The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Shanti Lerner '19 is a newly minted alum with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Jo McCulty

Letters to the editor

New graduate Shanti Lerner writes about being a grateful Buckeye, and other readers share their thoughts in letters.

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.

Growing up half a world away in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and American father, the words “Buckeye” and “Ohio State” didn’t exist in my vocabulary or my neighborhood. And they certainly were never uttered in my household. After all, my father was a Michigan graduate.

But when my initial college choices didn’t click, I applied to Ohio State and, once accepted, visited Columbus with my family. The warm welcome of my tour guide, this beautiful campus and the vibrancy of its growing city made me realize this university was right for me. My dad’s lifelong bias disappeared, too.

My first interactions in Smith-Steeb Hall immediately put me at ease as my roommate, hallmates and supportive resident advisor befriended me like I had known them for years. It’s a trait I came to know as Midwestern warmth, a kindness that reminds me of Filipino hospitality.

That was just the beginning of what Ohio State would provide me. Our university gave me faculty members who cared, who asked if I was OK when I looked down or frustrated. It took me abroad to serve others in El Salvador. It helped me become fluent in Spanish, connecting me to millions of non-English speaking people around the world. It gave me the opportunity to work many of its amazing athletic events, helping me find my passion for television production with Big Ten Network Student U. It helped me to become a better writer and to have many of my articles published in The Lantern. Our university also provided me a home away from home with the Pilipino Student Association, where I found fellow Buckeyes who shared my culture and loved to celebrate it. Above all, this community opened my mind, showed me a world of opportunity and inspired me to continue learning for a lifetime.

Thank you, Ohio State, for giving me and my fellow graduates an education that challenged us to reach outside our comfort zones. For lifelong friends. For incredible memories. And for a safe and vibrant community in which to grow and thrive. I can truly say I received a world-class education.

I never thought I was meant to be a Buckeye. Now, I can’t imagine being anyone else.

Shanti Lerner ’19 graduated May 5 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Reflections can inspire the journey

I like Ohio State Alumni Magazine, and I’ve always been a Buckeye.

I would love to see an article that describes what the Columbus campus and students looked like 100 years ago, say in 1920. My grandfather attended Ohio State in the ’20s. I don’t know what happened to any photos or yearbooks he might have had, and he passed away before I thought to ask what life was like on campus back then. He attended my graduation in 1981, but we did not talk about his experiences, so I missed a good opportunity to learn about his student days. I do know he was a die-hard supporter.

I was raised in Columbus and visited campus for various reasons as I grew up, including ushering for football games at Ohio Stadium as a Boy Scout. When I was in high school, I got to meet Woody Hayes at a local hospital, where my honor society was visiting patients. Woody was doing the same.

I’m still a great Ohio State fan, and I am proud to see the university continuously improving its academic standing. My daughter is a freshman, and now I see through the eyes of a parent the changes that have occurred since I was there decades ago.

Doug Kiser ’81, ’83 MS
Hinckley, Ohio

Thanks for writing. Our fall issue will celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial, looking back at high points of the past 150 years, examining today’s Ohio State and imagining what’s possible as we move forward. We’re thankful alumni like you play such an important part in the life of Ohio State. — Mary Alice Casey, editor

Applause for our partners

Almost unimaginable environmental concern and creativity were on full display in the shared work of Ohio State faculty member (Tarunjit Butalia ’96 PhD) and American Electric Power executive (Pedro Amaya ’87 MS) in the spring Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

Also, my interest in raising more productive strawberry plants in the Ohio Historical Connection garden was aided by Pam Bennett’s insights in “Spring Garden Prep with Pam Bennett.”

Gaylord Odegaard ’81 MA
Galloway, Ohio

In a word, lacking

Having just finished solving online the puzzles for the 2019 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), an annual event orchestrated by Will Shortz of The New York Times, I was quite excited to see the spring issue cover headline “Pens Up for a Buckeye Crossword.” Turning to page 61, though, my heart sank as the magazine presented something that was not really a crossword at all.

I’m disappointed not only because I have been a multiyear contestant at the ACPT (both in person and online), but because I have been a freelance crossword constructor whose work has been published in The New York Times and other major outlets (my most recent puzzle appeared in the Wall Street Journal on February 27).

I sincerely hope the next crossword puzzle published in Ohio State Alumni Magazine is a proper one. After all, even Wikipedia defines a crossword as “a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white-and black-shaded squares.”

Leonard Williams ’81 PhD
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Emeritus prof weighs in

I want to compliment your staff and contributors for the content and handling of the spring 2019 Ohio State Alumni Magazine. I went through page after page of inviting stories on outstanding individuals. It was a delightful read. Thanks.

Tom Hubbard, professor emeritus of photojournalism
Galloway, Ohio

A note of clarification

My photo appeared in your spring issue story “Growth with Intention.” While I loved the story, I was identified as a cancer survivor, when actually I am a caregiver to my husband, Phil. He is an eight-year survivor of two types of cancer — and the real hero. I am a volunteer at the Garden of Hope because I really believe in its mission.

Kathy Bruner