Ohio State has been a central force in my life for almost a decade now. As an undergraduate (2010-2014), employee (2015-2016), and graduate student (2016-2018), I have been able to see the University from many angles. What always amazes me is this place’s ability to re-invent itself based on where you are in your life. It never feels small, it never feels predictable, and it never feels like you have outgrown it—because there are constantly new worlds of opportunity opening up to you. Eight years ago, I never thought I would work at a University. Four years ago, I never thought I would get a master’s degree. Yet, here I am!
Thinking back to my earliest days on campus, sometimes it is almost difficult to believe they really happened. So much has changed in the world and in my life that it can be challenging to relate, fond as the memories may be. That is why we have traditions—rituals that do not change with time—to help us connect with our past and with each other. Time-honored traditions are what make higher education so special—because while everybody’s individual experience is unique, much of the experience in earnest is universal. These shared experiences allow us to connect with past versions of ourselves and fellow alumni from all different eras.
One of Ohio State’s many notable alumni is Milton Caniff (1930), famous cartoonist and artist. Caniff is an Ohio native and his instantly recognizable style is considered one of the most significant influences on cartoon and comic drawing of the 20th century. Original copies of his work can be found around campus, both in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum and the Ohio Union Cartoon Room.
Caniff has a wonderful poem he wrote in 1930 (his senior year) which captures the memories of his college years and the special connection all Ohio State alumni feel with this campus. He made an illustration in 1968 to accompany the poem, which captures famous campus landmarks that any Ohio State student will recognize. I am always struck by how relatable the words are, even though my experience at Ohio State was nearly a century apart. I am sure if you have ever spent time on campus you will understand!
So, to sign off my final post before graduation, I will leave you with Caniff’s words, “Now In My Day…”. Wherever you are, I hope it brings back fond memories of your time on campus, as it always will for me.