Lauren Ceronie, JM Rieger and Allison McGillivray

Paul Ryan at Miami University (JM Rieger for The Miami Student)

Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke to a large crowd Wednesday evening in Miami University’s engineering quad.

Miami Economics Professor Richard Hart introduced Ryan along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). Event speakers also included State Sen. Bill Coley (R-OH) and State Rep. Tim Derickson (R-OH).

Ryan, a Wisconsin native and 1992 Miami graduate, began his speech talking about Miami.

“I spent a lot of my formative years here,” Ryan said. “Bagel and Deli is still here for sure, right? Oh, I also went to school here too … this town, this school – it means a lot to us.”

Ryan discussed Miami’s historic past and mentioned his love for Skyline Chili and Skipper’s Pub.

Hart told the crowd about his first meeting with Ryan in an intermediate macroeconomics course in 1991.

“It was through the office hours over the course of the semester that I got to know Paul,” Hart said. “He would drop by after class, not to discuss grades, and not to discuss the economic theory he developed in the classroom, but to discuss political philosophy and economic philosophy.”

Kasich and Portman made a joint appearance following Hart, addressing the southwest Ohio audience.

“If we could just start to do what we are doing in Ohio in Washington, DC we could start turning this thing around couldn’t we?” Portman said. “The RedHawks are soaring tonight, one of your own is on the national stage; he’s making a difference.”

Ryan discussed education, jobs, the national debt, government spending and the Obama administration during his nearly 20 minute speech.

Each speaker emphasized the difficulties college students are likely to face upon graduation.

“This is no ordinary election,” Ryan said. “These aren’t ordinary times. America and the meaning and promise of our nation is at stake in this election.”

A small group of protestors also appeared at the event holding signs that read, “Romney: Mr. 1%” and “Romney: 100% out of touch.”

The university found out about Ryan’s plan to hold an event at his alma mater shortly after the official announcement, according to Associate Vice President of University Communications and Marketing, Deedie Dowdle. While university officials prepared for the influx of returning students and event attendees, Dowdle said Miami College Republicans did the majority of the event planning.