The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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.”

The family — from left, Nancy Ricketts, Ron Ricketts, Angelica Gutierrez Klingsmith, Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez, Karen Ricketts Lane and Toby Klingsmith — discusses the history of trees on the Oval.
Angelica, Kristina and Ron look across campus to the next stop on their tour. Ron is surprised to discover Hagerty Hall now houses the university’s language departments. He remembers it as the Commerce Building.
Family members stop at Thompson Library to see what has changed since they were students. Quite a bit, they say.
Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez points out that the limestone steps of Orton Hall contain hundreds of fossils.
Ron Ricketts snaps a photo of the Oval from the 11th floor of Thompson Library — a view he didn’t experience as a student.
Intern Cheyenne Meek, right, joins the tour to hear the family’s memories and share a bit about campus today.
Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez experiences the whispering wall for the first time after hearing her father whisper “Go Bucks!” from the other end of this architectural novelty east of the Oval.
Ron Ricketts laughs after hearing the reason that the bricks on Mendenhall Laboratory change color halfway up. According to University Libraries’ Buckeye Stroll entry on the building, a professor who helped design the building had a hole 50 feet up the south side included in the plan so sunlight could fall directly onto his demonstration table. Renovations in 1929 filled the hole and caused the color change.
Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez admires “Jeff,” the skeleton of a 7-foot giant ground sloth housed in Orton Hall. She remembers taking a class that required her to know the types of rocks, minerals and fossils in the building.
Angelica Gutierrez Klingsmith holds up a T-shirt shirt she bought in Hagerty Hall, where she studied foreign languages, to reveal an empowering message that she works to embody as a teacher.
At their last stop on the tour, the family takes a commemorative O-H-I-O picture at Mirror Lake — a spot they say has become more beautiful through the years.
The family — from left, Karen Ricketts Lane, Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez, Angelica Gutierrez Klingsmith, Toby Klingsmith, Nancy Ricketts and Ron Ricketts — pose for a final photo before departing.

Time for you to get back?

You can find a printable walking tour of campus and suggestions for locations to explore based on your interests at For help getting around once you arrive, download the Ohio State app at or