Home    Authors   

“THE Ohio State University?”

 Written by    November 3, 2015

My first post! YAY! For those of you who don’t know me (consider yourselves lucky we haven’t crossed paths yet) my name is Kelsey Tschanen and I am not only a proud Ohio State alumna, but I am also one of the admissions counselors here at THE Ohio State University.

When I first started as an admissions counselor, I worked with students from Akron, Canton, and Youngstown, Ohio, and I currently work with students from the East Coast (specifically the Boston area and all of Connecticut). Most people I encounter (both in state and out of state) are familiar with our emphasis of the word THE in our name, but I frequently get asked why we do it.

Most people assume it’s because we are arrogant due to our recent domination of the college football world, to which I respond typically respond something like this:

Beyonce Hair Flip

“Yeah, so?”

BUT actually there are a few reason for it! You can pick your favorite among these 3 very good* reasons for emphasizing the THE:

1. The cheesy answer I always give is that it’s an acronym that stands for Tradition Honor and Excellence, three things that are valued among all Buckeyes past and present. Nauseatingly adorable, isn’t it? Liz Lemon things so too.


*Note: This answer is no way rooted in any sort of tangible fact or historical evidence, and is exclusively something I say to make eager moms and dads chuckle. And it works. Every. Single. Time.

2. It’s been in our actual name since 1878.

According to our University Archives FAQ Page:

The “The” was actually part of the state legislation when the university was renamed in 1878. The following excerpt is from the Board of Trustee minutes: “…the educational institution heretofore known as the ‘Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College,’ shall be known and designated hereafter as ‘The Ohio State University.'” Those who wanted the name change thought the original name was too narrow in scope, and that it was inadequate for the institution that was the only beneficiary of the land grant act. President Edward Orton was insistent that a new name would separate the institution from other colleges in Ohio. Legend also has it that “The” was used to show the other colleges which institution was supposed to be the leader in the state – both in size and in financial support from the legislature.

Joe Biden Laughing

^I imagine this is what President Orton looked like when he thought about what the other schools in Ohio would think of our new name…


3. It’s grammatically correct. 

Grammar time

While some might be temped to pronounce it as the standard “thuh”, you are an intelligent person and you know when “the” proceeds a vowel (for example the O in Ohio) the pronunciation changes from “thuh” to “thee.” Don’t believe me? Consult your nearest dictionary or any basic English grammar book. Go ahead. I’ll wait.


In sum, although we clearly are just as awesome as our name would indicate, there are some very valid reasons for the way we pronounce The Ohio State University. If anyone ever tries to call you out for being arrogant, smack them in the face with this blog post and walk away singing The Buckeye Battle Cry.  O-H!




Beyonce GIF Source: https://33.media.tumblr.com/509b064ca55d13a556033afce5d356f5/tumblr_mr88i7dCVN1r5n0bgo1_500.gif

MC Hammer Meme Source: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/c2/c218be17c52187f42cd8967040fbc235f8d6e1f5c91816dc480a87fda5cf9579.jpg

University Archives FAQ post: https://library.osu.edu/find/collections/the-ohio-state-university-archives/buckeye-history/faqs/#1

Liz Lemon GIF: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/degrassi/images/d/dd/Liz-lemon-eye-roll.gif/revision/latest?cb=20140704003938


Comments are closed.

Kelsey Tschanen's recent posts