A ‘Carmen Ohio’ beyond compare
Grandson delivers the alma mater of a lifetime on the Orton Hall Chimes.
Dean Ramsey ’52 has more than a few fond memories tied to his school’s alma mater. But none approach the one created when his grandson, just weeks before graduation, played “Carmen Ohio” for him on the Orton Hall Chimes.
Drew Squires ’17 gave that gift to his grandfather in April as Ramsey sat under a tree on the south side of the Oval.
“What a day,” Ramsey said afterward, overcome with emotion. “You’ve got to be proud.”
While on staff at the Columbus campus for 30 years, Ramsey spent many lunch hours in this spot before retiring as assistant vice president of physical facilities in 1988. The best part of those midday breaks was listening to the chimes that resonate with every Buckeye.
So after Squires joined Ohio Staters Inc. as a freshman and became one of the fortunate few called on to play the historic chimes in Orton Hall’s grand old tower, Ramsey hatched an idea: How wonderful it would be, he thought, to hear one of his favorite people play one of his favorite songs.
When Ramsey brought it up in front of a writer working on a story for the alumni magazine, the wheels were set in motion.
Squires plays the chimes fairly often to fulfill special requests that come through Ohio Staters Inc. But this very personal concert for his grandfather was one-of-a-kind.
“It was definitely an honor to play ‘Carmen Ohio,’ especially for this special occasion,” he said. “I really enjoyed playing it, and I’m sure my grandfather enjoyed hearing it.”
Ramsey called his grandson’s performance “the culmination of a long history,” one dating back to the early 1900s and spanning five generations. For this family, the circle of life is clearly shaped more like an Oval.
“That’s almost too big to answer,” Ramsey said when asked what Ohio State means to him. “Luck of life, because the university has provided that for us [for] a lifetime. My whole subsistence was a result of Ohio State, really; family, the whole works.”
His days as a Buckeye may have ended freshman year had it not been for a faculty member to whom he will always feel indebted.
“I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, [but] I wasn’t strong in math and chemistry. I was ready to quit,” Ramsey recalled. “I was in Brown Hall looking at drawings on the wall when a person came down the hallway. I didn’t know who he was. He said, ‘Come down to my office.’”
That person was Charles Sutton, a professor of landscape architecture. During their long conversation, Ramsey shared his love of art and feelings of inadequacy in math and science. Sutton mapped out a path in the study of landscape architecture that Ramsey would follow to graduation. Their meeting also led Sutton, a few years later, to alert Ramsey when a job opened up in the university architect’s office. The recent grad competed for and won that position.
When Sutton died unexpectedly a few years later, Ramsey stepped in to teach two of his mentor’s design classes for the rest of the academic year. For this grateful Ohio State graduate, it was an honor to return a favor to a professor who changed the course of his life — and helped keep a family tradition intact.
Firm friendship: Family’s Buckeye roots go back 114 years
When Charles Wesley Reelhorn graduated in 1903 from Ohio Medical University, the forerunner of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, he started an academic tradition that has carried on through five generations of his family.
At spring commencement, Drew Squires added to the lineage of Ohio State graduates that began with his great-great-grandfather.
Here’s a look at the nine family members whose graduations span 114 years of Buckeye history:
- Charles Wesley Reelhorn, a 1903 graduate of Ohio Medical University, had a dental practice in Pataskala with his son Charles Eugene Reelhorn.
- Charles Eugene Reelhorn was a 1929 graduate of the Ohio State dental school. He played clarinet in The Ohio State University Marching Band and was a member of Psi Omega dental fraternity. His daughter Ann Reelhorn Ramsey, who attended Ohio State for a year, is the wife of Dean Ramsey.
- Dean Ramsey ’52 of Pataskala, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s in landscape architecture and was employed by the university from 1958 through 1988, including as the university’s first landscape architect, director of major construction and associate vice president of physical facilities.
- Marc Ramsey ’79 of Columbus earned a bachelor’s in art education. He retired from a 32-year career as a high school art teacher with Columbus City Schools and is a part-time teacher at Upper Arlington High School. He is Dean Ramsey’s son and Drew Squires’ uncle.
- Paige Ramsey Squires ’82 of Ashland, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and is a substitute teacher with Ashland City Schools after a 20-year career in human resources. She was a member of Ohio State Mansfield’s board of trustees from 1990 to 2003 and was president of the former alumni club in Ashland County in the late 1980s. She is Drew Squires’ mother.
- Greg Squires ’82 of Ashland, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and is a dairy business financial consultant with Land O’Lakes. He is a former leader of the alumni society for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He is Paige Squires’ husband and Drew Squires’ father.
- Allie Squires Burns ’14 of Perrysburg, Ohio, holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication and works as a human resources specialist with Cardinal Staffing. She is directs social media for the OSU Alumni Club of Wood County and leads summer send-off. She is Paige and Greg Squires’ daughter and Drew Squires’ sister.
- Nate Burns ’14 of Perrysburg, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s in agribusiness and applied economics. He is employed as a sales and logistics coordinator with Alfagreen Supreme. He is treasurer of OSU Alumni Club of Wood County and Allie Burns’ husband.
- Drew Squires ’17 of Ashland earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and, as of this writing, was deciding between several job offers. As a student, he was active in Ohio Staters Inc. and Texnikoi Engineering Honorary. He is the last in a long line of Buckeyes in this family. For now.