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The OSU Alumni Club of Richland County has been around providing service to the University and fellowship among its members for at least five decades. Sarah Mattox, an alumna and longtime supporter of the Club in Richland County, remembers Friday noon meetings at the Leland Hotel where the game films of the previous week were shown. Tom Mattox who was president at the time was a regular as was the Reverend Sam Peard (a Notre Dame alumnus) who also enjoyed following the Buckeyes. Sarah occasionally attended but said that the atmosphere was that of a smoker and women were "not really welcomed".
Following a few years of inactivity, the Alumni Association contacted John Roby, Dr. Don DeCenso and John Kohler to discuss ways to reactivate the group. John Roby assumed the presidency during the mid 70's followed by Dr. Don DeCenso. During this period the Club was involved with traditional once-a-year spring meetings featuring speakers who would draw a good crowd. Don remembers Eldon Miller, then the new basketball coach, being the speaker at a packed ballroom at the Blue Dolphin Hotel. The Club also interviewed nominees for the Alumni Scholarship and raised funds for the scholarship program through a spring telethon. United Telephone generously donated the use of their phones after business hours and Don would recruit as many warm OSU bodies as he could to telephone long lists of OSU alumni and to solicit funds.
While the telethon raised some money for scholarships, Don felt a better way to raise money was needed and so the idea for a pre-Michigan game party was born The event, titled "An OSU/Michigan Bash" and emceed by Rick Yocum, was held at the Renaissance Theatre on November 18, 1981. About 150 faithful appeared in scarlet and gray and cheered along with Brutus Buckeye and the OSU cheerleaders. A few brave souls came in maize and blue but were pretty quiet and were booed loudly when they cheered.
In 1982 Don asked Dick Walters to take on the role of club president and Dick began planning the new Buckeye Bash format that did not include any Michigan fans! The party moved to the Mansfield Liederkranz and then to its present location, Fairhaven Hall at the Richland County Fairgrounds. That year about 350 came to the party and celebrated with The Irish Brigade of OSU Columbus fame. There was no pep band or auction but planning for this event was the impetus for more regular meetings and more alumni becoming involved.
Dick's presidency in the early 1980's, Presidents
Our president, Karin Turowski, now leads a much larger and more diverse club than the six people who gathered around a kitchen table to plan the first Buckeye Bash. The twenty plus active club members meeting monthly year around make the OSU Alumni Club of Richland County one of the most active clubs in Ohio and in the country. The best part is, that in the process of doing, we've become such good friends!
"How firm thy Friendship...."
This page last updated 16 June 2012
Copyright @ 2010, The OSU Alumni Club of Richland County.
For questions, comments, or requests concerning this site please email Nick Orosan