Athens, Ohio (October 13, 2012) – Sunshine and warm weather returned to southeastern Ohio this weekend along with thousands of Ohio University alumni and friends for Homecoming – a record 200 of them attending the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology's tailgate on Saturday.
"It's unbelievable how many people showed up," said Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin. "It's really gratifying. Go Bobcats!"
Joan Mace, former and first woman chair of the Department of Aviation, attends the tailgate every year along with remaining involved with departmental activities. A member of the National Association of Flying Instructors Hall of Fame, Mace started flight instructing at the Ohio University Airport in 1946.
"If anybody ever had a job that they enjoyed more than mine, I don't think it's possible because I flew with all the students," she said. "I still have a lot of fond memories. It was my hobby, and I got paid for it," she added.
Unlike Mace, some Alumni hadn't returned Athens for a few years.
"It's been a while since I've been down here," said David Althausen, BSME '03. "Probably like 2007. It's been pretty busy since then," said the former Engineering Ambassador, who is also a new father.
Althausen is employed in aeronautics at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
"I work in facilities that test jet engine components or subassemblies of jet engine components like turbines, compressors and combustors. On the other side of the house, I design life support systems for space exploration," he said.
Kerry Hosenfeld, BSISE '99, hadn't been back to the university since she graduated.
"I wanted to come down and see the game and see the city," she said. "A lot has changed. We've been having a good time so far and it's been a gorgeous day."
Hosenfeld interned at Honda while at the Russ College and started working for the company after graduation.
"I worked in supplied parts quality, and that ended up taking me to Japan for a couple years," she said. "Now, I'm still in Columbus at a Japanese automotive company that supplies Honda and I'm the quality manager there," she explained.
Alumni joined faculty, staff and students, including current Engineering Ambassadors, to celebrate the day. The OHIO Bobcats beat Akron 34-28.