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Carter intently listening, learning — and having fun

Join us for a photo-based trip through President Carter’s first month at Ohio State, as he got to know us and we got a feel for his personal style. And scroll to the end to see all the photo details.

Maybe you’ve seen President Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. on campus in his suit and tie or heard him answering questions about higher education and war in the Middle East. He projects a steady, serious confidence and a commitment to learning all he can about our Buckeye community.

What you should also know is he’s quick to crack a joke. He’s enjoying digging into all the myriad details that make us “us.” And he’s absolutely certain that Ohio State is where he wants to be.

Ohio State President Ted Carter crosses the Oval with a confident but slight smile as we walks next to a university official. Carter wears a suit and long staff striped in Ohio State colors. JR Blackburn wears a black work coat and carries a backpack. In the background are stately academic buildings. The trees are bare but the grass is green

Yes, he was trained by the Navy to deconstruct and reassemble nuclear reactors. He’s led battle groups, flown combat missions and testified before Congress 200 times. 

He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with combat distinction for valor and the Bronze Star.

Ohio State President Ted Carter and his wife Lynda Carter smile as they look at her first BuckID in the office where Buckeyes have their ID photos taken. They’re both dressed up in Ohio State colors.
President Carter gestures as he answers questions from reporters circled around him. Most of the reporters don’t appear in the photo, but their outstretched arms holding microphones or cameras are aimed at him. The main reporter Carter is speaking to can be seen from behind. She has long hair in thin braids.
President Carter and his wife, Lynda, speak with Bobby McAlpine, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, at a student welcome reception in the Union. President Carter’s expression shows he is enjoying the conversation, and both he and his wife are paying close attention to McAlpine. They are all dressed well and other students mill in the background.
Standing in a crowd of students, President Carter chats with a couple as others wait their turn for conversation and selfies.
Brutus Buckeye holds a sign that says “Welcome President and First Lady Carter,” as the two speak with a student to Brutus’ right. Brutus is lunging sideways toward them, posing for the photo, and has his hand over his mouth as if laughing. (Brutus is a person wearing scarlet and gray and a giant buckeye as a head with a smiling face.) The Carters make eye contact with the student as they chat with him.

He’s also the son of a high-school English teacher, who taught his class for three years. He was editor of the Naval Academy’s satirical magazine, The LOG. And he had a pilot call sign — “Slapshot” — that jokingly references the hockey move that might have been, let’s say, his biggest opportunity for improvement.

(Unless that’s only half-true because he was joking when he said it!)

Ohio State President Ted Carter smiles and pats the shoulder of incoming athletic director Ross Bjork before a press conference to introduce him. Behind them are curtained panels. Both are white men in similarly colored suits and ties, but where President Carter seems relaxed, Bjork, in this moment the camera caught, seems as if he might be a bit nervous.

Either way, he’s genuine when he says he wants to connect with alumni.

And he means it just as much when he shares of himself to show students they can trust him as their president, he’s there for them, and he wants what is best for Ohio State.


President Carter crouches on a gymnasium floor and used both hands to pet a golden retriever who is smiling up at her owner, who’s mostly off camera. The owner helped found Buckeye Paws, the group of volunteer dog owners who take their pets around campus to spread cheer. In the background, more people stand around President Carter and the dog.

“I’ve never felt more in my entire life that I’m where I’m supposed to be,” Carter says. “I’m proud to be a Buckeye.”

President Carter leans sideways to place something on a table as he looks the opposite way, toward the man standing next to him, Associate Professor Ben Givens. They’re chatting; Carter smiles and Givens has a furrowed brow. Both men wear similarly colored suits, and Givens wears his glasses pushed on top of his head.
President Carter stands casually as brass-colored elevator doors close between him and the photographer. Carrying his scarf and work bag, Carter looks happy.

And now, here’s the rest of the story

The photos on this webpage are a walk through Carter’s first month on campus. Starting from the top one, here are descriptions of what is happening in each:

Carter outside with a co-worker: On his first official day on campus, Carter crosses the Oval on his way to his new office with JR Blackburn, chief of staff. Learn more about President Carter’s path to Ohio State and his distinguished resumé here. 

The Carters and their first BuckIDs: Ted and Lynda Carter admire their first BuckIDs in the office where every Columbus-campus Buckeye goes to get theirs made. 

Carter greets reporters: On the first day of spring semester, Carter answers questions at a news conference in University Square South, the new building where his and other offices are located. 

The side-scrolling trio of photos: 

  • Bobby McAlpine, president of Undergraduate Student Government, speaks with Carter and his wife, Lynda, at the first student welcome reception in the Union.
  • Carter gets a kick out of his conversation with one of the many students he met.
  • One of the best things about the reception is it gave the Carters that chance to meet and casually chat with students — and Brutus.

Carter with the incoming athletics director: Ohio State’s next athletics director, Ross Bjork, and Carter chat at a news conference held at the Covelli Center. Longtime athletics director Gene Smith is retiring in July. Here is what Carter says about Bjork. 

Carter and canine: At an all-staff wellness event, Carter shares some love with Shiloh, the Buckeye Paws dog owned by co-founder Mary Justice ’92. 

Carter before a meeting: Preparing to preside at his first University Senate meeting, Carter talks with Associate Professor of Psychology Ben Givens, who serves as secretary of the group. The focus was mental health for students and staff. 

Carter heads up: With a news conference on the first day of spring semester checked off his to-do list, Carter heads for his office. 

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