The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Jo McCulty

Winter can be a time of hope

Alumni association President and CEO Molly Ranz Calhoun ’86 writes about a few of her favorite cold-weather things.

I love winter — for football, of course, but also for the dramatic change of season, fresh layers of snow, the anticipation of new beginnings and crisp morning hikes. These are just “a few of my favorite things.” So when I considered all that appears in our winter issue, I couldn’t help but cue my best Julie Andrews impersonation (my husband was not amused) and sit down to tell you about it.

A winter scene of white holiday lights on trees and snow on the ground surrounding Mirror Lake at The Ohio State University

Light Up the Lake

Courtesy of Ohio Staters, Inc.

For starters, we feature several alumni who are quite special to me. You’ll get to meet my longtime friend and former colleague Ruth Gerstner ’75 and her friend Gemma McLuckie ’75 (who in our digital magazine will school you in a very Buckeye knitting project). You’ll also encounter Rosa Ailabouni ’01, ’01, co-founder of BuckeyeThon, a 20-year-old student group and fundraising effort “for the kids” at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (I remember working with Rosa on the inaugural event.) And you’ll connect with Matt Desch ’80, who I got to know well during my time in Student Life. You’ll see how Matt is influencing students’ futures and hear him describe how Buckeyes before him enhanced his trajectory.

Speaking of making a mark, Ohio Staters, Inc. has been doing that on the Columbus campus since 1933, as you’ll see in a wonderful visual tour. It’s been a highlight of my career to be associated with this group, one of our longest-standing student organizations. (Cue the jokes that Staters may have founded the university.) These Buckeyes’ sole purpose is to make the university a better place for students. One of my favorite Staters projects is Light Up the Lake, envisioned by Stater alum (and my cousin!) Ben Ranz ’05. The endeavor illuminates Mirror Lake Hollow throughout each winter season, showcasing the beauty of this space in such a special way. The reflection of thousands of lights on the fresh snow of a dark winter night is an inspiring reminder of hope and joy.

I know you’ll enjoy some of my favorite things and more in this issue. So without further ado, “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!”