18:00 PM

First-Year Ohio State students mobilized for official Columbus Welcome event at Nationwide Arena

Today, nearly 7,000 new Ohio State University national and international students learned about their new hometown and “how to live like a local,” during the First-Year Student Columbus Welcome which took place at Nationwide Arena.

The event followed the President’s Convocation, which occurred earlier at St. John Arena. The first-year class of 2017 was transported downtown to Nationwide Arena for a program designed to welcome them to the city of Columbus on their first full-day on campus.

Ohio State’s incoming class includes students from all 88 Ohio counties, 48 states and international students from 41 countries.

Ohio State Interim President Joseph Alutto said the event is a great way to acquaint new students with their new hometown.

“Ohio State is a world-class university in a thriving metropolitan city. Today, we introduced our outstanding incoming students to that important connection, which will greatly enhance their experiences at the university” said Alutto.

This is the second year for this event, a collaboration between The Ohio State University, the City of Columbus and Mayor Coleman’s office, Experience Columbus and the Columbus Partnership.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the event is all about welcoming students to their new home away from home. “We want to embrace them, and show them just how important they are to this city. Quite frankly, Columbus would not be the city we are without the energy and excitement we receive from the thousands of students that relocate to the city to study each fall,” said Coleman.

Officials discussed (Speakers appear in this video in the following order: Joseph A. Alutto, Interim President, The Ohio State University; Brian Ross, President and CEO, Experience Columbus; Alex R. Fisher, President and CEO, Columbus Partnership and Michael B. Coleman, Mayor, city of Columbus) the planning and strategy for the event during a news conference held as students were filing into Nationwide Arena.

Columbus Partnership President and CEO Alex Fisher said, “Today, we are not only welcoming 7,000 of the nation’s smartest young minds into our community, but we are celebrating the university’s unprecedented commitment to integrating Columbus into the college student experience. This event is a catalyst for greater collaboration around making the college-student experience in the city of Columbus the best in the country.”

Brian Ross, Experience Columbus President and CEO, said it’s important to cultivate students as ambassadors for Columbus.

“We need to treat students like four year visitors to Columbus. We have four years to show them all the great things our community has to offer and entice them to want to stay here upon graduation and begin their careers and raise their families here. They are important advocates for Columbus and our brand image to outsiders. They are constantly talking to friends at other schools and hosting family and friends in town to visit them while they are here,” said Ross.

Following the news conference, students learned more about how to explore, work, eat and volunteer in their new hometown.

The program was led by Ohio State student leaders and included live speakers, video messages and presentations from alumni and business and community partners, all encouraging students to embrace Columbus’ unique offerings and opportunities for jobs, volunteerism, internships, dining, culture and entertainment.

Columbus Welcome Event participants included Alutto, Jeni Britton Bauer, founder, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream; Yvette McGee Brown, partner, Jones Day; Mayor Coleman; and Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Sam Thomson, members, Ohio State men’s basketball team.

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 168 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.