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Bobcat Family Tree Challenge
Submission period is now closed.

Bobcat Family Tree Challenge

Tree with squirrel running up trunk with text, "Bobcat Family Tree."

How many squirrels are in your Bobcat Family Tree?

Celebrate your Bobcat heritage by participating in the Ohio University Bobcat Family Tree Challenge! We want to recognize your family's deep connection to our beloved University. Gather your OHIO family members and let's see whose roots run the deepest in our cherished alma mater! Submit your entry and you could win fabulous prizes while making your mark in OHIO history!

Entries are now closed and we thank you for your participation.


  • April 9, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. - The Bobcat Family Tree Challenge submission period is now closed and we thank you for your participation!
  • June 2024 - The Ohio University Alumni Association will review submissions on a rolling basis, and the winner in each category will be announced on our website and social media. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your name and photograph will be shared should you win a category.
  • Sept. 13-15, 2024 - Save the date for Bobcat Family Weekend in Athens, OH. More information to come!


1. Most Bobcats in a Family - Congrats to Georgiann Basilone-Moss, '75 and Family

  • How many Bobcats are you related to? Submissions to this category can contain your Bobcat relatives, either through marriage or divorce, as far back as you have record of. Current students are eligible!
  • Who can you include? We’re glad you asked! Submissions can include: you, your spouse/partner, parents, grandparents, great grandparents (and beyond, if they’re a Bobcat), siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, 1st cousins, children, step-children, step-parents, parents-in-law, grandparents-in-law, and siblings-in-law.
  • When it comes to cousins, you may have a third cousin who attended OHIO, or maybe a second cousin once removed who just graduated. That’s great, and we love that you have those Bobcats in your family. For the purposes of this contest, though, we are only accepting first cousins, including “removed.” Second and third cousins are only eligible if the great-grandparent (or great-great-grandparent) that you share is also a Bobcat. We know this can be a little confusing, so we’ve added a flowchart below to show you who can be included on your tree, and who can submit their own family tree submission.

Prize! The winner of this category will be invited back to Ohio University’s Athens campus as part of our Family Weekend celebration from Sept. 13-15, 2024. The family will receive a special recognition ceremony during the Bobcat Family Picnic.

2. Most Bobcat Generations - Congrats to Libby Nilsen, '27 and Family & Megan Vogel, '98 and Family

  • Are you a fourth generation Bobcat? Submissions to this category count the most generations of Bobcats in a family. Skipped one here or there? That’s OK! We’ll count as many generations as possible. In this category, generations will be counted as follows:
    • You graduated from OHIO in 2022, and your mom graduated in 1996. Your maternal grandfather didn’t attend OHIO, but his father did. That would count for three generations.
    • You graduated from OHIO in 2022, and your mom graduated in 1996. Your father attended a different institution, but his mother attended OHIO, and her father before her graduated from OHIO in 1943. Since all of these people are directly related to you, that would count as four generations.

Prize! The winner of this category will receive a customized Bobcat Family swag pack.

3. Most Bobcats Since 1970 - Congrats to Jordan Gruner Cox, '12 '17 and Family

  • Are you part of a relatively young Bobcat family? This category is for you! We count the most graduates from OHIO with a class year of 1970 or later. That means you needed to graduate in the spring of 1970 or beyond (sorry, winter 1969 grads). This category will be judged the same as category 1, and the same rules apply for cousins.

Prize! The winner of this category will receive a customized Bobcat Family swag pack.

4. Oldest Bobcat Relative - Congrats to Michelle Blackburn, '11 and John Penrose, '66

  • Do you have a great-great-great (plus probably a few more “greats”) grandparent who was one of the first graduates of OHIO? Are you also a graduate of OHIO? Enter this category to show off your historical connection to an early graduate. To enter this category, you must be a graduate of OHIO, and you must have proof of your relative and their connection to Ohio University. This proof can be a yearbook photo, diploma, or other piece of OHIO memorabilia that proves their attendance.

Prize! The winner of this category will receive a customized Bobcat Family swag pack.

5. First Generation Bobcat - Congrats to John Anderson, '74 & Lisa Gallagher, '89

  • Are you the first in your family to attend OHIO or to attend college? We’d love to hear how you are going to build your own Bobcat family! This category is a short, written response question. Please answer the following prompt in 220 words or less. That gives you one word for every year OHIO has been around
    • What does Ohio University mean to you, and how do you plan to build your own Bobcat Family?

Prize! The winner of this category will receive a customized Bobcat Family swag pack.


Flow chart showing family tree.

This is a visualization of who in your family tree can be counted. If you are using a screen reader or other assistive technology and need more detail on how to count your Bobcat relatives, give us a call at 740-593-4300.

All participants are invited to the Bobcat Family Picnic on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2024!



Questions? Please email