Strickland visit to highlight Buckeye Boys State

The 30th anniversary of American Legion Buckeye Boys State at BGSU will include a visit by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the induction of Space Shuttle astronaut Gregory Johnson into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Each of those events is set for Tuesday (June 17). Strickland is scheduled to be on campus at about 10 a.m. to visit with some of the roughly 1,225 Ohio high school seniors attending Boys State from June 14 through Sunday (June 22). Johnson, a 1980 graduate of Park Hills High School in Fairborn and pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its March 2008 mission, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during 8 p.m. ceremonies in Anderson Arena in Memorial Hall.

Also as part of the Tuesday evening ceremonies, Thomas Moyer, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and a Boys State graduate, will swear in newly elected state officials in the mock government program—the largest of its kind for high school students in the nation.

Saturday’s opening-night assembly, also scheduled for 8 p.m. in Anderson Arena, will feature Ohio Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, as guest speaker and additional remarks by David Korth, American Legion national vice commander. Gardner is also a Boys State alumnus and a 1987 inductee into its Hall of Fame.

Joining Gardner there on Tuesday will be Johnson, a U.S. Air Force colonel whose flight experience also includes 34 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. Chief Justice Moyer will offer remarks during the program as well.

Among the special programs for the remainder of the week are an Ohio State Highway Patrol memorial to police officers killed in the line of duty, on Wednesday (June 18); a flag retirement ceremony on the lawn north of Memorial Hall on Thursday (June 19), and an awards program on Saturday (June 21). All are scheduled for 8 p.m.; the Wednesday and Saturday events will be in Anderson Arena.

The week will conclude Sunday morning (June 22) with graduation, including remarks by guest Robert Kraus, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and 1986 Boys State delegate.

All of the evening assemblies are open to the public. Those planning to attend are urged to arrive early for first-come, first-served seating.

Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong is perhaps the most famous alumnus of Buckeye Boys State, which was founded in 1936 and has been held at BGSU since 1978.

June 16, 2008