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Ohio State staff, faculty and students thrilled to march in Columbus Pride parade

Event returns to streets of Columbus with large Ohio State contingent

Chris Yates was proud to walk in the 2022 Columbus Pride March, the first in-person march since 2019. He was also proud that his employer, the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University, comprised the largest contingent of the university’s pride marchers.

“I think it’s important to demonstrate to the Ohio State community and beyond that engineers, architects and planners all support diversity and inclusivity,” said Yates, chief advancement and economic development officer for the college. “We may be techies, but we care deeply about our community and believe that our ability to make the world a better place for all is enhanced by greater diversity in our ranks along with strong support for a more just and equitable society.”

Among those joining the College of Engineering were the Student Life Multicultural Center, the College of Social Work, the College of Medicine and the Wexner Medical Center. There were also representatives from the Alumni Association and the Alumni Marching Band, as well as the offices of Student Life and Undergraduate Admissions. Rustin Moore, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, said 50 people from the college were participating.

“If you look around, you can see the smiles on their faces,” Moore said. “We have members from the LGBTQ community and also allies. I think people are happy to be here.”

Education and Human Ecology student Chen Qu was attending the parade for the first time.

“I’m excited to be here. This is my first time to join this kind of event,” she said. “Although in China we support the LGBTQ community, we don’t have such events. So I came here to enjoy and experience the event.”

Attending his second Pride parade was Vincent Zack, a nurse at the Wexner Medical Center.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for two years now,” Zack said. “I was very excited to march in the parade with Ohio State. I really can’t believe this is happening. It’s a great feeling. This is a nice way to be out and see people again.”

Brutus joined the Ohio State group, delighting adults and children alike. He led the university’s participants along with the Alumni Marching Band. Megan Wistinghausen, a 2016 alum of the marching band, was marching in the parade for the first time. She joined the Alumni Band with her mellophone, which was decorated with a colorful lei.

“Within the last year, I realized I was bisexual. I was like, ‘I should join my people,’” she said. “So when we got the call, I thought, ‘this seems cool!’ I’d never gone before, and I know Columbus is a nice city for events like this.”

The importance of Ohio State’s participation in the parade was a theme for the day. Yates feels great pride at working in such a supportive and inclusive environment.

“The Ohio State University is a highly respected institution in Ohio with a very important role educating students and expanding knowledge,” he said. “By participating in the Pride parade, the university is demonstrating in a very visible way its commitment to the LGBTQ community and to that community’s ongoing efforts to achieve social and self-acceptance, legal rights, and equality.”

Editors note: A video of Ohio State parade participants is available on YouTube

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