In Your Words
Alumni share their views in letters to the editor.
Please writeWe welcome your letters. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to edit letters for space, clarity and civility. All submissions selected for publication will appear on this page.
'Becoming a Buckeye' reflections
This memory is in response to the story on orientation that appeared in the July-August issue of Ohio State Alumni magazine.I attended orientation in July 1993, staying in Lincoln Tower. It so happened that my orientation date coincided with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. The alarm clock I brought was actually a clock radio-TV with a 4-inch black and white screen. On the night of the game, the seven other freshmen in my suite and I all gathered around my tiny TV to watch baseball together. That was the first time I experienced how Ohio State’s large size isn’t intimidating, but allows you to find a group to be a part of and feel welcome.
Tim Parish ’98, ’98 (LM)
Bowling Green, Ohio
I started at Ohio State on the Columbus campus fall quarter 1961 and attended the orientation program that September. Unbeknownst to me, photographs were taken. In 1964, I received a copy of The Ohio State University Bulletin and I was on the cover: the nerdy, bespectacled, 17-year-old guy in the light-colored shirt with “spots” just to the left of the title, "Your career at Ohio State.” My best friend and extremely smart roommate, Gene “Chip” Rose, is in front of me in the picture. Thanks for the chance to tell someone of my 15 minutes of fame.
Roger Braun, ’66, ’82 MS (LM)
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Asking ‘The’ question
I notice that Ohio State Alumni magazine often refers to The Ohio State University. As a two-time graduate of Ohio State, I am writing belatedly to question the university’s branding as “The” Ohio State University.
When I was a doctoral student in the 1970s, I was continually amazed and astonished by my professors. People such as Bernie Mehl, Paul Klohr and Warren Van Tine illuminated knowledge and taught me to question and think. “The” was never part of our acclamations of Ohio State. In fact, it’s hard to imagine as good a university as Ohio State needing to explain itself as “The.” Two other Big Ten schools that are arguably higher ranked academic institutions, Michigan and Wisconsin, don’t see the need for self-aggrandizement. We shouldn’t either.
I always laugh during NFL games when, in pregame introductions, players assert “The” Central High School. If we really are “The” Ohio State University, we should not have to say it.
Alan Wieder ’71, ’77 PhD
A fan and then some
I am a loyal Ohio State alum and a big fan of Buckeye athletics. However, I had never considered cheering for the Bucks from the grave, as Gene Kennon did.
I only knew Gene well enough to say hello to him on the New Mexico State University campus, where we both worked, and I didn’t know he was an Ohio State alum. But I enjoyed his acknowledgment of the national championship.
Lynford Ames ’65 PhD
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Editor's note: Enclosed with Lynford Ames’ letter was an obituary for Lawrence Eugene Kennon ’49. It appeared July 19 in the Las Cruces Sun-News. It reads, in part, “Gene attended and was graduated with a BFA in commercial art from The Ohio State University, home of football’s undisputed national champions.”
In addition to being a loyal fan, Gene Kennon served in the Army in the South and West Pacific during World War II. He was a technical artist for North American Aviation, worked for NASA on the Apollo moon project and was a commercial artist at New Mexico State University until retiring in 1989. He also was president of his neighborhood civic association, active in the PTA, a lay leader in his church and a city council member and mayor pro-tem of Las Cruces.
It occurred to me recently that this summer is the 60th anniversary of the Ohio State Symphonic Choir tour to Europe. The choir, under the direction of Professor Louis H. Diercks, departed by ship June 9, 1955, from Montreal, Canada. Paris was our first destination and concert date. The main focus of the trip was to perform and compete in the Eisteddfod part of the International Music Festival in Llangollen, Wales, starting July 4. Beforehand, we toured and performed concerts in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and England.
