Alumni Club of Austin, Tex.

Austin Alumni Club

Membership: 525 (has grown by more than 100 members in the last year)
Recent awards: Gold Star Award (top 10 percent of clubs), Web Site Award

What we do

  • Football and basketball game watch parties (including bowl games). The marquee event is the Michigan game watch party, when we raise the most money for our scholarship fund.
  • Annual speaker event.
  • Happy hours.
  • Young Buckeye events (for members age 35 and younger). This new group plans to expand.
  • Scholarship raffles and merchandise tables at club events.
  • Student recruitment events and college fairs.
  • Events in collaboration with the Big Ten Alumni Council (a group of other Big Ten alumni clubs)
  • In recent years, the council's big event has been a tailgate at a Round Rock Express (minor league baseball team) game.
  • In 2006, we organized several events and sold T-shirts for the Texas game weekend.
  • We hold at least one food and fund drive each year, usually centering around the Michigan game, to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. Our donations last year in 2007 helped provide more than a thousand meals.

After a hiatus during which we rebuilt our club, we plan to award at least one scholarship this year.

Our oddest tradition
"Bring the mustard!"

When Ohio State was down during the most recent Washington game, club member Bill Brunton picked up a bottle of French's mustard and began yelling, "Bring the mustard!" Bill said his high school football coach in Crooksville, Ohio, always said "We need to bring the mustard" when his team was losing. After Bill picked up the mustard bottle and yelled "Bring the mustard!" Ohio State started scoring.

"Bring the mustard" also helped during the Wisconsin game. After Bill remembered to pick up the mustard bottle, Ohio State scored four touchdowns. And at the Michigan game watch party, other members started to pick up the mustard.

The mustard will continue to be "brought" at our game watch parties from now on.

What you should know about our town

  • Austin is the 16th largest city in the U.S. (Columbus is just ahead of it at 15th.)
  • Geographically, the Austin metro area is larger than the state of Delaware (2,705 square miles vs. 2,489 square miles).
  • Here in the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, you can find great live music every day at more than a hundred venues, including clubs and bars, businesses, the airport, city hall, even grocery stores.
  • Many movie production companies shoot in Austin year-round.
  • Your computer may have been made here. Dell's world headquarters is in the suburb of Round Rock.

If you visit Austin, you must:

  • Go downtown. Visit the Capitol, the Texas State History Museum, or the Blanton Museum of Art. For nightlife, head to Esther's Follies for a comedy show, and then to 6th Street or the Warehouse District for drinks and live music.
  • Watch the bats fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge at dusk. More than 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats-the largest urban bat colony in North America-live in Austin during the summer.
  • Enjoy one of our many unusual festivals and events. They include Spamarama (yes, Spam, the canned meat), Eeyore's Birthday Party, SwampFest, Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival, and the O. Henry Pun-Off, one of the world's largest pun competitions.

One unusual member benefit
Shawn Barrett and Carrie Sapp-Barrett first saw each other (but didn't meet) at one of our events. Here's Carrie's story.

In the fall of 2003, I was at an Ohio State game watch party in Austin with a friend. I saw an attractive guy standing at the back of the room by himself, decked out in his Buckeye regalia. Unfortunately, I never introduced myself to him that day and didn't see him again during the entire season. Imagine my surprise when one year later, I received an e-mail and photo (thanks to online dating), only to discover that it was him contacting me! I'll never forget my reaction when I opened the photo to discover that it was "that guy"!

We officially met in person after many "near meetings" at Austin game watch parties. We discovered that both of our families were from the same neighborhood on Columbus' west side, and we also learned that our dads' families grew up one street away from each other. Our aunts were childhood friends, and Shawn's dad worked at my grandpa's grocery store.

Shawn and I were married on May 26, 2007, in Carey, Ohio. The reception was held in Columbus at the Burgundy Room in the Short North.

Favorite Ohio State memories
From Austin alums

"Spending time on the Oval and South Oval. Whether I was walking to class, sitting on a bench among the Buckeye trees, or sunbathing on the grass, the Oval was a sanctuary where I could collect my thoughts and process everything that was going on in my life."

"My first football game. Being part of a tradition so great and larger than anything I had ever before experienced was overwhelming."

"Graduating from Ohio State. It was a major personal accomplishment, and the process taught me how to become a successful member of society and to appreciate what Ohio State can do for a person."

Favorite memory of being a Buckeye in Austin
From Leslie Reid, club president

"It was great watching University of Texas fans marvel when Buckeye Nation invaded Austin in 2006, and hearing "O-H I-O" on 6th Street the entire weekend. There has never been anything like it here for any UT game (before or since), and the way our fan base took over Austin fascinated and shocked Austinites.

"I grew up here, and when I returned after attending Ohio State, I thought Austin would be the greatest place to be if Ohio State were here. (I have nothing against Columbus but the cold weather!) When I saw all the Buckeyes here in 2006, tears welled in my eyes because my dream had come true. The only other time I was this happy seeing other Buckeyes was at my first Austin game watch party after years of watching Ohio State football alone!"

The best reason to join the Austin club
To spend time with other Buckeyes! Because we live in the middle of Longhorn Country, it's great to meet up with people who know what a Buckeye is and love Ohio State and its traditions. Our club keeps members connected to their alma mater by informing them about university news and events and engaging them to promote Ohio State to area high school students. You don't have to be an alumnus to be a member, just a Buckeye supporter.

Membership information
General: Free.
Scarlet and Gray: Paid. Includes additional benefits, such as free raffle tickets; the opportunity to buy Ohio State event tickets obtained by the club; a reduced fee for club events; priority for club events when demand exceeds availability.

President: Leslie Reid
Contact: (512) 619-7439