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OUS History Club seeking members

If you’re interested in history, you may find yourself drawn to a newly formed alliance at Ohio University Southern.

The OUS History Club, implemented less than a year ago, is looking to expand its membership base and gather fresh perspectives on events from the past.

Specifically, the club hopes to dust off and polish historical events that have happened in Lawrence County and the Tri-State.

“There is so much history right here where we live,” said club member Chris Saunders, an avid connoisseur of American military history and founding member of the Burlington Veteran’s Committee.

“It could be any kind of history, not just military,” Saunders said. “Our goal is to uncover local history and shed some light on it.”

Club Vice President Tracy Rowsey is of similar mind with Saunders in that thought.

“The OUS History Club was founded for those who share the same passion,” Rowsey said, also noting that the chairwoman of the OUS History department, Dr. Debbie Marinski, serves as an adviser.

Club President Sybrina Hodges asked Rowsey on board in the early stages of the club’s inception.

It didn’t take the two current OUS students long to contact Saunders, as well as a man known locally for his knowledge regarding all things historical, OUS History professor Bob Leith.

While Leith doesn’t serve in an official capacity within the club, his input, influence and insight are a vital part of the young organization’s vision.

The club, which meets the third Thursday of every month at the OUS campus, held its first organized event in March with the appearance of Charlotte Riedel, a Romanian immigrant who now resides in Ironton.

In May, a Holocaust survivor will share her story of perseverance in one of the cruelest places in recorded history, a Nazi death camp.

Recently some members of the OUS History Club accompanied Professor Leith and Dr. Marinski on a weekend getaway to Gettysburg, Pa. and Antietam, Md., to stand where the soldiers stood during the Civil War. 

A future trip is being planned to Williamsburg, Va., an area saturated with history of the events leading to the American Revolution.

Students at OUS who join the History Club will be awarded a sash upon graduation provided they perform four hours of history-related community service.

The club accepts members from the general public and there is a small membership fee.

While the long-term goal of the OUS History Club is to put a spotlight on local history, the group plans to continually provide learning experiences in American History as well.

“We know there is forgotten history all around us here,” Saunders said. “We want to find it again.”

To do that, the club needs help from the public. Anyone who possesses information that they wish to contribute is urged to contact Rowsey at (740) 442-9164. He can also be reached via email at tr891007@ohio.edu. Sybrina Hodges can be contacted at sh271707@ohio.edu.

“This is just a bunch of people who have similar interests,” Rowsey said. “It’s great to be around other people who enjoy history as much as you do.”