MOUNT VERNON — The spirit of Ohio State was nearly tangible at the annual OSU-Knox County Alumni Spirit Banquet on Tuesday.
Everywhere you looked in the Gallagher Centre, there were people decked out in scarlet and gray. Some wore necklaces made of buckeyes. Others had cellphones that played the OSU fight song.
There was also E. Gordon Gee.
The former president of the Ohio State University was the keynote speaker at this year’s event, which raised funds for scholarships to be given to local students to attend OSU.
“It’s very evident that there’s a lot of spirit here in Knox County,” said OSU-Knox County Alumni Club president Terry Zeller. “I’ve talked to people in clubs in bigger cities that don’t have nearly the turnout that we do.”
Gee, who stepped down as OSU president earlier this year, wowed the crowd with stories of his days as a Buckeye. As he began his speech, he wanted something to go on the record.
“I love Notre Dame!” Gee said with enthusiasm. “I love the Southeastern Conference! And I love the Little Sisters of the Poor!”
During his speech, Gee pointed out a dentist in the crowd and explained why he was glad she was there.
“I always like to travel with a dentist, in case I have to get my foot out of my mouth,” Gee explained.
It took over a year to arrange for Gee to appear at this year’s event, which included a silent auction, a live auction and several items to be raffled. Other recent speakers have included Archie Griffin, John Cooper and Craig Krenzel.
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