OU grad helps college alumni build bonds through sports

Ross Righter graduated several years ago - but he never abandoned the spirit of his alma mater. He knows college grads rarely do. Righter now helps local grads stay true to their schools by organizing sports leagues through the nonprofit Collegiate Alumni Network of Central Ohio.

I went to Ohio University because it's a family affair. Both parents went there, as well as aunts and uncles. My grandfather taught French horn there for, I think, around 30 years.

For me, OU has kind of that "home away from home" feeling. The prettiest months are the fall months, because of all the trees. But in the winter, all the steam rises from the buildings, and the town is just sitting there, nestled in some snowy hills. It brings chills to the spine.

With the Collegiate Alumni Network of Central Ohio, we're trying to help out alumni associations through shared programming. We also try to give back to the schools. You can play a football league somewhere, but what makes us unique is that we try to build off that school and team pride.

I can't describe the bond among alumni. I think it's just that sense of shared experience, shared connection. I'm in the class of 2006. But I can meet a guy from the class of 1996, and there might some bars that are the same, some experiences that might be the same. You end up feeling like you know that person a little bit.

Three things I can't live without are music, peanut butter and love. Not necessarily in that order. I mean, when that jar is empty

The best advice I've ever received is to follow what you're passionate about, whether that be with work or your personal life. If you do that, you're going to end up having some sort of happiness, and that's what's important.

When I'm just hanging out, I like to listen to music. I love radio - listening to NPR or music or different shows on CD101. TV's great, and I can sit there and watch hours of it. But radio has kind of that warm feeling.

Something people might not know about me is that I really like the audio part of things. Movies and sound effects are really interesting to me. At OU, I studied audio production and telecommunications.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.