The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Alumni share their views in letters to the editor.

Please write

We welcome your letters. Email them to subject line: In your words, or mail them to Ohio State Alumni magazine, 2200 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1035. We reserve the right to edit letters for space, clarity and civility. All submissions selected for publication will appear on this page.

Readers share their feedback on magazine redesign

Regarding the new look and feel of the magazine, I generally think the overhaul is well done. However (you knew a “but” was coming), I do have one complaint/suggestion. While I love Ohio State’s scarlet and gray colors as much as any loyal Buckeye, I find the pervasive use of gray (actually, screened black) type rather hard to read. It may be fine for recent, still-sharp-eyed alums, but for me at age 73, not so much. It makes me run to my 200-watt reading light. So please, return to the nice, crisp black type! Keep up the good work. We do enjoy the magazine.

Jack Wittmann ’65 MA
Lanham-Seabrook, Maryland

I see that you have now decided to drop individual AlumNews, In Memoriam and other significant individual alumni information from the print edition. Please help me understand why, other than save money.

The publication of this info allowed my wife and me to stay in touch with others in an active way. I look forward to receiving this publication for this connection alone. I cannot tell you the number of times I have connected with others over time when I read about them in the alumni magazine. So now I have to “check the Web.” What is likelihood I will do that?

For our money, you have gutted the publication of one of its primary reasons for being. I sincerely hope you reconsider your decisions. Clearly it was one not made with the best of the average alumni member in mind.

Bob Hothem ’75 (LM)
Centerville, Ohio

While I like the new look of the alumni magazine, I am not real pleased that AlumNews and In Memoriam are not included in the print edition. Deleting those sections will not keep alums engaged and involved; it will add distance. Personally, I like to see the accomplishments of fellow alums and learn of the passing of others.

One of the joys of the old format was to be able to keep it by the nightstand and read it piece by piece to get a snapshot of the entire OSU community. Honoring alums through class notes and memorial notices on the website now places more emphasis on the university and less on the alums who support the magazine through annual dues. I believe it is called Ohio State Alumni magazine, not University magazine.

Craig Phillips ’72
Lenexa, Kansas

Yes, we have noticed! The new look and feel of the latest issue is indeed different. Unfortunately, in our estimation, the new look and feel of the magazine is not appreciated.

We have found the magazine difficult to read. Please return to the former format. If that is not possible, then please increase the type to a legible size.

John R. Parkinson ’51 (LM)
Joann R. Parkinson (LM)
Vancouver, Washington

The new format looks nice and content remains of interest. But, look at the page with Archie Griffin’s opening letter. Light gray lettering, tiny type size. Unreadable. Please remember that many of us alumni are older than you, and we cannot read small or low-contrast print. As you plan future editions, please keep us in mind so that we can read and enjoy our continued connection with our beloved alma mater.

Stephen Lipson, ’65 (LM)
Tucson, Arizona

Just received November–December 2014 issue of Ohio State Alumni. I much prefer the old format. The print was easier to read, and I missed not seeing AlumNews and In Memoriam listings. I liked the photos and In Your Words.

Irene Cavas Rousos ’58 (LM)
Westerville, Ohio

I love reading the alumni magazine’s research articles, but I find that all content is consistently interesting and excellent. And, wow, that Kris Tikson TBDBITL story in the November–December issue! The power of dreams and music.

Zach Waymer ’97

I received my OSU alumni magazine the other day, which I very much enjoy.However, this time I was very disappointed that you have made two changes:

The print is now very light and very difficult to read. Please consider changing it back to how it has been previously.

Removing the AlumNews and In Memoriam from the actual magazine was not a good choice since it’s a major part of the magazine. And contrary to popular opinion, not everyone has a computer, and some don’t have access or the how-to to find information online, so they are missing a lot. Please consider putting this information back into the magazine.

Jane Davis Gladwin ’57, ’73 (LM)

Bring back the AlumNews and In Memoriam in the format in which they were listed. These two sections should remain innate to the alumni association magazine.

AlumNews celebrates the continuing climb in careers of friends, colleagues and fellow Buckeyes. In Memoriam celebrates the lives of those who have contributed to the memories and spirit of our experiences at Ohio State. Both are honorable groups and should never have been excluded, let alone requiring a search on the association’s webpage.

I simply do not understand how such an editorial decision could be deftly made with total disregard to your subscribers and to the very fabric of alumni!

Joseph R. Zimmerman ’79
Falls Church, Virginia

I am a 1961 grad. The Ohio State Alumni magazine is my contact to people I was in school with. This month, I was sorry to see that you removed In Memoriam from the magazine. Please put it back.

