This Side of Theory

Student Affairs Reflections and Musings

Current Bobcat Resident

In December, as part of my 31 Random Acts of Kindness, I mailed a gift card for a pizza place to the current residents of the residence hall room where I lived my first year at Ohio University. I was feeling nostalgic for finals week and, watching my current students prepare for their exams, I thought about those times with my friends in our hall fifteen years prior. Like most of my random acts, I sent it off into the world, and didn’t think much about it again.

Until this morning.

I checked my mail on the way to work and there was a letter addressed to “Current Bobcat Resident” at my address. When I mailed the gift card, I was forced to give a return address, but figured it would be ignored by the residents. I assumed this letter would be from a student working with the development office. I looked at the return address, and immediately recognized it as my own former address.

Inside the envelope this morning was a thoughtful thank you note from the residents of the room written by one roommate:

Hello OU Alum!

I just wanted to thank you for sending my roommate and I the generous gift card to study for our finals last semester! We hardly check our mail downstairs so I literally juts got your letter last week. We are both new to [Residence Hall] this year and we love it! It is like living in a hotel…

[That hall has clearly been renovated since my time there and is no longer a first-year hall. He went on to tell me a bit about himself and his roommate — their majors, what they’re involved in, his plan to study abroad next year.]

This was such a great idea. I think I will do something like what you did to my old room in [Other Residence Hall]. Thanks again for thinking of us! OU OH YEAH!

I’m so glad that two students who love my alma mater as much as I do were the recipients.  My heart is full this morning — this letter means the world to me and knowing that they may pass on the kindness makes it even sweeter.



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  • Ryan Lombardi

    This is outstanding — thanks for sharing and for your generosity! The Bobcat spirit is strong!

  • Jenny Hall-Jones


  • Phyllis Baumgardner Burkhard

    What a great idea! I lived in Scott Quadrangle all four years, in various rooms. On a visit to Athens a few years ago, I was able to go into my freshman room, which is now an office. There are lots of good memories of the places we lived at OU.
    Phyllis Baumgardner Burkhard –1965

  • Mollie Zenz

    I love this! I feel the need to ask, which pizza place did you send? Hungry Howie’s? Avalanche? Courtside? Goodfella’s? Does Goodfella’s even have gift cards? I hope to remember this for next year and send something to good ol’ Jefferson and the Squad (fondly) or…Scott Quad.