The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Alumni share their views in letters to the editor.

Please write

We welcome your letters. Email them to We reserve the right to edit letters for space, clarity and civility. All submissions selected for publication will appear on this page.

Music to their ears

I thoroughly enjoyed your article, “Written in Tradition” (November–December 2016). I loved the Script Ohio even before I became a Buckeye student in 1963 because our high school band director in Bedford, Ohio, praised The Ohio State University Marching Band to us and even designed a “Script B” for our halftime shows, performed to the same march the university used.

Because I now live in Alabama, I don’t get to visit the campus very often, but I did return this October for the Ohio State-Northwestern game with my son and his family. I was delighted to see the Script Ohio in person again after all these years. It was spectacular, as was the animated, spooky Halloween halftime show, which elicited a standing ovation.

Both my sons are avid fans of a certain SEC team, and the pregame band performances at the Ohio State-Northwestern game led to an interesting discussion that made me, as always, quite proud of my alma mater. When Northwestern’s band turned and faced the Buckeyes’ sidelines, their band director announced to the crowd that they would play the Ohio State fight song in honor of their host. “You’re kidding,” said my son.

A few minutes later, when Ohio State band members formed a huge capital “N” on the field and played the Northwestern fight song in honor of their guest opponent, my son added, “That would never happen in the SEC.” (I don’t really know if that is true or not.) I told him I thought it had always been done that way in the Big Ten. I also told him about the blood drive rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan. “That’s sportsmanship,” I said.

So hats off, scarlet plumes and all, to The Ohio State University Marching Band — its sportsmanship and its craft — as spectacular now as it was 50 years ago.

Ruth Beaumont Cook ’66
Birmingham, Alabama

[Click photo to enlarge]

Ruth Beaumont Cook ’66, second from left, shares a visit to Ohio Stadium with grandchildren Ryan, Rachael and Robbie Reuse and their mother, Meredith, for October’s game against Northwestern.

On my flight from Baltimore to Columbus for the Indiana game, I began chatting with the Buckeye fan next to me. It turns out it was Steve Pfaffman, who had arranged the music for the halftime show, “America’s Pastime.”

He explained how, in addition to the complexity in the maneuvers the last few years, the musicians themselves are significantly more accomplished as well, challenging the composers to develop more interesting arrangements. Steve was up to the challenge, and the halftime show arrangements were outstanding. Hats off to all the show designers, arrangers and everyone else behind the scenes for TBDBITL.

Dale Beasley ’86 (LM)
Elkridge, Maryland

Great reading

Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the November–December 2016 edition. Not only was the cover (“Above and Beyond”) impeccable, but the stories make this edition a keepsake. In light of one of the most controversial presidential elections ever, the content of the magazine was timely, concise and informative.

Cheers to Lynne Bonenberger, who did a great job of recapturing an Ohio State historical moment in the 1960s that our newer alums probably have no idea about. (Yes, the Oval was once used for more than sunbathing and studying.)

While I did my graduate studies at Ohio State and did not have a full-fledged undergraduate experience, this edition will go in the middle of my suite as dean of student development at Piedmont Community College.

Joelle Carter ’97
Durham, North Carolina

Seeking pre-’72 assistants

As the director of University Orientation and First Year Experience at Ohio State, I am excited to announce the Orientation 90th Anniversary Celebration.

Since 1927, Ohio State has welcomed new Buckeyes through the tradition of University Orientation. The rich history of the orientation program began with Freshman Week, intended to make newcomers feel that Ohio State is a great place to live as well as learn. The Ohio State University Monthly described those beginnings as “the biggest and finest thing to happen to the student body in generations.”

This year, we celebrate orientation and 90 years of helping new students find their home at Ohio State.

University Orientation and First Year Experience will host the Orientation 90th Anniversary Celebration in autumn 2017. Over the years, hundreds of students served as orientation assistants, and their help was critical in welcoming new students.

To recognize and celebrate all alumni who served as orientation assistants, we need help identifying those who served in this role prior to 1972. If you were a student who served as an orientation assistant before that time, please email us at with your name and contact information.

Throughout the celebration, orientation alumni will reconnect with classmates, the university and today’s Peer Leader program and have the opportunity to engage in fundraising projects to benefit first-year students. The reunion weekend will include a campus tour and cocktail reception for orientation assistant alumni, a family-friendly tailgate and the Sept. 23 football game against UNLV.

We’re thrilled to celebrate this historic milestone with champions of the university who have made Ohio State the extraordinary place it is today. We hope our orientation alumni can join us for this special weekend.

Bernie Savarese
University Orientation and First Year Experience

Bonding over Ping-Pong

I was surprised and saddened by the recent death of John Hicks. His exploits on the football field were legendary. But I saw another side of him while living in Stradley Hall in 1970.

Much of the team roomed in Stradley back then. One evening, I was in the basement doing laundry when massive John approached my 140-pound frame and asked if I wanted to play some Ping-Pong. I was stunned and a little scared. I politely declined. In a very pleasant but firm voice he said that I did want to play.

Well, play a game we did. Throughout, John was animated and quite friendly. I was good at Ping-Pong, but John was better that day. After quite the titanic contest, he thanked me and shook my hand. Nice guy.

Stephen Cherrington ’73 (LM)
Washington, D.C.


Ernie Godfrey was an assistant coach for the Ohio State football team in 1961 and not the trainer as noted in the November–December issue. The trainer was Ernie Biggs.