The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Letters to the Editor

One alum's memorable meeting with former Ohio State President Harold Enarson, plus more correspondence from our alumni.

What would you like to share?

We welcome your letters, which we ask be limited to 250 words or less. Please send them to Letters selected for publication typically address topics raised in Ohio State Alumni Magazine, although the editor reserves the right to make exceptions. All published letters appear online, and a selection appears in our print edition. We edit letters for space, clarity, accuracy and civility. When readers’ published views prompt others to write, the latter submissions are the last published on a particular topic. All letters represent the opinions of the letter writers, not those of the magazine team, alumni association or university.

A memorable conversation

As a lifetime member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association, I look forward to receiving the alumni magazine. It is bright and beautiful. I enjoy the layout and the articles. It provides the opportunity for so many fond memories.

A particularly fond memory was sparked by your “Greetings warm homes and hearts” article in the winter 2017 edition. Beautiful greeting cards all. But I must respond to the 1970 Harold Enarson card. President Enarson and I have one thing in common: We both started at Ohio State in September 1972. I was a first-quarter freshman, and he was in his first month as the new president.

I remember this vividly because of an experience I had my first week on campus while trying to find my way to West Campus. I had just missed a bus and was sticking my thumb out to catch a ride. (Yes, this was common in the early ’70s.)

Soon a very nice sedan driven by a middle-aged man pulled over. He asked where I was headed. “West Campus,” I said. “Hop in,” he said. He wore cowboy boots, a jacket and tie, smoked a pipe and told me he was trying to learn his way around campus also. Yep, you guessed it: President Enarson gave me a ride.

In the chemistry and microbiology labs at Ohio State, I learned accuracy is everything, and I must tell you the greeting card you connected with President Enarson could not have been from 1970.

Robert Uhl ’76 (LM)
Sabina, Ohio

Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing this delightful story to set us straight. Harold Enarson led Ohio State from September 1, 1972, to August 31, 1981. University Archives confirms that the Christmas card we identified as being sent by President Enarson was his greeting, but only the decade it was sent — the 1970s — could be determined.

Band jacket warms heart

Thank you for the special article “Warm & fuzzy” (The Object, winter 2017). It was great to see that an Ohio State band jacket has survived many years. My jacket from 50-plus years ago has long passed on, but I remember the pride I took in wearing it both on campus and on trips back home.

Congratulations to Leigh VanHandel ’92 for not only being an alumna of TBDBITL, but for being able to preserve this special jacket and its memories for so many years.

Jonathan Palmer ’63 (LM)
Boca Raton, Florida

Thank you, doctors

I really got a kick out of reading your letters section in the winter magazine, particularly the tale of the mutual bond between two former Ohio State College of Medicine students, Max Rothemund and Stuart Fisher, who served together in Vietnam as Marine Corps battalion surgeons. It was particularly relevant to me, as I am currently serving as a Navy physician at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California.

These two veterans and fellow College of Medicine alumni typify the selfless drive to serve both as physicians and Naval officers. I was so proud reading their story. Their legacy is secure with the next generation of Buckeye physicians and U.S. Navy/Fleet Marine Force doctors.

Capt. Sean Hussey ’97 MD
Oceanside, California

Editor’s note: Capt. Hussey encouraged us to share his letter with Drs. Stuart Fisher and Max Rothemund prior to publication. Fisher responded: “Two years ago, a patient told me he had served in Vietnam in 1967 while in the U.S. Army. I told him I was a Navy doctor with the Marines at the time. His wife, who had been sitting quietly in a chair, stood and said, ‘Thank you for your service.’ It was the first time anyone had ever said that to me since my tour in 1967–68. Sean Hussey is a patriot who serves with honor and pride during an unpopular war. Max and I know that experience. Thank you for your service, Capt. Hussey.”

Returning to the scene

My wife, Toby, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in November. As part of our summer travels, we returned to campus and the scene of our first kiss. A lot has changed in the 51 years since that kiss, but this photo taken on the steps of Siebert Hall shows public displays of affection are still fun!

Barry C. Troutman ’67
Deland, Florida

A run toward the Heisman

I enjoyed reading the fall issue feature on Eddie George. His Ohio State story is an example of failure and redemption.

I remember being in Block O as a freshman when he fumbled multiple times in the game against Illinois, at least once right at the end zone. As the article says, he never really saw the field the rest of the season, but he eventually worked his way back into the starting lineup. Ironically enough, a rematch against Illinois was probably what won him the Heisman. I also happened to be in the south stands then, as he ran around the left side of the offensive line for a dramatic 64-yard touchdown run. It is good to see that football has helped him enjoy his passions in life.

Steve Allread ’97
Washington Township, Ohio

No. 1 fan had many fans

I have been overwhelmed by the response to the article on the passing of my brother, John, in the winter 2017 Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

He was truly an inspiration to many people over the years. He excelled in all his endeavors — show business, TV and radio, education, and the list goes on. In their recent book Buckeye Reflections, Jack Park and Maureen Zappala recognize John as one of the most outstanding Ohio State football fans of all time.

Over the years, many people have said to me, “I bet your brother never had an enemy.” I was always proud to say he didn’t, and for a very good reason: He didn’t make enemies. He only tried to entertain, inspire and encourage people. I am a very proud brother.

