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Letters to the Editor

Ohio State Alumni Magazine welcomes readers to continue the conversations started in stories that appear online or in the magazine’s quarterly print edition. Letters selected for publication typically address topics raised in the magazine, although the editor sometimes makes exceptions. We edit submissions for space, clarity, accuracy and civility. Letters convey the opinions of the writers, not those of members of the magazine team, alumni association staff or university community. Submit your letter at the bottom of this page.

  • Praise for a nurse who cares for trafficking victims

    Our spring issue story on Esther Flores ’01 generated an outpouring of support from Buckeyes who want to assist her charity, 1DivineLine2Health, which serves women who are trafficked and their children. Readers shared these comments about the story.

    What an amazing story! Vulnerable women need our help, and it’s time to stop the stigma and hatred of sex workers. What the world needs now more than ever are brave, powerful women like Esther Flores who empower women and provide hope, food and medical care.

    Hilary Frew Haines ’14
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    I am impressed by a woman who gives most of herself to help the forgotten women on the streets. More power to her for helping them make changes.

    Nancy McCabe ’63
    Sacramento, California

    This was a powerful story, one about the love of God and how it is used in service to those in need.

    LaAsia Medlock Fleming ’21
    Westerville, Ohio

    After earning my bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences, I relocated to Florida and have worked for various organizations providing mental health and job training services. You quickly learn how blessed you are to be in a position to help people better their lives. You can’t just blame people and turn away. Everyone has a story, and you meet them where they are. I think Esther and I would be great friends and comrades in arms.

    Joe Brozenick ’87
    Vero Beach, Florida

    Esther Flores really is a servant on the streets. 1DivineLine2Health is a beautiful organization that provides food and clothing to the lost souls she calls her daughters. The opioid crisis is at an all-time high, and she needs our help.

    Diahann Dahman

  • Friends from 14th Avenue have long been a foursome

    It was with surprise that four of us read Libby Buckley’s letter in the fall Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

    None of us knew Libby’s grandmother Marjorie Gates Welfare ’42, but we four friends — Carol Farr Filak ’62, June Lively Smith ’62, Carol Shough ’62, ’62 and Jackie Spencer Porthouse ’62 MA — knew her great-grandmother, Flora Gates. We boarded in the Gates’ 14th Avenue house from fall 1960 until our graduation in the spring of 1962.

    What memories the four of us have of Ohio State and the Gates house! Those years have made us friends for life and truly Buckeyes for life. Now we have been in contact with Libby.

    I’m also proud to share Ohio State ties with my father- and mother- in-law, Cyril Porthouse ’32, ’33 MS and Roberta Diehl Porthouse ’32; husband, J. David Porthouse ’62 MS, ’63 MBA; sister-in-law, Roban Porthouse Benich ’65; and especially my daughter, Diane Porthouse Lochner ’92 MArch. Eight degrees — a combination of bachelor’s and master’s — from Ohio State. How firm thy friendship, O-H-I-O.

    Jacqueline Spencer Porthouse ’62 MA
    Chesterfield, Missouri

  • Oval was an intersection for this alum, not an idyllic retreat

    I find many articles in the alumni magazine both interesting and informative. I don’t, however, get excited about this magazine because it doesn’t reflect my experiences on campus.

    I was so poor that I rarely had an extra quarter on me to buy a Coke at the vending machines. I managed to pay for tuition, books and housing through the efforts of one small student loan, one small scholarship and at least 20 hours of work each week while carrying as many as 25 credits a quarter. I was too busy to get sick, and couldn’t have afforded health care anyway. My strategy was “get in and get out.” I defrayed some expenses by completing my freshman year close to home at the Mansfield campus.

    I didn’t have time to develop a “favorite memory from the Oval,” as some other readers of the spring issue did. I was too busy crossing it many times a day on my way to and from classes and the library. I didn’t go on vacations or spring break. My nose was stuck in books. There was no family financial support. I could barely breathe. 

    Overall, the experience was not fun. Sometimes it was downright dismal, but it was useful. My degrees were gateways to some wonderful career opportunities. The last 45 years have been wonderfully full of experiences that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. But as far as fond, distant, halcyon memories of Ohio State? Few exist. Meeting and marrying my husband, Allen Bingham ’74, ’77 MS, are pretty much it.

