The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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May graduates Angela Mastronicolas, Brandi Zak, Patrick Finn and Tim Ritchey pause for a photograph on the Oval.

Jo McCulty

Letters to the editor

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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.

A simple tradition transports us

I confess that I don’t always read the alumni magazine, but the summer 2020 edition came the day I left for vacation and I took it with me. I am so glad I did!

I have been struggling in many ways through the pandemic, and the stories filled me with hope and encouragement. I could comment on each one, but “A Spirited Beginning” of four new graduates forming O-H-I-O evoked a special memory. I met Melissa Cunningham Pack ’89 on the first day of classes our freshman year. We had the same schedule, and at the end of the day, we decided that if we were going to have class together, we might as well be friends.

Thirty-five years later and separated by 9,500 miles, we are still friends. Melissa moved to Australia right after graduation and has lived there ever since. We catch up whenever she’s in the States.

Martha Landrum Buckner ’89
Ashland, Ohio

The Lantern:  wielding influence then and now

Amid its reputation for excellent news coverage and training journalism students, as noted in your spring issue, The Lantern also should be remembered for two public service campaigns it conducted 60 years ago that had a major impact on the Ohio State community.

During the 1959–60 school year, under the editorship of Don Bandy, the paper campaigned for ending discrimination on university housing lists that then specified racial preferences for private off-campus rooming houses. Student Senate also had prodded the administration to address the problem, and in July 1960, Ohio State adopted a policy calling for campus-area rooming houses to have their university registration revoked if they were found to discriminate against students on the basis of race, creed or national origin.

During the following year, when I had the honor to be editor, The Lantern campaigned for ending mandatory ROTC. Student Senate had recommended a switch to voluntary ROTC in early 1959, and faculty endorsed the recommendation in spring 1960. In our first issue of the 1960–61 school year, Lantern editors pushed for action. Trustees voted to make ROTC voluntary in my final month at Ohio State in spring 1961.

Thirty years later, I had the opportunity at a dinner in London to meet Roswell Gilpatric, who was deputy secretary of defense in the Kennedy administration when I was editor of The Lantern. I introduced myself as the editor whose staff had campaigned for voluntary ROTC. I didn’t know what his reaction would be. To my pleasant surprise, he said the Defense Department was pleased we had done so, because it enabled the government to concentrate its resources on students who wanted to become officers rather than those who did not, a point we made in our editorials.

Long live The Lantern and its dedication to the best in journalism and public service!

Myron Belkind ’61
Retired Associated Press international bureau chief
Washington, D.C.

Thanks, Ohio State

This COVID-19 pandemic had taken all the wind from my retirement sails. After working for over 45 years, my wife and I had planned on travel, leisure and all the fruits of a life well-spent. Now we have been nearly house-confined for over six months with no end in sight.

In reaching out to old friends, we called ones in Florida whom we had not seen in 20 years. We talked and laughed and got caught up. Al’s youngest granddaughter in Florida had just graduated from college. “Where from?” I asked. “She went to Ohio State,” he said. “Did she like it?” “She LOVED IT!”

Out of the blue I went from depression to elation. An old relationship rekindled. A new alumna with memories for a lifetime. Amazing how the Ohio State experience still tantalizes.

Stuart Fisher ’66 MD
Los Angeles

Disturbance abated

I was at Winn-Dixie in Venice, Florida, wearing my Ohio State T-shirt. A child was screaming near me with both parents there. I am thinking, “Can’t they shut him up? Bad parents.” Then I hear a parent say, “Yell it louder!” OK, he is yelling “O-H”! I had to answer, “I-O.”

Nancy Shaffer Weaver ’74
Tiffin, Ohio

Buckeye pride: an early example

Was there really any indication that my daughters would become robust Buckeyes? Yes, I am an Ohio State grad who grew up in Ohio on Buckeye football and married a Northwestern grad who soon succumbed to Buckeye fervor. But could the daughters become contrarians?

Both daughters were born in the shadow of the ’Shoe and were introduced early on to the traditions of game day, including “The Game,” both at home and away. Wins and losses produced emotions either of exaltation or abject heartache. But how can such young daughters sustain this nourishment for the Buckeyes, especially after our family exited Columbus for Milwaukee and Chicago? Well, perhaps the following will provide a blueprint for avid Buckeye fandom!

To further ingrain scarlet and gray lore, I took the girls to Big Ten luncheons, where they met Woody, who showed his gentle and gracious side (as opposed to his on-the-field rough, tough, take-no-prisoners demeanor).

Years later, as we were preparing to depart Chicago for a home game against The Team Up North, our youngest daughter, then 9, became ill, prompting the doctor to recommend staying home. In her most earnest (and convincing) voice, she replied, “I’ll be OK — I just have Buckeye fever!”

Another excellent example came in a story written in 1974 by our then-12-year-old as a grade-school assignment. The faded copy, which I recently found, is in her own penmanship. It is entitled Mystery at Ohio Stadium and is about the 1973 team that went undefeated except for the controversial 10–10 tie at Michigan, which we attended. The story centers around an attempt by an unknown person who was hired by a “bad guy” to sow confusion and disorder within a team that included such stars as Archie Griffin, Cornelius Greene, John Hicks and Randy Gradishar.

