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1988 Homecoming King comes back to Ohio State, tells students about finding his passion

Dr. Partha Nandi, OSU graduate, 1988 homecoming king, and Emmy award winner on the set of his show "Ask Dr. Nandi." Credit: Courtesy of Ask Partha LLC

Dr. Partha Nandi, OSU graduate, 1988 Homecoming king and Emmy award winner on the set of his show “Ask Dr. Nandi.”
Credit: Courtesy of Ask Partha LLC

Among the ranks of notable Buckeyes that “gotta go back” to Ohio State this week for Homecoming is Dr. Partha Nandi, Emmy award-winning physician and past OSU Homecoming king.

Nandi kicked off one of the first homecoming activities of Homecoming weekend with a speech in the Ohio Union on Thursday

He spoke to approximately 130 students about how they can achieve overall health and taped a few video shots for his medical talk show, “Ask Dr. Nandi.”

“Ask Dr. Nandi” is viewed by more than 70 million households and a live studio audience of approximately 200 guests.

In an interview before the event, Nandi said he was excited to be returning back to the land of the Buckeyes.

“What Ohio State taught me was basically all the tools I needed for the rest of my life,” he said. “So I love going back and sharing these ideas.”

Nandi also said he gets excited about the prospect of speaking to present Buckeyes about his passions. He added that he likes to hear about current students’ interests and he said he practices mindfulness meditation as to not get nervous in front of larger crowds, which is one of the things he spoke about on Thursday.

“I think the key to success is to overcome our fears,” Nandi said. “You have to feel alive, and have your heart racing in order to be passionate.”

During his speech, discussions included the practice of mindfulness, finding your tribe, living an active and healthy lifestyle and finding your purpose.

Nandi encouraged students to live in the moment during his speech, not worrying about the consequences or what might happen next.

“Life is about always just positive stuff happening or negative things happening, but that comes along with the process,” Nandi said.

Poornima Venigalla, a fourth-year in biomedical science, said she took this thought to heart during his speech, noting that it was particularly good for college students.

“I think this is such a transient period in our lives and it’s easy to give up or lose track of our purpose,” Venigalla said.

David Marshall, a first-year in chemical engineering, said he was impressed with the speech, and that it exceeded his expectations.

“It was crazy to see someone so successful tell stories that sounded so much like me at this point in my life,” Marshall said.

Nandi said he prides himself in giving back, and that he was so excited to come back to Columbus for that reason.

“I was there on the other side, listening to people like myself, and I got so much experience,” he told The Lantern.

As a high school graduate at the age of 16, an OSU graduate at the age of 20, Nandi said the key to his successes was making his own path.

“Lots of people find lots of ways of doing it. You have to find your way,” he said. “You have to know what it takes.”

Nandi said his most memorable experience during his time at OSU was when he was selected as Homecoming king in 1988.

Nandi said although the task of interviews, tough questions, and sharing was not easy to become Homecoming king, it was worth it because he got to be a spokesperson for the positive ideals of the university.

“If you are in a university that you love, it’s going through your entire being, and you have a lot of pride,” Nandi said. “When you get to represent that pride? It just makes you feel really special.”

According to a Lantern story from 1988, the year of his role as homecoming king, Nandi was just as excited then as he is now about overcoming obstacles.

“The process was tough, but it has to be competitive because all the applicants were excellent,” Nandi said in 1988.

He shared this similar message with students during his speech, reminding them to always know their worth and to give back.

“You have to have something that makes you wake up and say, ‘You know what? I’m going to conquer the world,’” he said.

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