    Diana Rigg ’75, ’77 MA
    Washougal, Washington

  • Reunion sparks memories of former Ohio Stater volunteer

    My story is a short one that fits with the spirit of the recent Ohio State Class of 1971 50th reunion. I recall in the spring of 1971 conducting a campus tour, by bus, for the then-50th reunion of Ohio State’s Class of 1921. It was part of my volunteer service as a member of Ohio Staters.

    My microphone on the bus broke, and my well-seasoned audience was hard of hearing. As you can imagine, I was hoarse by the end of the tour. Still, the passengers were grateful for the tour — and said so many times.

    As a student, the best part of my glimpse into an Ohio State reunion experience was seeing pride in the faces of those Golden Anniversary attendees — pride in the past growth, present greatness and shining future of their beloved university. And pride in themselves for being a part of that adventure for 50 years.

    As members of the Class of 1971, we stand on the shoulders of so many magnificent alumni, including that long-ago Class of 1921. This fall, it was our turn for a 50th reunion — virtual campus tour and all. Like those before us, our class has seen more growth of our university, a greater present ranking among the world’s leading schools and always an even more shining future for our alma mater.

    That vibrant pride always will be. Indeed, time and change already have shown this to be so.

    Thomas L. Klug ’71
    Chappaqua, New York

  • Small but sweet tradition

    I was talking to a friend on the street in Santa Monica, California, recently when a young man began to pass us on the sidewalk. He was wearing a red T-shirt with “Ohio State” across the front. I stopped my conversation and said “Go Bucks.” He paused, looked at me, smiled broadly and said “Go Bucks” as he walked off. I could not have been more elated or prouder of my university than I was by that simple act. It is almost 60 years since I started my career path at Ohio State, and I still get pumped when I hear “Go Bucks.”

    Stuart Fisher ’66 MD
    Los Angeles, California

  • Appreciation for Professor Ripley’s service to Ohio State

    We write to thank Ohio State Alumni Magazine for the tribute to Randall “Rip” Ripley (spring 2022 print edition). As the story noted, he served Ohio State for 50 years as a professor, chair of the Department of Political Science and other roles. His leadership and compassion truly do live on; may he rest in peace (RIP).

    We knew Professor Ripley in varied ways — Yvette while earning her master’s and PhD in political science, and A.B. as a postdoctoral fellow in the political science and Black studies departments.

    All went so well for Yvette, a summa cum laude graduate of Dillard University, that she earned her master’s and PhD in five years. Upon graduation, her mentors sent her off with glowing recommendations, first to a postdoc at the University of North Carolina and later to Indiana University, where she joined the political science faculty, earned a law degree and served as dean of the Office for Women’s Affairs.

    Yvette has served almost 10 years as the University of Oregon’s vice president for equity and inclusion, professor of political science and adjunct law professor. Following the example of Professor Ripley and other mentors, she has authored several books, the most recent with A.B., her husband of 26 years: Kwame Nkrumah’s Political Kingdom and Pan-Africanism Reinterpreted, 1909–1972 (2022).

    A.B.’s postdoc at Ohio State contributed to his book Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and America’s Quest for Racial Integration, published in 1987. The late Samuel DuBois Cook ’50 MA, ’54 PhD, who received an honorary degree from Ohio State in 1977, very generously wrote the book’s foreword. 

    Interestingly, our interest in Ohio State was sparked by Cook. In A.B.’s 2016 published memoirs, he devotes a full chapter to the former Dillard University president, whom A.B. and Yvette studied under at Dillard. A.B. went on to earn graduate degrees from New York University and the University of Oregon School of Law.

    We remember Professor Ripley and his family with affection. And we hope that others who also do so will donate to the Randall Ripley Fund in Political Science.

    Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh ’91 MA, ’93 PhD
    A.B. Assensoh

    Eugene, Oregon

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We welcome your letters. Those selected for publication typically address topics raised in Ohio State Alumni Magazine in print or online, although the editor reserves the right to make exceptions.

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