A few weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity of visiting President Gee’s house. As president of The Ohio State University, Dr. Gee hosts several events at his house throughout the year. On this particular night, President Gee hosted a dinner to welcome the new president of Wittenberg University, Dr. Laurie Joyner. My cousin, who is on the Board of Trustees as the graduate student representative, frequently attends the events at President Gee’s house and he invited me to join him on this evening. Being a recent Wittenberg alum, I was excited about the opportunity to meet President Joyner as well as President Gee.
The evening started with a quick tour of President Gee’s elegant house. In his backyard resides a tennis court and a large swimming pool. Inside the house, the rooms are wide-open and well-decorated. There are two pieces of art which I found especially interesting in the house. First, there was a large painting of President Gee and his signature bow-tie; interestingly, though, he was also sporting a red athletic headband in the painting that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. The second fascinating piece of art was a sculpture of Johnny Cash playing his guitar. The sculpture was made entirely of several thousand small crayons.
After the tour, my cousin and I ate some delicious food and mingled with several Ohio State and Wittenberg board members. My cousin briefly introduced me to President Gee before the formal welcome reception began. Shortly thereafter, everyone made their way to the living room where President Gee provided President Joyner with a gift and some welcoming remarks. President Joyner then returned the favor to President Gee with a very thoughtful gift: a Wittenberg bow-tie. The formal welcome ceremony concluded with Ohio State’s men’s a capella group, Buck That, serenading the party with several Ohio State songs, including: Buckeye Battle Cry, Hang on Sloopy, and the alma mater, Carmen Ohio.
Throughout the evening, I was impressed with President Gee’s hospitality and generosity in welcoming President Joyner to the state of Ohio. I had the opportunity to meet President Joyner after the formal welcome reception and she was very appreciative of President Gee’s kind gesture and welcoming remarks. And as a Wittenberg alum and Ohio State graduate student, I felt very fortunate to be a part of such a great event and also be connected to two very outstanding university presidents.