The 50 members of the choir, plus a group of five dancers, had an unbelievable experience in the six weeks that we were gone. This was just 10 years after the end of WWII. Europe was rebuilding, but many cities were full of skeletal remains of buildings; we saw German pillboxes along the English Channel. Audiences were incredibly enthusiastic and appreciative, even in Germany, where so much damage was done. Along with concerts, there was lots of sightseeing, wonderful food and drink, and an introduction to many European customs.
It was a remarkable and unforgettable opportunity for all of us to represent the United States and The Ohio State University. And Symphonic Choir took second place in the youth choir competition!
Barbara Biermann Cheney Walker ’59
‘OSU’ generates power on the farm
I thought you might be interested in my farm solar power array in the form of “OSU.” The array can be seen for many miles in the air and quite a ways on the ground. I originally wanted to put “McBride” on the roof, but that was too many letters. And since we have had three generations go to Ohio State, it was proper to honor our great educations.
The array consists of 156 panels producing 40 kilowatts of electricity for my farm. The letters are approximately 35 by 35 feet tall and show up for miles from the air.
We were trying to get it installed by the January championship game, and the installation crew from the state up north worked several days in wind chills of 25 below zero in order to get it installed before the game.
Every time the sun shines, OSU is working for me.
Jerry McBride ’83
Thanks again, Archie
I was in the stadium as a member of the marching band the day that Archie set the then-school record for rushing yards. I’ve been a fan ever since.
One of my most prized possessions is a photo of myself with Archie. Archie spoke to the Greater New Orleans Alumni Club (Cajun Buckeyes) some years ago. He patiently and graciously autographed every shirt, doll, napkin, photo and miscellaneous object presented to him. I was so taken by his generosity of time that I gave him a scholarship check that evening.
I can’t imagine a better representative for The Ohio State University. Best wishes, Archie!
Thomas Foutz ’73, ’75 MA (LM)
On behalf of your many Florida friends, I extend our sincerest appreciation and best wishes as you expand your Ohio State major responsibilities. Best wishes to you and your family.
Winter Park, Fla.
You and I were students at the same time. We never met, but for several quarters I worked part-time in the Bursar’s Office when fees were due. One quarter I had the privilege of meeting your father when he came in to pay your fees. It was a thrill for me and a memory I have always cherished.
Best of luck in your new endeavors with Ohio State!
Kim Knepper Grover ’77 (LM)
Thanks, Archie, for the memories. Though I graduated before you came to campus, you played football close enough to that time that I followed you and the team. Having you as the president of the alumni association gave me a connection to my time at Ohio State. Enjoy your next position and having more time with your grandchildren.
Catherine Schager Dudley ’69
Matawan, New Jersey
Many thanks for your numerous contributions to Ohio State. I saw your story recently told again on “Icons of the Big Ten” on the Big Ten Network. Everyone knows your accomplishments in college football; however, I was so impressed to see the love your teammates had for you, especially the offensive line. I appreciate the classic line Woody said about you: “He’s a better young man than he is a football player, and he’s the best football player I’ve ever seen.”
Congratulations on your many accomplishments and dedication to the university. Best of luck in your next endeavors.
Gary Losey ’82 (LM)
West Chester, Ohio
What can be said that has not already been said? A picture of you with my wife and me is my computer desktop. Both of you remind me that with hard work and commitment, I get to have and enjoy the best.
It’s great that you played football. But it’s your commitment and staying true that makes you an all-star. Best of everything in the future!
Rick Wolf ’75 (LM)
North Canton, Ohio
Thank you for your leadership at The Ohio State University! Your visit to Denver, Colorado, with Buckeye great Randy Gradishar several years ago was special. Randy is like you and lives by paying forward every day. Thanks for supporting the band and all that’s great at Ohio State!
Dean Conklin ’77, ’78 MS (LM)
Castle Pines, Colorado
I had season tickets your first year as a Buckeye. I was out of town for your fantastic rushing game against North Carolina that season. My son and brother-in-law used our tickets, and they have never let me forget it. Your NCAA record of 31 consecutive 100-yard games will never be broken.
