Ohio State will host Dec. 17 celebration of John Glenn’s life

Service follows full honors procession from Statehouse to Mershon Auditorium

By: Benjamin Johnson

Published on December 12, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University will host a public celebration of John Glenn’s life on Saturday, Dec. 17. The service will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. (EST) in Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St.

The service at Mershon Auditorium is open to the public, but tickets are required. Seating is limited and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. Details about ticket distribution will be posted online at http://glenn.osu.edu/glenn-memorial-service/.

Glenn, a decorated U.S. marine aviator and astronaut, was the first American to orbit the Earth and, much later in life, became the oldest person to travel to space. He represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate from 1974-1997. He died Thursday, Dec. 8, at the age of 95.

Glenn will lie in state in the Ohio Statehouse rotunda on Friday, Dec. 16, from noon to 8 p.m. On Saturday, from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m., an escort platoon of the United States Marines will lead the hearse carrying Glenn along High Street from the Statehouse to Mershon Auditorium in a dignified transfer with full honors procession.

“We look forward to welcoming John Glenn’s family, his colleagues and friends from all over the world to celebrate a lifelong public servant who touched so many with his wisdom, modesty and grace,” Ohio State President Michael V. Drake said. “We are so sorry that we have lost Senator Glenn. We were fortunate as a nation to bask in the glow of his courage and commitment. We are doubly fortunate as a university to be able to share his legacy with future generations.”

A live stream of the service will be broadcast in the Ohio Union and will be available for online viewing at ustream.tv/embed/22867931.

Glenn was a longtime supporter of Ohio State and its students. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Senate, he donated his personal and senate papers and other artifacts to the university. That donation grew into the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

Glenn took an active interest in the Glenn College. He was a University Honors Distinguished Fellow, chaired the college’s board of directors, and was an adjunct professor in both the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Policy and Management.

On Oct. 29, 1998, then 77-year-old Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space. Ohio State marked the historic nine-day space flight with Space Week, a week-long series of lectures, symposia and other events. The shuttle launch was broadcast across campus.

Memorabilia from Glenn’s life are on display in the lobby level of Page Hall, 1810 College Road, home to the Glenn College. The public is invited at this location to leave a message of condolence for his family. Memories and notes of condolence also may be posted on the Glenn College Facebook page, facebook.com/JohnGlennSchool.

The exhibit “John Glenn: Remembering an Extraordinary Life” will open Wednesday, Dec. 14, in the Special Collections area of Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall, and run through March 2017. Using photographs, documents and artifacts from the John Glenn Archives, the exhibit examines Glenn’s activities and accomplishments from his childhood in New Concord, Ohio, to the formation of the Glenn College.

More information about Glenn and his contributions to Ohio State is available at http://glenn.osu.edu/glenn-memorial-service/.

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Editor’s note: There will be a pool camera for broadcast coverage of the event and limited seating for credentialed still photographers and print journalists. Reporters who wish to be credentialed should contact Benjamin Johnson at johnson.7149@osu.edu by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Please include your name, media outlet and the number of credentials you are seeking. Questions about the pool feed should be directed to Joe Camoriano at camoriano.1@osu.edu.


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