Star-Crossed Bobcats: 50 Years in the Making

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For Martha and Bob Besuden, Ohio University is more than a school, its home. 

"We've have been through bad times here," Martha said.  The Besudens witnessed riots turn violent in 1970 after the Kent State shootings.  The violence took place on the corner of Union and College street.  "There was a National Guardsman at every parking meter, [on Court Street] it was very sad," Martha said.  The violence even drove Ohio University to close in 1970.  Although the Besuden's were graduated from OU by 1970, the couple still lived in the area.  

With this weekend's fire, the Besuden's are reminded of their own struggles.  "Buildings change, but friends don't," Bob said.  Martha thinks the fire department has handled the fire this weekend and of the past the best they could.  "I think they were able to contain it pretty well."  

"But we've been through happy times. OU is OU," Martha insisted.  

2014 marks Martha and Bob's 50th year as a part of the Bobcat family.  This is one title they do not take lightly.    

Both Martha and Bob first came to OU during the fall of 1964.  Both were involved in Greek life; Martha was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and Bob was in Pi Kappa Alpha.  Bob claims that Martha's fun spirit caught his eye.  "She was a great dancer!"

Martha, the Pi Kappa Alpha "Dream Girl" of 1967, laughed about her former title.  The honor went to whichever Alpha Gamma Delta received the most votes from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.  "Well it meant a lot of guys liked you," Martha joked but then urged,"it was like having a bunch of brothers."

The couple stayed in Athens after they got married teaching in the area.  Their jobs led them to Michigan, but they manage to return each year for Ohio University's Homecoming weekend.  The Besuden's enjoy viewing the parade, meeting up with old friends and then heading to the football game.  The couple likes to take in the new additions to Athens.

"It's much the same but its very different," Martha said, "it's subtle differences, like growing old." 

Two of Martha and Bob's children went on to OU and this adds to their love for Bobcat nation.  "We have such a history here.  Bob was born here," Martha said of her husband.  "Two of my brothers played football here so we have that tradition, so then we have nieces and nephews and evertyhing." Martha went on to say.  "Its a family university," Bob smiled in agreement.

The couple plans to come back for 2015's Homecoming celebration.