OTTAWA — Ohio State University President Michael Drake made a surprise visit to an Ohio State event for current and prospective students at the Red Pig Inn on Thursday afternoon.
OSU Office of Student Life members, cheerleaders and the marching band drum major also attended the event. They arrived and departed on the Ohio State Student Life Buckeye Bus. The university’s mascot, Brutus Buckeye, also was on hand to take pictures with attendees.
“We are the university for the state in so many ways and I love seeing our alumni and what they are doing in the world and am excited to meet incoming freshman,” Drake said.
Maddie Nicklaus, Columbus Grove, and Riley Fenter, Continental, attended the event and will be freshmen at OSU in the fall. They are recipients of the university’s Land Grant Scholarships that covers tuition and room and board fees. The scholarship is based on financial and academic need and is awarded to two students per county in Ohio.
Nicklaus will study biology and pre-med and said she has always wanted to attend OSU.
“Ever since I was little I had my heart set on going to OSU. My aunt went there and she always loved it and talked about how much she loved college,” Nicklaus said. She was excited the university’s president attended the event.
Fenter will be a marketing major in the fall at the university.
“It is such a fun campus and so many opportunities there. It means a lot to me that the president took the time out of his day to see us,” Fenter said.
Drake has been president of OSU since 2014. During his tenure, Ohio State has seen record highs in applications, graduation rates, academic excellence, sponsored research, diversity and donor support.
“We want the students who come to us to be able to graduate and the real benefit of college is to be able to have that degree and base your life on that,” Drake said. He said the university works to make sure it has the most effective teaching and support students.
To support greater access to an affordable education, he directed the university to identify $400 million by 2020 to lower costs and improve value for students and families.
In 2017, he led the establishment of the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee- freezing tuition, mandatory fees, housing and dining for four years for incoming, in-state freshman.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.