Oct. 31, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Athletics hosted the annual 1888 Society Fall Luncheon Friday afternoon in the Orlando Pace Recruiting Room of Ohio Stadium, recognizing and thanking endowment holders. The event also provides an opportunity for Buckeye student-athletes, coaches and administrators to meet, interact with and personally thank those that sponsor them.

Gene Smith, university vice president and director of athletics, began the luncheon with opening remarks before handing it over to the emcee and radio voice of Ohio State Football and Men’s Basketball, Paul Kiels.

A panel consisting of Shaun Richard (associate athletics director), Bill Dorenkott (women’s swimming head coach) and several student-athletes then spoke the assembled crowd.

“To be able to support our players beyond the opportunities afforded to them at Ohio State, it takes your kindness and your generosity,’ said Dorenkott. “The chance for our athletes to be here today and say ‘thank you’ is very significant. For all that you do, we truly appreciate it.”

Rhys Douglass, a senior on the men’s fencing team, spoke next and told a story of how Ohio State Athletics has helped him get through some of his life’s toughest times. “Before I came to Ohio, I had no realization of this thing called Buckeye Nation. And now, to me, Buckeye Nation is the people that support you. They you push through things. I have that support here at Ohio State. And the only reason I’m able to continue that is because of my scholarship funded by your endowment.”

Tyler Pfister, a redshirt sophomore for the men’s lacrosse team and son of OSU linebacker Mark Pfister (1983-84), discussed those who have impacted his time as a Buckeye. “My father definitely impacted my life here at Ohio State, along with a slew of other people; including all of you here today that have given. I want to thank you for your donations and the way that you contribute to us here at Ohio State now, but also in us to pay it forward in the future.”

Katie Mitchell, a junior volleyball player and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, concluded the panel discussion by speaking of the student-athlete responsibility and how donors assist.

“Being a student-athlete at Ohio State is a full-time job. Taking on the responsibilities of accepting that job could not be accomplished without your support. Whether it’s being fans cheering for us on the court, or your financial contributions off the court; we know there is a Buckeye Nation behind us.”

Endowment holders were award photo opportunities with Brutus Buckeye and the student-athletes they sponsor.