The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Letters to the editor

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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.

Buckeyes help Buckeyes when the going is tough

Stephanie Tenney and her daughters, Claire Tenney and Lauren Tenney-Williams

Stephanie Tenney and her daughters, Claire Tenney and Lauren Tenney-Williams, know all about the big hearts of Buckeyes. 

Our family has always believed in the power of the Buckeye network. It’s one of the main reasons my daughters, Lauren Tenney-Williams ’14 and Claire Tenney ’17, chose to leave Southern California for Ohio State.

I joined the Alumni Club of Orange County, California, in 2010 when Lauren began her undergrad years. In 2013, Claire also became a Buckeye, and I bought a “Buckeye Mom” t-shirt to match my license plate frame! We were really sold on Ohio State.

Being welcomed into the Buckeye family connected me to my daughters’ undergraduate experiences. We never anticipated we would need our Buckeye family to step up for us like they have.

During the overnight hours of March 10, Claire and I lost nearly everything in a devastating house fire. The local alumni club was quick to bring some light back to us, sending scarlet and gray swag and promoting the Go Fund Me fundraiser our friends had set up for us. They also referred us to the alumni association’s Buckeyes Helping Buckeyes emergency fund. Receiving financial support allowed Claire to replace some necessary technology she lost in the fire. And it reminded us of the firm friendships among Ohio State Buckeyes.

We’re sending sincere gratitude to The Ohio State University Alumni Association and Buckeye donors for paying forward with the Buckeyes Helping Buckeyes fund. Rebuilding our lives and our home will be a long road. We are sustained by support from our communities, especially Ohio State.

Stephanie Tenney
Newport Beach, California

A shining example of our kindred spirit

“Buckeye Nation” is often used quite casually, but the term will always have deeper meaning for me and my wife, Christine. Let me explain why. The Bobbs met Craig Little of the alumni association staff a few years ago while on an alumni tour. He was one of the tour’s hosts, and we quickly became friends.

Fast forward to the present. Christine and I love museums, particularly those involving the U.S. military. One hope for our recent vacation to Florida was to tour the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. While planning the trip, we learned that pandemic protocols were limiting public tours. The only way for members of the public to visit the museum was to have an active-duty or retired military member serve as an escort onto the Naval Air Station base where the museum is located.

We tried various ways to find an escort, but our final and most helpful contact was Craig. Acknowledging this was the first time he’d had such an inquiry, he happily accepted the challenge.

Thirty-six hours later, Craig called with good news. He had reached out to Ohio State’s Navy ROTC, and its staff quickly connected with several recent graduates in flight training at Pensacola. Just as quickly, Ensign Andrew Cessna ’20 happily offered to host us. Andrew already had made several visits to the museum and was a very knowledgeable and personable guide.

From Craig Little, to the NROTC staff, to Ensign Cessna, to me and Christine, Buckeye Nation is vivid, real and active. These efforts were so positive and illustrative of what it means to be a Buckeye.

Richard Bobb ’59
Hendersonville, North Carolina

Thoughts on inspiration, education and dedication

Readers of Ohio State Alumni Magazine online shared these sentiments after the spring issue.

"Nine Degrees of Dedication" about the Tolliver sisters was a great story of perseverance and hard work. Two of my nieces went through the Young Scholars Program (YSP) at Ohio State, so this story resonated with me. Congratulations to all three women on their success and to their mother for setting a high standard for her children. The Young Scholars Program is a great way to ensure success at Ohio State.

Rita Haynes-Newton ’79
Wichita, Kansas

Wow! I am so impressed that Ohio State was the springboard that helped these three very gifted young women accomplish all that they have. I would love to see another story about them in five or 10 years.

Mark Tepping ’67
Chester, Connecticut

This story was so inspiring! Not only did these young women overcome obstacles and achieve so much, their mother is phenomenal.

Suzanne Knott ’66
Oakland, California

It is so important that we [use words wisely]. I have a practice of choosing a word of the year, using it to guide me throughout the year.

Mary Beth Cowardin ’91, ’01 MBA

Nothing is guaranteed in life — not a football season, not fans in the stands and not our health. Although none of them wanted to go through the experience, I am sure Buckeye football players learned a lot from the 2020 season and will be better people for it.

Ronald Vlcek ’79
Medina, Ohio

As an educator and proud alumna, I found “When Life Schools Us” to be really a positive take during what can be a negative time. I enjoyed reading the blend of thoughts beyond what we have not been able to do, but more importantly, what we have been able to do. I have seen my senior students sway back and forth, from “I like this” to “I am completely over this.” What my students have definitely grasped is that learning can be done at home, with stuff from home, and get decent results. Learning is everywhere, not just in a classroom. It involves a partnership between teacher, parent and community — all focusing on students.

Karen Scott ’90, ’96 MA
Newark, Ohio

It’s exciting to read about a mother who believed in and encouraged her daughters to excel and to go to college and beyond. The Tolliver women are an inspiration to anyone, and their commitment to support other young people who are on the journey to a college education is inspiring. I am so glad that YSP exists and continues this wonderful work.

Judy Siehl ’76 MSW

I am very proud of these young women, and I applaud their mother for her persistence and guidance. I hope the YSP program continues to flourish. I would love to read about more success stories like this. It makes me feel like things are not as bad as we hear daily. Keep up the good journalism.

Bonnie Hume ’83
Naples, Florida

Words are powerful, as illustrated by “Let’s Use Words to Build Up.” What we say to children has a lasting influence on how they feel about themselves. Dwight Smith is sparking a movement that is changing the world.

Deborah Johnson ’79
Powell, Ohio

In “Join This Insider Chat with Coach Day,” Coach Ryan Day shows he truly is someone who cares about his players, not only on the field but also as far as their development in becoming future citizens and leaders.

Martin Welker ’81
O’Fallon, Illinois

Coach Day is a keeper — a man who not only knows football but is a leader of young men, making a difference in their lives and for The Ohio State University. I wish he and the football team all the best in the years ahead.

Howard Kendall ’70 MBA
Plymouth, Massachusetts