From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

Category: Traditions (page 1 of 7)

How a world record holding Holstein became homecoming queen

Homecoming queens have a long tradition here at The Ohio State University.  The first homecoming queen was elected in 1921, over 90 years ago.  No election was as memorable as that of 1926, when Maudine Ormsby was declared the official homecoming queen.

(Photo Location: 99-1920's)

Nothing seems strange about Maudine Ormsby winning that year, until you learn that she was a cow.  But to say she was just a cow would be unfair, Maudine was an award winning Holstein.  In her heyday, she was able to produce 743.5 pounds of milk and 28.7 pounds of butter fat during a 7 day test, which won her a world record.

Because of her unique capability, the agricultural school students were quite fond of her.  They decided they should even nominate her for homecoming queen.  To Maudine’s dismay she was officially disqualified because she was not in the student directory, but more likely because she was a cow.  The Ag students then grudgingly nominated co-ed Margerey Rutledge.

1926 Homecoming Queen Election

Election Day came and with it a boatload of tampering and corruption.  Officials printed 3,000 ballots, but when counting them they found over 12,000.  Not only were people voting multiple times, but ballot boxes were stolen and some students were even voting for dead alumni.  Because of the wide-spread voting corruption, the Election Committee was not able to count the ballots accurately.

Cue Maudine, who was busy winning her own awards.  The Committee decided that since no human winner could be determined that Maudine would step in.  Of course Maudine did receive some valid votes, but not nearly enough to win.

Sadly, Maudine’s handlers did not allow her to attend any of the homecoming events for fear that the

(Photo Location: 99-1940's)

excitement would curdle her milk.  She was a world record milk producer first and a queen second.

Although Maudine achieved great fame and success, her life was cut short.  At the age of 7, eight years sooner than most cows, Maudine had to be put down after contracting brucellosis, a highly contagious disease.

To learn more about the extraordinary life of Maudine, check out these Lantern Articles written about her:

“Maudine Ormsby” to Reign as Queen for Homecoming

Here Lies One More Shattered Record!

“Maudine” Barred From Coronation as Queen Friday

Maudine, Campus Queen of 1926, Set World Record

The Lantern is completely digitized and text searchable.  You can always go to to look for articles.

A bounty of Buckeye-themed goodies, thanks to Trademark and Licensing

It’s likely many of you have never have heard of one of OSU’s most influential offices, but boy, have you sure seen its imprint.

Trademark and Licensing has been around for more than 30 years, “protecting the University’s name and identifying marks,” according to its web site.  It all started in 1982, with a proposal of a program to ensure OSU received a royalty from each sale of OSU-themed merchandise. The program also would regulate which products were allowed to use Ohio State’s trademark, to make sure the University’s image remained unsullied. (By the way, the Libraries receives a percentage of each royalty, so we are particularly grateful for this program.)

Now, vendors who want to use OSU’s  name or logo on their merchandise must undergo a rigorous application process with the Trademark and Licensing Office to get approval.  While the office is strict about its standards, it does approve a wide variety of items to be sold.  We thought we’d take you down memory lane to show what kind of items once adorned the shelves of various retail outlets around town back in the ’80s. The material in these photos is from a collection transferred to the Archives in 1989 by the office.

Our models in the photos were Brandon Abbott, Britain Wetzel and Jimmy Zimmerman. Brandon, a Math major who was a summer-only Archives student assistant, returned to classes last week. Britain and Jimmy graduated last spring, and this fall, Jimmy is starting his second year of courses at OSU’s School of Dentistry. Meanwhile, Britain is beginning her first year of coursework at Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine. Thanks and good luck to all three!

So let’s get to the photos!


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OSU’s first presidential inauguration filled with pomp and circumstance

Inauguration dinner program, 1940

Inauguration dinner program, 1940

Though OSU’s line of presidents started long ago, when the University first opened in 1873, there wasn’t a formal introduction of a new leader to the campus community until 1940 when Howard Landis Bevis became OSU’s seventh president. That year, on October 25, the University held its first presidential inauguration, and it was quite an event.

The affair began the night before the inauguration, where a formal dinner was held at the Neil House, then Columbus’ pre-eminent hotel and gathering spot. Engraved invitations had been distributed to the OSU community, leaders of other universities, and of course, prominent and distinguished citizens of the city, who received complimentary tickets to dinner and lunch. Among the 897 present at the dinner, 270 were prominent alumni. There were a total of seven speakers at the dinner and the event ended around midnight.

Inaugural procession, 1940

Inaugural procession, 1940


Early the next morning, Bevis, inaugural speakers, members of the Board of Trustees, and delegates assembled on the second floor of the Administration Building (now called Bricker Hall), while faculty members met in Derby Hall. At about 9:30a.m., the procession began from the Administration Building to the Men’s Gymnasium as the University Symphonic Band played a processional march. The general theme of Bevis’ inaugural speech was “Social Responsibilities of the University.” The inauguration was followed by a buffet luncheon at the Faculty Club at 1p.m. for roughly 500 delegates and invited guests.

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