The mystery was solved when the unknown person was caught in Michigan’s Big House during the Buckeye game and confessed he was hired by John McKay, the highly successful USC coach who turned out to be the “bad guy.” According to this tale, McKay believed his team could not beat the Buckeyes and therefore wanted to keep them out of the 1974 Rose Bowl. His efforts failed, though, as the big Buckeye win, 42–21, proved Coach McKay’s concern was accurate if not prescient. Once again, good prevailed over evil, and all was well in Columbus Town as another foe was vanquished.

No doubt our daughter’s ardor and devotion to the Buckeyes were displayed and reaffirmed in her story, for which she earned the comment “One of the best” from her teacher, a Michigan grad no less! The author is now in her 50s and still attends games with her sister and me, traveling from Texas.

William Hensge ’55
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Love for science and fellow Buckeyes

Readers of Ohio State Alumni Magazine online shared these comments on stories in the summer issue.

It's nice to see these scientists highlighted and recognized for their enduring commitment to the health and safety of the people of the world. Linda Saif is someone few might know about if it weren’t for the current pandemic. I appreciate reading success stories of women in science.

Marlene Parker ’04 MS
Powell, Ohio

The more we hear from experts like Dr. Saif, the better we can accept and carry out the obligations of citizenship in facing the future.

Tom Baxter ’69
Worthington, Ohio

As a health care professional, trying to learn more throughout this crisis is important to me. Thanks for the helpful feature on Dr. Linda Saif.

Barb Settles Huge ’81
Fishers, Indiana

It was interesting to learn that a scientist from Ohio State has been researching coronaviruses for 40 years now and to see her information and perspective on this timely and important topic. Thank you for interviewing her for Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

Melinda Juchem Reed ’92
Avon, Ohio

The travels of Grandma Joy and Brad Ryan have been very inspirational! This article did a great job providing the background for their journeys. I am 68 years old, and my grandson is 11 years old. His father passed away three years ago, and he and I have taken a road trip every summer since. Last year, we covered over 7,500 miles, including several national parks. I concur with Brad and Joy that there is much to learn in all these journeys, and much is to be gained by crossing generational lines. Thank you for this article. It was very insightful and inspirational!

Steve Cammett
Trail Creek, Indiana

I love reading stories about university leaders and their connections to Ohio State. I’ve had the pleasure of working near, with and for new alumni association President and CEO Molly Ranz Calhoun ’86 for my entire career at Ohio State. (I even lived in the Stadium Dorm after she oversaw its renovation!) Her energy is boundless and contagious. Great hire by the alumni association!

Tom Reeves ’93, ’05 MA
Columbus, Ohio

It’s refreshing to know that Dr. Andrew Thomas, a beloved Ohio State alumnus, is at the forefront of mitigating COVID-19 and the staff, space and supply chain it has impacted.

Lisa Clarke Hill ’00 MSW
Moultrie, Georgia

The story about Linda Saif was so fascinating. She has dedicated her entire career to help the rest of us prepare for this worldwide pandemic moment. As a child growing up on a farm, she asked herself, “Why does this happen?” And look where her curiosity has taken her — four decades later. She is an inspiration to so many young inquiring minds.

Beth Schultheis D’Antonio ’84
Columbus, Ohio

It is wonderful and encouraging to see a young girl from rural Ohio growing up to become a prominent Buckeye virologist involved in researching the coronaviruses, causing SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

Sarah Stone Hoy ’08 MS
Essex Junction, Vermont

Dr. Saif’s story and research make me proud to be a Buckeye! I am hopeful that she will be part of the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to develop a vaccine that is both safe and effective.

Virginia Miller ’73
Lubbock, Texas

The more information and study on this worldwide dilemma, the better for everyone. Linda Saif has my admiration.

Sheila D. Lehman ’86 MS
Columbus, Ohio

It is interesting to note the vast expertise of our staff and alumni. The article on Dr. Saif was quite interesting and informative.

Judy Greenawalt McDermott ’87 MS
Treasure Island, Florida

Sars-cov-2 is a dangerous coronavirus. In the past few months, I’ve read everything I could find that I had any chance of understanding. I hope a safe cure is found and that especially people in the United States will take this virus seriously. I grew up during a time when antibiotics became commonplace, and we thought doctors could cure almost any disease. I am glad to see Ohio State at the forefront of this coronavirus.

Darlyne Reising ’96 MIS
Medford, Oregon

Dr. Thomas has always been our “go to” person at Ohio State. I was pleased to learn more about his background and his role in the community.

Ron Kauffman ’62
Columbus, Ohio

I loved this story about the old, dear Lantern plodding on through bad conditions such as the COVID lockdown. That’s what good newspapers do! In my day, it was the politicians downtown trying to keep The Lantern from printing news and opinion related to the Communist scares following WWII. They put pressure on Ohio State authorities to “gag” The Lantern! Well, after a lot of fear-mongering and pressure on the J-school faculty, The Lantern’s right to print news and opinion was rescued by saner heads. The threats to the board to control those perceived “commie” editors and faculty were assuaged. And my much-loved Lantern rolls on!

Sharon Ruh Manhart ’54
Montrose, Colorado

It is heartening to know that Ohio State is at the forefront of so many life-altering fields of research.

Dave Eastburn ’72 MS
Todd, North Carolina