Buckeye Village has always had family atmosphere, international flair

Buckeye Village residents, 1940s

Buckeye Village residents, 1940s

The Buckeye Village’s first permanent housing was built in 1948 as World War II veterans returned to campus under the GI Bill to complete their education – often with a family in tow. (You can find one war veteran’s story of living there here.( http://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/58840) 

Soon enough a club sprang up called the Buckeye Village Wives, which – among other activities – held fund-raising bazaars for a child-care center, organized lectures by University professors, and published a mimeographed newspaper called The Villager. (Apparently, a Mrs. Betty Gremillion won a basket of groceries for coming up with the name, according to a 1948 Lantern article.)

Also from the very beginning, Buckeye Village was international in nature: in 1948 the 152 wives living there represented four nations and three continents.

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Buckeye Village, no date

As early as 1955 Village residents were banding together to make their opinions known to the University: According to a July 27 Lantern article, an “urgent cry’ by residents to paint both the inside and outside of the Village apartments led OSU officials to decide to skip the bidding process for outside vendors and have the University’s service department employees do the job.

Two years later residents were protesting a proposed 21-percent rent hike, even though the year before a Lantern editorial chastised the University for its lack of upkeep on the buildings, calling the Village OSU’s “biggest eyesore.” (It would not be the last time residents united to protest rent hikes.)

Buckeye Village residents, 1993

Buckeye Village residents, 1993

Less than five years later, though, the University had built forty new apartment units, which opened in 1961; the total number of units rose to 400. And in fact, a 1962 Lantern article said residents were content to live in apartments whose rents ranged from $79.50 to $89.50 per month ($4.00 extra for air conditioning), and who could take advantage of a community hall that housed a study library, a pool, ping-pong tables and a nursery school for children. There also was a community garden.

In the mid-1950s the University had dropped the rule that residents must be veterans, but students who lived there still had to be married. By 1986, the majority of residents (80 percent) were international students who were married; the rest were domestic students who were married or single parents. Today, any student can apply to live in Buckeye Village; however, priority still goes to married students and those with children.

Posted in Buildings, Student housing, Students |

OSU’s 1996 South Africa trip included Mandela speech

President Gordon Gee holds a Mandela jersey during his trip to South Africa, 1996

President Gordon Gee holds a Mandela jersey during his trip to South Africa, 1996

In early June 1996, President E. Gordon Gee, along with 36 Ohio State faculty members and the OSU men’s basketball team, embarked on a two-week trip to South Africa, with the faculty going on to visit Uganda as the basketball team took a detour to Zimbabwe. The timing of the trip was particularly significant: Only two years earlier, South Africa’s apartheid system had been brought down by free elections following violent protests.

The primary purpose of the tour was to foster ties between Ohio State and African universities and to show how Ohio State can make a difference around the globe. One major area of shared interest: agriculture. For years South African students had come to Ohio State to study agriculture before bringing these lessons back to their home country. Some of these students had gone on to become faculty members at the University of Natal in South Africa. Makerere University in Uganda, likewise, had a strong relationship with Ohio State; OSU worked with the Ugandan university to set up a Cooperative Extension Service in Uganda, with the aid of $20 million from the World Bank. In addition to furthering the agricultural relationship, faculty members hoped the 1996 trip would help build collaboration in law, education, nursing and humanities programs with South African universities.

Nelson Mandela speaking during event, 1996

Nelson Mandela speaking during event, 1996

Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team hosted basketball clinics and demonstrations for local residents, both in the major cities and in the countryside. Basketball was seen as a way to bring people across South Africa together and integrate traditionally rugby-playing whites and soccer-playing blacks. At the same time, OSU basketball players learned about the history of modern South Africa and the role that students played in the protests that eventually brought an end to the apartheid regime. At one point, basketball team members attended a Youth Day celebration where they heard then-South Africa President Nelson Mandela speak.

The members of the OSU delegation were thrilled by the success of the trip, Gee said after the return. “We really met and exceeded our expectations,” he said. Gee and others spoke positively of South Africa as a nation, remarking on its determination to become a diverse, integrated country and its optimism and hope for the future. The Ohio State visit also was apparently the first visit by a foreign university’s representatives to the South African countryside.

For information on today’s memorial event for Nelson Mandela in Hale Hall, visit http://aaas.osu.edu/news/%E2%80%9Cnelson-mandela-his-life-times-and-legacy%E2%80%9D

Members of the trip, including athletes from the basketball team, pose for a portrait in S. Africa, 1996

Members of the trip, including athletes from the basketball team, pose for a portrait, 1996

Posted in Activities, Administration, Notable events, People, Presidents, Sports |

Women’s History Month: 90 years ago, first woman appointed as Trustee

Alma Paterson, n.d.

Alma Paterson, n.d.

It was 90 years ago today that the first woman was named to Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. Alma W. Paterson was a member of Ohio State’s class of 1904; as an undergraduate, Paterson had been a member of the Browning Dramatic Society and studied science and physical education. She received her bachelor of arts degree in 1904 and went on to serve as an assistant director of physical education for women for three years. In 1910, she married Robert G. Paterson, a 1905 OSU graduate, who was then executive secretary of the Ohio Public Health Association. 

Alma Paterson was appointed to the Board on March 27, 1924, to succeed the late OSU Prof. Thomas Mendenhall. Then-Ohio Gov. A. Victor Donahey had already indicated that the next appointment to the board would be a woman since “the large number of women registered at the University warrants the selection,” according to a Lantern article about her appointment. Paterson was on the board until 1933, serving as vice chairman twice during that time.

1926 board of trustees at conference table, including Alma Wacker Paterson

Paterson with the Board of Trustees, 1926

In 1954, the Board of Trustees named Paterson Hall, then a brand-new dorm for women, after her.

Paterson’s daughter, Ann, followed in her mother’s footsteps, first as a student (BS in Education in 1937 and MS in Education in 1939) and then as a professor of women’s physical education. After 19 years of teaching at OSU, she left the University in 1956 to teach at San Francisco State College.

– Filed by C.N.

Posted in Administration, Alumni, People, Professors, Students, Uncategorized, Women |