If you have walked across the Oval around 8 a.m. over the past 20 years, you may have seen a couple holding hands as they trekked from the Ohio Union toward Thompson Library.
That couple was likely Don Hubin and Julie Carpenter-Hubin, who have been married 22 years. They are also Ohio State employees: Don is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values, and Julie is the university’s Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning.
Their offices are located in neighboring buildings on the Columbus campus and they spend nearly every weekday morning walking together across the Oval.
“I get to walk through a beautiful park with my best friend every morning,” Julie said.
Don, who is celebrating 40 years of scholarly service to the university, joined Ohio State in 1977 as a Department of Philosophy faculty member. Julie arrived in 1981 as a typist for the College of Education and Human Ecology. Later, she became a secretary in the College of Humanities, where Don worked as faculty.
“Our paths crossed for a number of different reasons,” she said. They met when Don was a curriculum leader for undergraduates and Julie was an undergraduate events coordinator. They married in 1995.
Julie utilized the university’s Tuition Assistance Benefit to propel her career. “I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees during my lunch breaks,” Julie said. She moved into a space-planning role for the university and advanced to her current role of Assistant Vice President.
Don and Julie love the opportunity to work at the same institution. “We drive into work together most days and eat lunch together, often with friends and colleagues at the Faculty Club,” Don said. “There are not many places as beautiful as a college campus, where you are surrounded by so many smart people with ambitions to improve the world.”
Beyond the tangible benefits of sharing travel and meals as an Ohio State couple, Don and Julie appreciate the perspective that one offers the other. Julie does not have an academic background, so she greatly values the opportunity to see the university from a faculty member’s point of view. Likewise, Don benefits from Julie’s expertise in data collection and analysis. Thanks to Julie, he knew about the university’s data analytics resources when he was chair of the Department of Philosophy.
“I was able to do more for my department because of Julie,” Don said.
However, they have competing explanations for why Ohio State is a great place for a life-long career. Julie, who joined Ohio State at 21 years old, views it as a tremendous place to grow up and cites her experiences using the Tuition Assistance Benefit. Don, on the other hand, sees it as a land of a perpetual childhood. “It’s a great place to never grow up! I can always be a student and learn new things,” he countered.
Being a Buckeye is also a family affair: Julie’s daughter works in the Office of Legal Affairs and Don’s youngest son is an Ohio State alumnus. (Don handed his son his degree at commencement!) Outside of Ohio State, Don and Julie enjoy woodworking, taking road trips in their little red Miata, motorcycle rides and spending time with their five adult children and three young grandchildren.