The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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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.

Signs of those times

I enjoyed your remembrance of Lenore “Toni” Hightower Auch ’54, ’56 MA in the summer print edition. The story prompted me to revisit a 1961 newspaper photo and caption announcing I had been named Ohio State’s first female head cheerleader. In response, hostile letters to The Columbus Dispatch listed reasons why a woman should never be a head cheerleader and asked how the university allowed this to happen.

Our 1960 squad was the first to have an even number of men and women; previously, there had been seven men and three women. Before my time, the head cheerleader flew with the team. However, it was determined to be impossible to have a woman on the plane, so I was driven to away games with a chaperone.

Do you know how long it took to get to Iowa when there were no freeways? I got home at 3 a.m. Afterward, I received a letter from the Women’s Self Government Association stating I was going to be kicked out of Ohio State for coming in after hours. The chaperones explained it was impossible to drive that distance by our curfew of 10 p.m.

My predecessors as head cheerleader received a Varsity O letter. The athletic department notified me that a letter was not possible because I was a woman. Administrators decided not to give a letter to future head cheerleaders to avoid problems. Phyllis Bailey, then head coach of the women’s basketball team and later assistant athletics director, wrote to me and said, “Unfortunately, you just came to Ohio State too soon.”

Still, it was a fun time to be on campus. Lot of stories.

Cindy Wentz ’62
Dublin, Ohio

With dialogue comes change

In June, Ohio State posted an alumni magazine article titled “Head of the Class” and an accompanying photo on LinkedIn. In response, I shared this comment about the post: “Of these 21 people, there may be three women. Of these 21, there is no representation or diversity — only white bodies are present. There are four words, ‘Head of the class’ and one image. How does this image represent and/or challenge The Ohio State University’s commitment to racial equity and justice?”

My stomach churned as I watched several pejorative responses to my post accumulate. I thought of this quote from Mélisande Short-Colomb, a descendant of two families enslaved and then sold to ensure the solvency of Georgetown University: “It is because I love you that I can demand accountability.”

As a 1990 graduate and executive coach and co-creator of the Reimagining Racial Equity workshop, I felt the need to reach out to connect with the author. To her credit, she openly engaged in conversation and connected me to the editor of the magazine. From there, we leaned into learning together. I shared about the use of an equity filter and wondered how the use of one question — “What are the unintended outcomes of using this picture with this article?” — may have eliminated this discordance altogether.

The alumni magazine staff changed out the picture on its website, and Ohio State replied on LinkedIn: “We hear and agree with your concerns, Wendy, and we’ve chosen a more fitting photo to accompany the story on our website.”

My wish is that, because of our enduring love for Ohio State, we will all continue to demand accountability that sustains our university’s commitment to racial equity and justice.

Together we rise.

Wendy Moomaw ’90
The native lands of the Piscataway, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

A true Buckeye for life

Marjorie Gates Welfare ’42
I am proud to share my alma mater with my grandmother, Marjorie Gates Welfare ’42. Nana was born a Buckeye, as her home for the first 21 years of her life was on 14th Avenue, right in the heart of campus life. She grew up in the midst of sorority and fraternity homes, and her parents boarded students. By the time she decided to go to college, there was no choice but The Ohio State University.

Her senior year, she was elected president of Mortar Board, then open only to women and selected for their achievements in scholarship, leadership and service. Her proudest moment was leading Mortar Board members through the Oval Mirror Lake for the secret formal initiation of the new junior co-eds.

After graduation, Nana moved to Cleveland to teach. But her heart never left Columbus or Ohio State. She remains a dedicated alumna to this day — at the age of 101! Until last year, she was still using her alumni football tickets to cheer on her beloved Buckeyes. Nana surely epitomizes the term “Buckeye for life.”

Libby Buckley ’07 DDS
Westlake, Ohio

Small but sweet tradition

I was talking to a friend on the street in Santa Monica, California, recently when a young man began to pass us on the sidewalk. He was wearing a red T-shirt with “Ohio State” across the front. I stopped my conversation and said “Go Bucks.” He paused, looked at me, smiled broadly and said “Go Bucks” as he walked off. I could not have been more elated or prouder of my university than I was by that simple act. It is almost 60 years since I started my career path at Ohio State, and I still get pumped when I hear “Go Bucks.”