David Gardner ’61 (LM)
Naples, Florida

As a journalist of more than 45 years, I am disappointed — no, appalled — by the new look of the alumni magazine. It is obvious that you are cutting corners to save costs because the quality of the publication has been severely compromised. The lighter-colored print throughout much of the magazine is more difficult to read and, indeed, fades into the page (“Donors in-kind”) in some cases.

The cover is bland (nothing against the subject but, rather, the design). And the removal of the AlumNews and In Memoriam to the website is a serious loss. I sincerely hope that your new editor will restore the magazine to its previous format or come up with something better. This is truly one of the worst makeovers I have ever seen.

James M. Evans '67 (LM)
Ramona, California

I’m finding the new gray print difficult to read. There is so little contrast between the gray of the font and the white of the page that the print doesn’t stand out. The shiny paper doesn’t make for comfortable reading either. Please use black print so that the articles are easier to read. Thanks!

Kathleen Kelly Snapp ’61 (LM)

Editor’s note: Mary Alice Casey, editor of Ohio State Alumni magazine, writes about the new magazine design and addresses the feedback received. Click here to read the column.

Medalist award choice prompts feedback

I am very surprised by the association’s decision to give the Alumni Medalist Award to a longtime president of Planned Parenthood. While Planned Parenthood provides a variety of health services, the organization is most frequently associated with abortion, one of the most controversial and divisive issues facing our country. Your choice of Ms. Faye Wattleton can be viewed as the university taking a position on this issue, and my sincere hope is that this is not the case. If I’m wrong, then I am afraid you are in conflict with a considerable portion of its alumni, myself included.

Adam Zeiger 02’

I was dismayed to see that our university chose to honor Faye Wattleton with the Alumni Medalist Award.

With all of the hundreds of thousands of alums who are living today, surely there were some less incendiary choices out there. Regardless of where one stands on this “litmus test” issue, common sense dictates to steer clear of the emotionally charged and the political.

As a student at Ohio State in the late ’70s and early ’80s, we were challenged to think critically. Obviously some committee members failed to use those very skills in making this year's “highest honor” selection.

James M, Bevacqua ’81 (LM)
Glendale, Calif.

As an alumna of The Ohio State University, I am proud of the Alumni Association leadership’s wherewithal to select Faye Wattleton for the 2014 Alumni Medalist Award. I can only imagine that the decision was made with some serious reflection. I applaud OSUAA’s willingness to recognize distinguished leadership by a hard-working alumna whose career reflects another facet of the university’s founding as a land-grant institution intended to serve all its citizens.

Laurel Van Dromme ’91
Lewis Center, Ohio

College grads’ job woes worrisome

Several months ago, I read the “From Archie” article in which he encouraged more alumni to write letters to the editor. I was pleased he wants more feedback, and I knew exactly what point I wanted to make when I got around to writing this letter.

In September 2012, the radio and TV news reports included the infrequent statement that there were 1.7 million college degree holders drawing unemployment, but only 1.4 million lesser educated people drawing unemployment.

Where was the outrage? I did not read or hear of a single institution of higher learning across this great nation address this woeful situation and, I must say, I am very disappointed there was not one article in this alumni magazine about those college grads over 25 years of age drawing unemployment outnumbering high school grads. Any article relative to college degree holders being unemployed is mostly restricted to those under 25 years of age and new to the job market. But that is NOT the big problem. The big problem is Ohio State University graduates working in warehouses (factories, docks, ships, as truck drivers, etc.) for 30 years side by side with high school graduates for companies that “streamline” them out of a job, and they cannot get another common labor job, much less a job to use their college degree from 30 years ago.

I recently saw a political cartoon with two high school seniors discussing plans after high school. One said to the other, “I am going to go to welding school for nine months and get a job paying $55,000 a year.” The other said, “You are such a loser. I am going to college and major in fine arts.” The welder said, “And run up a bunch of student loan debt and get a job earning $30,000.”

High school and college counselors need to explain to wanna-be college grads that the majors they choose do have serious and lifelong consequences. I am not talking with sour grapes. I chose a major in a much-needed field of endeavor and have been blessed to work my entire life and enjoyed every minute of it.

If anyone in the university’s administration wants to know how to take some steps in the right direction to cure this problem, contact me, as I have dozens of people willing to assist The Ohio State University to become the best place in America to get a degree that leads to a job worthy of a college degree.

Roger J. Wright ’72 (LM)
Mechanicsburg, Ohio