A walk to remember, Buckeye-style
Family shares the gift of time together during summer visit to campus.
What do you get a 78-year-old man who has everything? That was the quandary Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez ’83 faced when brainstorming birthday presents for her father, Ron Ricketts ’66.
When she hit on the idea of giving him a day on campus — 50 years after his graduation — and the precious commodity of time with loved ones, other family members were all in. Instead of buying him a fancy present or a trip to an exotic destination, they wanted to share a day reminiscing about their experiences as Buckeyes.
Gutierrez’s sister, Karen Ricketts Lane, created a handmade pamphlet to guide them through their stops, which included Arps Hall, home of the College of Education and Human Ecology and a favorite for this family of educators; Ramseyer Hall, Ron’s best study spot; and Hagerty Hall, where granddaughter Angelica Gutierrez Klingsmith ’12 bought a T-shirt to remind her of her foreign language studies on campus.
While Ron had attended plenty of football and basketball games on campus through the years, revisiting the academic buildings never crossed his mind. After all, he lived just 10 miles away in Grove City. “I never thought about going back because I know it’s here,” he says.
So he hadn’t taken in all the changes and improvements on campus, such as the new Ohio Union, the renovated Thompson Library or even the growth of trees on the Oval.
That day, Ron says, ended up being one of his best presents ever.
“It’s nice to see how the university has grown and kept the same flavor as when I was here,” he says. “I feel like I’m really a part of Ohio State now that I got back on campus. You feel the academics and the things that make Ohio State what it is.”