Dick Crawford ’59 (LM)

Admiration for Ida

Thanks for sharing the story of Ida Abdalkhani’s journey in the winter issue. Ida is an inspiration and role model. It’s great to see fellow Iranian-American women having the courage to take big risks in both career and life. It’s not always easy to find that right balance, but Ida’s advice has made me re-evaluate my own priorities and passions, and I’m on my own path to success. Thank you, Ida.

Elika Nosrati ’07, ’09 MLHR
Seattle, Washington

As a multicultural alumna of Ohio State, I felt inspired seeing Ida Abdalkhani, a woman of diverse culture, surpassing many obstacles and achieving her dream. I was privileged to have a class with Ida at Ohio State, and she was such a mentor to me and an inspiration to all.

I was able to participate in several affinity groups while on campus. All groups welcomed me, regardless of my background.

I was inspired to see the story of Ida featured and the duality of her business world and laughter yoga. It reminded me of my own experiences learning about and embracing different worlds at Ohio State.

Thank you for sharing the positive experiences of a distinguished alumna.

Sabalan Oda ’07
Tempe, Arizona

I was happy to see a fellow Fisher alum featured on the cover of the winter 2017 Ohio State Alumni Magazine. Ida’s leap of faith from her corporate job into the unknown, and her success with it, is encouraging. I think many people wrestle with the same questions she had.

Clint Plummer ’02
New York, New York

As I finished reading the winter issue, I had very mixed thoughts. Like many of the readers, I applaud the energy and vibrancy of the new magazine format. I was pleased to read articles about people who have made a real difference at Ohio State. For example, recognition of the all-too-short life of Dr. Patty Cunningham and Kevin Fitzsimons’ 35 years of documenting both the enormity of Ohio State and the particulars of a unique person or event.

As I closed the magazine for the last time, I looked again at the cover, and again I was uncomfortable. My initial thought on seeing the magazine cover was that I could not believe you had decided to commodify one of our graduates by positioning her like a child on a table wearing red high heels.

After reading about Ida Abdalkhani and her journey to create an amazing career and personal life, I realized that her red heels are something she uses as part of her identity. To select the image used for the cover minimized Ms. Abdalkhani’s enormous success. Disrespectful and more than disappointing!

Judy Fountain Yesso ’64, ’74 MS (LM)

The feature story on Ida Abdalkhani in the winter edition was refreshing to see. Bringing to light the story of an accomplished woman whose drive and perseverance can be encouragement for other minorities and women is welcome at this time, when so many people in our country are feeling marginalized. This story, in addition to the feature on Patty Cunningham ’02, ’05 MA, ’11 PhD, the Josephine Sitterle Failer Award recipient, is a source of pride for minority students and alumni alike.

During my time at Ohio State in the late ’90s and early 2000s, I recall being one among many African American students who were protesting at Bricker Hall funding cuts to the Office of Minority Affairs and dealing with issues my nonminority classmates did not have to experience. So, it was great to see the alumni magazine highlight the stories of these great women.

It is my hope that the magazine will continue to cover the accomplishments of all alumni and celebrate the diversity that makes The Ohio State University so great!

Shawn L. Price ’00, ’05 MD (LM)
Pewee Valley, Kentucky

It was exciting to see my alma mater produce a wonderful piece about alumna and trailblazer Ida Abdalkhani. Ida is an inspiration and a role model for what hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial skills can achieve. With a well-rounded approach, she has left a very positive impact on students in the classroom and colleagues in the work environment.

It is encouraging to see how she has been able to translate her vision to fruition without compromising personal goals. At a time when significant institutionalized discrimination against women in male-dominated work environments has been brought to light, Ida has shown great courage in pursuing a leadership role without compromise.

One can imagine, as the child of immigrants from Iran, she has overcome additional hurdles and numerous negative stereotypes, intensified in recent years. In many situations, laughter can certainly be the best medicine, and Ida Abdalkhani has shown us how to transform this idea to the next level.

Her story has personally helped me analyze my future career and life choices. Thanks for the wonderful article.

Aral Sezginis ’01, ’06 MD
San Antonio, Texas

I want to thank the alumni magazine for featuring Ida Abdalkhani on the winter 2017 cover. As a 1996 College of Education and Human Ecology graduate with a master’s in higher education, a 1998 Fisher College of Business graduate with a master’s in labor and human relations, and a former Ohio State staff member for 12 years, I had the pleasure of working with Ida as a residence hall director as well as admitting her to Fisher for her MBA.

Ida’s story shares with alumni the importance of following your passion and brings to life a Confucius quote: “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!”

Ida’s story demonstrates the diversity of Ohio State students (as she is the daughter of immigrants), her passion, the leadership skills that she developed as an undergraduate student and how they took her to unlikely places. Her story is one of courage, faith and determination.

It was refreshing to read as she is much younger, but I, too, ponder what it would be like to become an entrepreneur. I am far more established in my career, yet I have this burning desire to do more, and I ask myself all the time, “What would it be like to work for myself?” In this day and age, when women are being marginalized in this #metoo world, yet we are being pushed to “lean in,” I am excited to see my alma mater honor a woman who thinks outside of the box and to share a story that truly resonated with my own burning desire to spread my wings.

Ida is the true example of “How firm thy friendship!”

Terina J. Matthews-Davis ’96, ’98 MHR
Jersey City, New Jersey

“LM” identifies life members of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. For current OSUAA membership options, visit