Alumni

April 28, 2021 at 6:51 pm

Alumni News | Ferne Ziglar and Mimi Bogard Reflect on Class of 1971

College of Arts & Sciences alumni Ferne Ziglar, a Spanish major, and Mimi Bogard, an English major, were among those interviewed for an Ohio University News story headlined “OHIO’s Class of 1971 reflects on campus, life experiences 50 years after graduation.”

What was life like on campus while they were students?

Mimi Bogard, AB ’71, poses for a photo on a trip to Ireland. After graduating from Ohio University, she enjoyed a 35-year career in education and is active in the League of Women voters of the Canton Area. Photo courtesy of Mimi Bogard

Mimi Bogard, AB ’71, poses for a photo on a trip to Ireland. After graduating from Ohio University, she enjoyed a 35-year career in education and is active in the League of Women voters of the Canton Area. Photo courtesy of Mimi Bogard

“Of course, campus unrest was part of that time. Social issues triggered protests big, small, some violent, mostly addressing the Vietnam War but also racism, gender equity, environmental health. The May 4, 1970, Kent shootings and the subsequent OU closing were probably the most disturbing of those for me. I drove out of Athens on May 15th with National Guardsmen lining the sidewalks, and that’s still a chilling memory.…

“But, on the other hand, there was a lot of joy in campus life. You can’t congregate 20,000 young people in a somewhat defined area and not expect a lot of fun,” says Bogard, who went on to teach English at Sandy Valley Junior/Senior High School in Magnolia, Ohio.

Ferne Ziglar, AB ’71, is pictured aboard the William G. Mather Steamship in Cleveland, where she has lived since graduating from Ohio University. Her career has included teaching, sales, journalism, public relations and communications. In the mid-1980s, she launched her own company, the Ferneway Company.

Ferne Ziglar, AB ’71, is pictured aboard the William G. Mather Steamship in Cleveland, where she has lived since graduating from Ohio University. Her career has included teaching, sales, journalism, public relations and communications. In the mid-1980s, she launched her own company, the Ferneway Company. Photo courtesy of Ferne Ziglar

“While many universities are in the heart of cities, we were isolated in our own insulated world,” recalls Ziglar, whose career quickly transitioned from teaching Spanish and reporting for an African American newspaper to leading a global group of communicators at Ohio Bell, forming her own public relations firm in Cleveland, and much more.

“As a freshman, I lived in Biddle Hall and ate in Shively. In those early years, on Sundays everybody was expected to dress up for dinner. So, the ladies, we wore dresses or skirts or suits, and the guys wore ties and suits to dinner. It was special, with Sunday favorites such as chicken and dressing and all the fixings. It was a different time, different expectations, different traditions….

“There was a camaraderie, particularly among Black students. In fact, in my first couple of years I knew every Black student by name. But by the time I graduated, I recognized faces but didn’t necessarily know everybody’s name. Nor did we have the kinds of resources and supports that OU students have today. So, as family, we looked out for each other, depended on one another.”

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