The Ohio State University hosted one of the largest Thanksgiving Day dinners on a college campus on Thursday, November 23, 2017 in the Ohio Union. An estimated 1,600 guests attended the dinner, including students, faculty and staff, along with their families, who were unable to travel home for the holiday. Joining them were many volunteers throughout the university community to assist in serving the traditional turkey dinner.
The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner will included 650 pounds of turkey, 30 gallons of gravy, 432 pounds each of green beans and corn, 320 pounds of corn bread and 2,000 slices of pie.
The Ohio State University’s Thanksgiving Dinner began 26 years ago as a gathering of 25 students in the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center. It was initiated by two graduate students (Bill Batson and Lori Waite) who did not have a place to go for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. They invited six of their friends and were prepared to have a potluck Thanksgiving meal. A few days prior to the meal, the director of the Center (Larry Williamson, Jr.) felt that other students were in the same predicament and had Bill Batson make fliers to place in the south campus dorms. As a result of the students' efforts — and years later, with the support of International Affairs and specifically, Kevin Harty, associate director of International Education — the dinner blossomed into one of the largest free Thanksgiving events on Thanksgiving Day at a college or university.