Jim Ketter ’62 (LM)
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
As an alumna of the class of 1950, I wanted to add my heartfelt thank you to you, Archie, for your devotion to our university. Ohio State was very lucky to have you. Enjoy your new position and, especially, that extra family time!
Shirley Scott Green ’50 (LM)
I was in the stands and watched every home game Archie played.
Archie played for one of the best football coaches of all time. My deceased brother-in-law was related to Woody Hayes. I grew up in Noble County just up the road from all of them. In my teenage years, I worked at the family business, Carl’s Shoe Store. All four of us — my brother, Carl, and sisters, Carolyn and Joyce Saliba, graduated from Ohio State. I was No. 3 in the order.
Before I went to college, I watched Ohio State football on Saturday afternoons at the Hayes Meat Market, next door to the shoe store, with Woody’s first cousins Gerald and Wayne Hayes.
So, it was great watching you, Archie, as you developed into a leader of men. Not everyone understands what you had to become to be what you are today. I do understand, and I can relate to what playing football meant to your development, as I played and was defensive co-captain of the Caldwell Redskins in 1969 and ’70. At 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, I wasn’t big enough, but I was tough enough, and I made up for my size with effort. That don’t-ever-give-up attitude has and will continue to carry me through life.
I wish the same for you. Although I will always follow your lead, I have never met you (but I hope to do so someday).
Peter Saliba ’75 (LM)
I graduated in March ’76 from the School (now College) of Nursing. My brother Doug graduated in ’78. My parents were at graduation, and there were two things none of us ever forgot:
1. Alex Haley presented the address and talked about having to work hard in life to get what you want (Roots was just being published).
2. The coolest part was when you walked across the stage and the band struck up the Ohio State fight song! Everyone went crazy.
Congratulations, Archie. You have great integrity and have made the alumni proud. May the rest of your life and family be blessed.
Linda Gritton Kanary ’76 (LM)
Thank you so much for all you have done for The Ohio State University. You are an outstanding representative of Ohio State. I am so proud of your many accomplishments and of the work you have done for our great institution. I wish you the best of luck in your new assignment as special advisor.
Sam DiMaio ’79 (LM)
You have made Ohio State proud in all of your efforts. Thanks for your past as well as your next steps for The Ohio State University.
Bill Dooms ’75
Thank you for all of your work as CEO of the alumni association. Your dedication to Ohio State has been great. I read the timeline in the alumni magazine, and it was hard to believe it has been that long. I remember when Woody called me in December 1971 and asked me to go to lunch with you and Rudy Hubbard. It ended in a great football career for you and then outstanding service for Ohio State.
Again, thank you for all of your hard work, and I hope your new assignment goes well. Go Bucks!
Ohio State professor emeritus
I want to thank you for heading up the best alumni organization in the USA. You did a fantastic job of leading our organization. You helped with lots of new ideas that make me very proud to be a member. Good luck in your new endeavor. I know you will do an excellent job.
Sam Wiford ’69
Although we’ve only spent significant time together on an alumni trip, where I was able to share with you pictures I took of your first big day playing for Ohio State against North Carolina, I’ve followed your career throughout the years. And I have to say that, although you didn’t become president of the United States, as Woody once predicted, you’ve done better — because you’ve shown how a good man can positively affect thousands through a life well lived.
My wish for you is many more good years for you and your family. Thanks again for all you’ve done for others, including your time as president of our alumni association.
Jeanne Mallett, ’66, ’68 MA
My wife and I attended my 50-year reunion in 2011. The outstanding memory (except attending the football game) was meeting Archie for the first time. He spent quite a bit of time with us and could not have been more delightful and welcoming. He represents Ohio State in the most positive way possible. We thank him for all he has done for the university.
Michael Kirsch ’61 (LM)
West Palm Beach, Florida