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BGSU family gathers to bid good-bye to Ribeau, wife

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Outgoing BGSU President Sidney Ribeau hugs Mike Marsh at the farewell picnic. Mr. Ribeau arrived in 1995.

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BOWLING GREEN - He had a picnic to welcome him to campus in 1995, so a farewell picnic yesterday was a fitting send-off for Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau.

Mr. Ribeau and his wife, Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, were thanked for their service to BGSU by a crowd of about 800 that included past and present faculty and staff, students, and members of the greater Bowling Green community.

"The thing that strikes me most about the Ribeau era is this university has become student focused," State Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) said, adding that there has been a real emphasis on taking care of the individual and educating the whole person. "To me, that's what I really admire about Dr. Ribeau's presidency," Mr. Gardner said.

State Sen. Mark Wagoner (R., Ottawa Hills) said Mr. Ribeau has been a great partner in higher education who helped build strong relationships.

Mr. Ribeau is leaving BGSU at the end of July to begin his presidency at Howard University in Washington on Aug. 1.

Mr. Ribeau called yesterday "one of the most exciting days of my life," as he was surrounded by and reminded of the warmth and support he's had during his 13 years at BGSU.

"This is the conclusion of the most important, most significant, most meaningful part of my life," he said.

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