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Midlife crisis leads law grad to adventuresome mountain climbing

Marc Scheineson summits Mount Kilimanjaro's highest peak

by Deborah Rieselman

In an effort to confront "a midlife crisis,” alumnus Marc Scheineson decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro’s highest peak, nearly 20,000 feet above sea level. Because the Kibo Summit of the Uhuru Peak lies on a dormant volcanic cone in Tanzania, crater gases have created several landslides and collapses in the past.

Fortunately in October 2010, Scheineson, A&S ’77, JD ’80, summited Africa's highest mountain, without any major mishaps. Others in his party were less fortunate. Two had to stop short of the summit due to altitude sickness, and one blacked out and had to be carried off the mountain. Kilimanjaro National Park data shows that only 41 percent of trekkers actually reach the Uhuru summit.

So why did Scheineson travel to Tanzania to conquer the brutal mountain? “Because it was there, and that's what Bearcats do,” he says matter-of-factly.

The climb was part of a charity challenge to support the Norwood/Hope Center, a school for autistic and learning-disabled children in England.

Scheineson is a partner and heads the food and drug practice in the Washington, D.C., office of Alston and Bird, a law firm based in Atlanta with more than 1,000 lawyers.

“Cincinnati and its exceptional university remain my anchor,” he says. “No matter how far I travel, I will always stay grounded by the superb education, balance and sense of community found on my native soil.”

While a UC undergraduate, he was the editor-in-chief of Clifton Magazine, news editor of the News Record and an officer of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He and his wife, Cathy, also a lawyer, have two children, Andrew, a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State’s China desk, and Sara, a college junior who excels in cross country, middle-distance track and ‘dinner table debate.’        

“Washington, D.C., is a town of lawyers — more than 80,000.” he says. “Those Bearcats I meet here possess the manners, humility, humor and perspective to not let their proximity to power go to their heads.

“Power and influence are fleeting. The benefits of a UC education last a lifetime.”