‘Experiment’ for older students lasts 40 years

Program 60 students, 1981

Program 60 students, 1981

In December 1973, then-OSU President Harold Enarson approached the Board of Trustees with an idea: allow Ohio residents aged 65 or older to attend classes at OSU for free. It actually wasn’t his idea – he had seen a similar program the year before at the University of Colorado – but he still considered it an “experiment.”

Enarson told the Lantern after the meeting that he thought the program would get off to “a very slow start,” but hoped that “no one will get discouraged.”

His expectations, to put it mildly, were surpassed. The program is still going strong and has hundreds enrolled each semester.

Then called Program 65, it began with winter quarter 1974 and was coordinated out of the Office of Continuing Education. It gave residents of Ohio 65 and older the ability to attend classes at the university free of charge. The first quarter brought in 67 men and women; by the next fall, 185 students had signed up for approximately 200 courses.

Program 60 students, 1996

Program 60 students, 1996

Ohio State’s Program 65 was such a success that the state legislature passed a bill in 1976 to require all state-supported colleges and universities to permit senior citizens aged 60 and older to attend classes on a non-tuition, space-available basis. OSU changed the name of the program to Program 60, and Enarson joked at the time that he was so proud of the program that on his next birthday – his 60th – he would quit his job, enroll in the program, and “haunt all of these faculty members.”

Filed by L.T.

Posted in Departments, People, Presidents |

Welcome to the dog days of summer

Did you know that the University’s first unofficial mascot was a dog?  His name was Chris, and he was a performing police dog.  Owned and trained by Richard Armel, then a member of the OSU cheerleading squad, he was introduced in the fall season of 1941 to jump through hoops and perform other tricks at football and basketball games and rallies.

OSU's unofficial mascot, Chris, jumps through a cheerleader's paper drum, 1941

OSU’s unofficial mascot, Chris, jumps through a cheerleader’s paper drum, 1941

Chris barks at the opponent's mascot, 1941

Chris is not impressed by the Pitt Panther mascot, 1941

Chris appeared to have made it through only the fall season at OSU, but he certainly made an impression on the other team mascots. (See above.)

Okay, that’s enough of the history portion of our blog for this week.  Now, let’s see the doggies!

A dog is checked by veterinarians at the OSU Clinic, 1984

A dog is checked by veterinarians at the OSU Clinic, 1984

Student sits on bench on the Oval with two dogs

1986

An OSU vet performs a check-up, 1986

An OSU vet performs a check-up, 1986

OSU Vet School dog wash, 1987

OSU Vet School dog wash, 1987

1987, Dog carries a students backpack for her

1987

Student on rollerblades being pulled along by his dog

1990s

Student sitting with a puppy

no date

Posted in Activities, Departments |

WWII hero Don Scott ‘brought great credit to his alma mater’

Don Scott, 1939

Don Scott, 1939

When World War II broke out, many OSU students immediately signed up to join in the fight, suspending their studies for a much greater cause. Probably none of them was more well-known than Don Scott, the archetypical Big Man on Campus.

And here’s why: After entering Ohio State in 1938, Scott participated in baseball, track, basketball, and most notably football. In addition to being on the Players’ All American team for football and the first Big 10 Championship for basketball, Scott was also elected to sophomore, junior and senior Honor Societies as well as being a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Don Scott, 1941

Don Scott, 1941

After enlisting, by May 1941, Scott, along with other OSU athletes were stationed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Air Corps Training Detachment. By October, Scott had completed training and had advanced to get his wings and commission in the Army Air Corps. He was eventually promoted to a Captain.

Unfortunately, on October 1, 1943, at the age of 23, Scott was killed in a bomber crash over England. This marked the 100th alumnus or former student to give his life in World War II. One week after his death, on October 8, his wife gave birth to their child, Don Sands Scott.

Meanwhile, in the spring of 1942, the U.S. Navy leased Port Columbus to train its pilots. At the time, OSU was using Port Columbus for its own civilian pilot training program, and the Navy’s lease would pretty much have doomed OSU’s program to failure. However, OSU Prof. Karl W. Stinson, a lieutenant in the Air Corps of World War I and a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering went to then-OSU Pres. Howard Bevis with an idea: Build an OSU airport.

President Bevis and Carl Steeb, then-University Business Manager, considered the idea, liked it, and found $100,000 for the project. Stinson himself scouted the nearby then-countryside, and found a flat portion of land near what is now Sawmill Road. Ohio State purchased 385 acres (larger than Port Columbus), and set about building a hangar, runways and fences.

Don Scott Field, 1949

Don Scott Field, 1949

Soon after Scott’s death, President Bevis presented a resolution to the Board of Trustees that read, in part:

[Scott] was one of the nation’s great athletes; he was a sportsman in the finest sense of that term; he was a thorough gentleman, beloved by all who knew him; his life brought great credit to his alma mater. … As a fitting commemoration … I desire to propose to this Board that the airfield now owned and operated by the University be designated ‘Don Scott Field.’

The board approved the resolution and the newly named Don Scott Field was used by the Navy until the end of the war, when OSU transferred its focus to a civilian aviation curriculum.

– Filed by B.T.

Posted in Football, People, Professors, Sports, Students, World War II |