Stuart Fisher ’66 MD
Los Angeles

They love a parade

Former drum majors Bruce Hart (in first car) and Dwight Hudson interact with the crowd as grand marshals of 2021 Pataskala (Ohio) Street Fair Parade.

Former drum majors Bruce Hart (in first car) and Dwight Hudson interact with the crowd as grand marshals of the 2021 Pataskala (Ohio) Street Fair Parade.

How do you create a great parade? Pataskala’s Rotary Club has the answer: Invite two unforgettable and outstanding former drum majors of The Ohio State University Marching Band to lead it! In August, Dwight Hudson and Bruce Hart ’84 served as grand marshals of the annual Pataskala Street Fair Parade, which had the theme “We’re Back, Folks!”

Dwight and Bruce were raised in Pataskala, participated in the parade as youngsters, were drum majors at Licking Heights High School and made a name for themselves at Ohio State as charismatic drum majors. Both were known for their showmanship, athleticism, twirling skills (including the heights their batons reached!) and magnetic personalities

Dwight was Ohio State’s drum major from 1977 through 1979 and Most Inspirational Band Member in 1978. Bruce was drum major in 1982 and 1983, filling the role just before Paul Droste retired after 14 years as band director

After graduating, both had successful careers. Dwight performed with the LA Rams and then at Lake Tahoe. He recently retired from his accounting position at the University of California Hastings College of Law and lives in Columbus.

Bruce taught high school social studies in Dallas while also touring the nation to conduct clinics for drum majors. He found his passion in 1992 when he founded ESP Productions, which specializes in large-scale pageantry productions for sporting events, including college bowl games. Bruce also produced and directed such notable events as the U.S. Olympic Festival and the World Expo Opening Ceremonies in Brisbane, Australia.

Our recent Pataskala parade will be long remembered for the huge crowds that loudly showed their admiration for these two hometown celebrities. Dwight and Bruce won’t forget that warm welcome, cheers from their high school band and the love of old friends. And having cheered on Dwight and Bruce at Licking Heights and Ohio State football games, I’ll long remember this year’s magical parade day in Pataskala, too.

Judy Switzer Baird ’75
Parade chair, Pataskala Rotary Club

Magic thoughts and more

Readers of Ohio State Alumni Magazine online shared these sentiments after the spring and summer issues.

I was impressed with the different perspectives Joshua Jay ’05 incorporates into magic. It is an all-encompassing passion. Your summer issue article offered an excellent opportunity to expand our attitudes toward magic.

Pat Fisher Clendenin ’68
Dallas, Texas

I think it is great that Ohio State has dedicated a professional person and resources to further research and innovation, as noted in the summer issue story on Grace Wang, executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge. This coordinated combination and support of startups can be an incubator of new technologies applied to new businesses. If properly nurtured, the possibilities can be endless — with the only limitation being the boundaries of imagination.

Bruce Bauchmire ’76
Lewis Center, Ohio

The summer issue story on Molly Ranz Calhoun ’86 conveyed something I have always known: Giving your time is just as — and usually more — important than giving your money. Giving your time is definitely the way to get serious about something. You can always make more money; you can’t create more time for yourself. It’s finite.

Shawn Meade ’94
Alpharetta, Georgia

The reflections of Molly Ranz Calhoun concerning her first year as alumni association president and CEO explain why she was the right person at the right time for this role. I have talked to university employees who have had contact with Molly over the years and, like me, they have always found her to be “people first.” As leader of the Phoenix Alumni Club, I got a call from her in the weeks leading up to her start in her new role, and we had a good conversation. I wish her well going forward.

David Hocevar ’71
Sun Lakes, Arizona

I really enjoyed the spring digital exclusive on emotional quotients (EQs) for professional and personal reasons. It is very easy to see the world in black and white, which it isn’t — because each person is an individual and each has a story to tell. This article gave us tools to help us really hear the stories, to learn from them and to let us relate to others in a beneficial way.

Estelle Scott ’69
, Ohio

Yours was a succinct, yet thorough and comprehensive guide to EQ. Having it explained more in detail is a great benefit to improving relationships.

Paige Squires ’82
Ashland, Ohio