumni magazine.

The stories in the latest edition, featuring the current impact of Ohio State and its graduates around the world, provided the latest, most moving picture of our university’s broad contributions. I was moved to write this note to thank you for your effort and creativity in painting this continuing picture of world impact. I appreciate your inspirational work.

Franklin H. White ’51 MS
Cincinnati, Ohio