Anyone who has ever dreamed of dotting the “i” of Script Ohio before an Ohio State football game will now have their chance any day of the year.
Ohio Staters Inc. unveiled an eight-foot tall, 14-foot wide, 20,000-pound granite statue of the iconic formation today, but visitors will notice that the dot on the “i” is missing.
“Because there is no dot on the “i,” everybody can be creative and imagine their own way of how they can do that. If you have football players that want to come by and hold their helmet over as the dot, or if you have sousaphone players that want to take pictures with their instruments behind the” i,”’ Austin Cool, co-chair of the Script Ohio project, said, “It allows the entire OSU community to be part of the tradition.”
The project was born in March 2015 from one of three project ideas that Cool brought with him when applying for Staters Inc., a requirement for all applicants. Originally, Cool said he was lost for ideas.
“At the Michigan football game in 2014 when [the band] were marching to Script Ohio, I was like, ‘wow, this is really cool’,” Cool said. “It was my favorite part of the pre-game tradition, so I wanted to do a project around Script Ohio.”
At first, Cool said he was thinking of doing something small like a rock garden or sign, but later he and other members decided they wanted to go big.
With the help of the Facilities Operations and Development, Staters contracted Carmine Menduni, a granite sculptor from the Columbus Art Memorial.
“We contacted a granite sculptor and we described what we wanted,” Cool said. “I don’t think he could have got off the phone fast enough.”
The sculpture was funded by a year’s worth of seat cushion sales, about $20,000, as well as donations. The group said they would not disclose the total cost of the project.
The Ohio State Marching Band played a large role in the development and design process of the statue and were also instrumental in placing the sign outside the statue detailing the history of Script Ohio.
After Cool graduated in Spring of last year, Madalynn Conkle, a third-year in Economics and co-chair on the project, helped get the statue to where it is now.
“We are still going to be wrapping up this project. We have a social media campaign seeing that through,” Conkle said. “It has been a beast of its own, for sure.”
Staters wants the Ohio State community to share their social media posts under the hashtag, #dotyourowni.
Both Cool and Conkle acknowledged that the Ohio State community visiting the statue and dotting the “i” in their own way will most likely become a tradition of it’s own, an unforeseen, happy accident to the two.
“When you are sitting at the student section before the game and you see that sousaphone player sticking out like a sore thumb and they start rounding the ‘o’ and everyone is like, ‘oh here it comes’,” Cool said. “We wanted to encapsulate and make sure that feeling of euphoria, you could feel that somewhere else on campus.”
Video package by Joe Matts (.2)