Though less than 850,000 people live here, Columbus in the largest city in the state of Ohio. It is the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. It is also home to one of the largest public universities in the country, The Ohio State University. Founded in 1870 as a land grant university, it started as an agricultural and mechanical school. It was the leadership of then Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, later to become President of the U.S., to develop the school into a comprehensive university.
The Ohio State athletic teams are known as the Buckeyes. The state tree is the Ohio Buckeye. We actually had Buckeye trees along a creek near our former home in Pleasant Hill. Their growth cycle always seemed to be a little “off” compared to typical California trees and plants. The University is one of only five universities to have won an NCAA Championship in basketball, baseball, and be recognized as the national champion in football. Ohio Stadium is the 7th largest non-racing stadium in the world.
The Columbus campus alone has 57,000 students, of which 44,000 are undergrads. The academic staff numbers 6254. It is the 10th ranked public university in the U.S. The campus houses the Ohio State Cartoon Library and Museum, the world’s largest repository of cartoons. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 academic year were $10,037, the fifth most expensive in the state, but a bargain by California standards. Ohio State was one of four public universities to raise a $1 billion endowment back in 1999.
The Ohio State Marching Band is the largest all brass and percussion band in the world. The Ohio (student) Union was the first student union built by a public university. The Sundial is a student written and published humor magazine, founded in 1911. Some of the most outstanding athletes in Ohio State history include the great Olympian, Jesse Owens, all time great golfer Jack Nicklaus, and two time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.
Both Wendy’s and White Castle are based here in Columbus. If you have never had a White Castle “burger”, you must try one. The burgers are called “sliders” for good reason! Their original burger sold for 5 cents. Some of the larger grocery chains carry the frozen version. Five Fortune 500 companies are located here, including Cardinal Health, Big Lots, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, American Electric Power, and L Brands.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are the only major league professional sports team. The Columbus Clippers (affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) are a Triple A minor league baseball team. And the MLS team here is called the Columbus Crew.
From Columbus I am headed back home. But first, I am making a short 100 mile drive to Greenville, OH to see my cousin, Walt. While in Columbus, I will be the guest of my cousin’s in laws, both dermatologists here in Columbus. They plan to show me life here in the rust belt. Wish me luck as a flatlander!!!
I must tell you that I am quite impressed by the city center, with many restaurants, and art galleries, as well as upscale housing. The roads seem well planned, and bike paths and bike sharing are plentiful. And the plethora of young people, both from the U. and from elsewhere.