The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Alumni share their views in letters to the editor.

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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.

Two thumbs up

The September-October issue of Ohio State Alumni is just spectacular, one of the best of the year. Congratulations. You do a great service to all of us who spent time at Ohio State.

Robert L. Dilenschneider ’67 MA
Darien, Connecticut

Sustainable pride

Oh, how proud I am after reading “How we’re winning with zero waste” (September–October 2015). I, like so many others, try my best to be as “green” as possible and aim to hand over our planet to the next generation better than we received it. It can be a frustrating endeavor: There are too many examples showcasing that for every one step forward, we seem to take two steps back.

Well, I’ve got to tell you, of all the things that I have been proud of from Ohio State through the years, discovering how students are leading the charge to intelligently dispose of waste at Ohio Stadium and beyond takes the cake. It’s absolutely inspiring — from the vision, application and getting people involved to its foresight to expand its goals at all Ohio State campuses.

Please raise your compostable (recyclable or reusable) cup for a toast to Gemma Bush, members of the group Students for a Sustainable Campus, volunteers and everyone else involved. Thank you for showing us how it’s done! Keep Going.

Michael Wiesenhahn ’01 (LM)

Answering ‘The’ question

In response to the letter from Alan Wieder ’71, ’77 PhD in the alumni magazine (September–October 2015) as well as to many around the country whose acquaintance with Ohio State begins and ends with athletes’ introductions on TV, there is a good reason why it is called “The” Ohio State University: That’s its name, which comes from the Ohio Revised Code (3335.01): “The educational institution originally designated as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College shall be known as ‘The Ohio State University.’”

L. Michael Howard ’72 ’83 MA (LM)
Westerville, Ohio

Editor's note: The Ohio General Assembly originally voted on May 1, 1878, to change the school’s name to The Ohio State University. More recently, lawmakers adopted Section 3335.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, which became effective Oct. 1, 1953.

As an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University (1965–69), professors drummed it into us that we should always say or write the name as “The Ohio State University.” Whenever we asked why, the response was often vague, but sometimes creative, such as, “Because we have our own U.S. post office, and that is our official name,” for instance. Dr. Wieder may have missed those classes, but for most of us, it became and stays a point of pride. After completing my master’s at Oregon State University and returning to Ohio State as assistant curator of the herbarium in the botany department, I always tried to be sure our student assistants used the “correct” name on anything we produced or labeled. But the real understanding came when I went on to study at “that school up north,” where I completed my PhD in 1976. Interestingly, faculty members there were trying to get their students to always say The University of Michigan! Why do we Ohio Staters say “The”? The same reason we raise our arms in O-H-I-O!

W. Alan Wentz ’69
Germantown, Tennessee

Beloved teacher

Thank you for the very good article honoring Dr. Charles Spohn and former marching band arranger John Tatgenhorst (“Hang on Sloopy: The anthem that almost wasn’t,” September–October 2015). I completely agree with John’s assessment: “Charlie” was an inspiration and excellent teacher. I, too, was a percussion music education major and thoroughly enjoyed my learning time at Ohio State. Your good work is much appreciated.

Geary H. Larrick ’65
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Welcome memories

The picture of four freshmen in 1940 caught my attention since that was also my freshman year at Ohio State. (I do not remember the freshman caps.) The picture brought back many happy memories of the Oval — the “crossroads” of the campus and where we marched as proud members of Mortar Board. Thank you for the picture from “my era.”

Frances Burgoon Bicknell ’44
Madison, Wisconsin

Constitutional matters

I read Senator Glenn’s comments in the most recent issue of the alumni magazine. It was an interesting quote that the magazine determined to highlight. May I paraphrase it? “We have a Constitution that is the envy of the world. Let’s change it.”

The Constitution was written solely for a moral and religious people, as President Adams observed. Adams went on to observe that it was wholly inadequate for any other type of people.

Unless our society is a moral and religious people, rather than improve the Constitution, we will follow the steps of destruction other Republics in history have followed.

Five thousand years of recorded history offer only a handful of Republics. Rather than improving with age, Republics tend to die as people with a similar mindset to Senator Glenn’s attempt to improve them.

Ted Leithart ’80 (LM)
Loveland, Ohio

Unlikely Brutus fan

This is Murray, a 3-month-old lab doodle who is a Wisconsin Badger fan. When family gave him a new toy to go at it, they were sorely mistaken. Murray is not seen without his favorite companion, Brutus.

Murray is a peacemaker, but I believe he knows class with a capital C! They were going to introduce a Bucky Badger this past weekend and are a bit nervous. We think they should be!

Happy birthday, Brutus, from your loyal fans here in Buckeye Nation and from your loyal companion, Murray, a Wisconsin Badger!

Diane Pizzola
Ostrander, Ohio