The world's largest pan factory. A reindeer farm. A community garden. A biorefining company that produces ethanol.
The common link? All are connected to Ohio State—and all were spots on President Gee's 2011 summer tour of Ohio.
“But for Ohio State, many young people who come from rural communities would never have an opportunity to have a world-class education.”
"Ohio is a remarkably diverse place," Gee says.
Each summer, the president packs his bags and heads into the heart of Ohio. He spends the time connecting with alumni, learning about Ohio businesses, and thinking about the state's economic future.
"What would Ohio be without Ohio State? We're the cultural, social, intellectual engine that drives the state, and now the economic engine," Gee says.
"But the same question needs to be asked, 'What would Ohio State be without Ohio?'—these fiercely loyal Ohioans—11 million—who love Ohio State and who are its owners."
The tour was busy: In 10 days, President Gee made 75 stops in 47 counties, traveling 2,799 miles.
Along the way, Gee met alumni whose Ohio State educations have allowed them to better the state.
Take the Finneys: Brother Clint Finney earned his degree from Ohio State's Agricultural Technical Institute, while sister Leah Finney-Curtis earned a law degree from Ohio State's Moritz College of Law. Now, Clint owns the Spring Valley Stock Farm in Rayland, while Leah is a lawyer for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
"But for Ohio State, many young people who come from rural communities would never have an opportunity to have a world-class education," Gee says.