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Largest-ever alumni event (not athletic-related) outside of Athens brings a little bit of Ohio University to Cleveland


More than 450 Ohio University alumni and friends gathered at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center on July 18 for a special alumni event in conjunction with the annual summer meeting of The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees.

“With the largest concentration of Ohio University alumni in the world in northeast Ohio, we anticipated a great turnout for this event, and our Bobcats didn’t disappoint! In fact, they outdid themselves,” said Jennifer Neubauer, assistant vice president for Alumni Relations and executive director of the Ohio University Alumni Association (OUAA).  “Going in to Thursday night’s event, the attendance record for the largest alumni event in Ohio University history [not athletic-related] belonged to Cleveland with 350 attending the Ohio University Bicentennial Celebration in Cleveland in fall 2004. Now, they hold the top two slots!”

This wasn’t just any event in a hotel ballroom. Themed “A Night in Athens…in Cleveland,” the OUAA took the opportunity to recreate the OHIO and Athens experience 215 miles from College Green. Take a look at some of the evening’s memorable moments. 

Alumnae Sheila Rowan McHale and Connie Lawson Davis

Alumnae Sheila Rowan McHale and Connie Lawson Davis greet one another at the opening of “A Night in Athens…in Cleveland.” McHale is a trustee emerita of the foundation board and a 1968 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences. Lawson Davis is 1967 graduate of The Patton College of Education and a member of the Ebony Bobcat Network (EBN). Both are members of the Ohio University Women’s Club of Greater Cleveland. 

First Lady Deborah McDavis, President Roderick J. McDavis, Rufus, Hon. George V. Voinovich and Janet Voinovich

Rufus was on hand for photo opportunities. From left: First Lady Deborah McDavis, President Roderick J. McDavis, Rufus, Hon. George V. Voinovich and Janet Voinovich pause outside orientation (registration) for a quick photo. President McDavis is a 1970 graduate of The Patton College. George Voinovich – a former United States senator, governor of Ohio and mayor of Cleveland – graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1958. 

Members of the Ohio University Women’s Club of Greater Cleveland

Members of the Ohio University Women’s Club of Greater Cleveland take advantage of a special green screen photo booth that gave guests the opportunity to their photo “taken” at iconic campus and Athens locations, including the Class Gateway, the Convocation Center and Court Street. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi with a group of recent OHIO graduates

Guests passed through a replica of Ohio University’s Alumni Gateway, which stands at the corner of Court and Union Streets in Athens, as they entered the grand ballroom at the Cleveland Marriott. Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi was captured in this photo with a group of recent OHIO graduates. 

“A Night in Athens…in Cleveland” featured deferential nods to classic Athens fare including the Mexican style of Casa Nueva, the Asian cuisines of China Fortune and Lui Lui, and the dogs of O’Betty’s

“A Night in Athens…in Cleveland” featured deferential nods to classic Athens fare including the Mexican style of Casa Nueva, the Asian cuisines of China Fortune and Lui Lui, and the dogs of O’Betty’s. Guests also playfully paid homage to classic Athens bars like The Junction. 

Gwen Weihe, a 1961 alumna of The Patton College, visits with 2013 graduates Madisen Medley and Abigail Kornowski

Gwen Weihe, a 1961 alumna of The Patton College, visits with 2013 graduates Madisen Medley and Abigail Kornowski. Weihe is a member of Women in Philanthropy of Ohio University; Medley is the immediate past president of the OUAA’s Student Alumni Board. “A Night in Athens...in Cleveland” featured a diverse crowd of alumni who graduated as long ago as 1950 and as recently as June 2013. Click HERE to read the related story. 

OUAA Chair William Hilyard and President McDavis

To close the event’s formal program, OUAA Chair William Hilyard and President McDavis lead the crowd in singing “Alma Mater, Ohio.” Hilyard is a 1967 graduate of The Patton College.

Alumnae Andrea Korinchak, Mary Lynn Hope, Mary S. Battung and Christine Ianni-Maistros

Alumnae Andrea Korinchak, Mary Lynn Hope, Mary S. Battung and Christine Ianni-Maistros reunite in front of an 8x8-foot image of Stocker Engineering and Technology Center (formerly Crook Hall). The women met as freshmen in Crook Hall in 1971, and they have gathered with a group of 11 OHIO alumnae around the country for regular reunions ever since. Read the related story in the Charlotte Observer HERE.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta

Members of Delta Sigma Theta gather for a group photo. The sorority was incorporated at Ohio University in October 1963 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall semester during OHIO’s Black Alumni Reunion (BAR). Click HERE for more information about this year’s BAR. 

1997 College of Business alumnus Jim Stobe leaves a “Go Bobcats” message

“A Night in Athens…in Cleveland” featured 8x8-foot images of 11 of Ohio University’s buildings on which guests were invited to leave an autograph and message for their college of graduation. Here, 1997 College of Business alumnus Jim Stobe leaves a “Go Bobcats” message on “Copeland Hall.”