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Local Alumni Shocked By OSU Pres. Retirement
FAIRBORN -- For the first time Tuesday, President E. Gordon Gee spoke out on his abrupt plans to retire.
"The truth of the matter is that I've been thinking about this for some time. They let me go on a cruise, they should never let me go on a cruise, and I had these two identical little 7-month-old girls in my hand and I said, you know, there's something more to life that needs a little balance," Gee told reporters.
This comes just days after Gee apologized for making disparaging comments about Catholics.
Gee was certainly a beloved Buckeye, at least to some fans. Some of his closest ones joined him at a private party at his house Tuesday night.
Of course those at the butt of his recent controversial jokes probably aren't too fond of him.
"There's been too much negative publicity as a result of his comments and it was taking away from the University's mission and what it was trying to do," said OSU Alumnus Tom Adinaro.
"He's really going to be missed," OSU junior Casey Gayheart said.
Gayheart first met Gee at her freshman orientation. She says his bubbly personality is as memorable as his bow-ties.
"The students have an immense amount of respect for him. He is an incredible man. You can find him on campus involved in student activities any time of the week," she said.
"He's a funny guy and he's not stuffy like a lot of past presidents. He's very intelligent but doesn't come across as being stuffy," OSU alumnus Cindy Feltz said.
His laid-back attitude didn't prevent him from earning a record $1.9 million a year. While supporters are surprised and even shocked by the sudden retirement announcement, they know the university will pull itself up by the bootstraps and move forward.
"It will be sad at first because it'll be hard to replicate his personality. But Ohio State is much bigger than any one president," Feltz said.
Gee will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss more details on his decision to retire. You can watch that live on FOX 45 In The Morning at 8:15 am.
Gee's last day is July 1.
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