UC MagazineUniversity of CincinnatiUC Magazine

UC Magazine

Blame UC

Nearly 200,000 alumni are responsible for a lot in your life

by Deborah Rieselman

The next time you decide to abandon your diet and splurge on a juicy Frisch's Big Boy dripping with extra tartar sauce, you could partially blame the University of Cincinnati for any resulting guilt trip. But there's a catch: Anyone willing to make UC a scapegoat for the tasty tartar sauce will also have to extend partial thanks for the convenience of frozen orange juice, the services of credit unions and the relief of Preparation H -- because UC alumni are responsible for them all.

Sure, the same people might have made identical contributions to society if they had gone to school elsewhere, but then again, maybe not. Life is often a matter of being at the right place at the right time -- and with the right education, UC professors would add.

Assuming that interconnection to be true, let's take a sad look at what life would be like without UC:

Without the Medical Center, the Tristate would be missing an estimated 70 percent of its health professionals, and 80 percent of its physicians would have less expertise, according to Don Harrison, senior vice president and provost for health affairs. "We have more than 9,000 alumni working in the health professions field in the Tristate," he explains.

On the artistic side, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra might have 18 percent of its chairs on stage vacant, and the Cincinnati Ballet might have a hard time performing without its music director, Carmon DeLeone, CCM '64, MA (CCM) '67. The atmosphere at Riverbend could also be pretty mundane without the festive design of architect Michael Graves, DAAP '58, Hon. Doctorate '82.

Never mind the local attractions, some might say: "We'd rather head to one of the coasts for some excitement." Well, let's take a look at your itinerary.

In New York City, the renovations of Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal and the Ford Center for the Performing Arts were designed by Dick Blinder, DAAP '59. And San Francisco's ultimate landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge, was engineered and built by Joseph Strauss, Eng 1892.

Even couch potatoes who lounge around all day watching TV (no UC grads, of course) would be disappointed if Stan Herman, DAAP '50, hadn't created those fluffy bathrobes and David Canary, A&S '60, hadn't played dual roles on "All My Children" and won more daytime Emmys than any other male actor.

Because UC has 199,636 living alumni -- 100,000
of them in the Tristate -- the average Cincinnatian interacts with them everyday. They are singing on your CDs, filling your prescriptions and teaching
your children. We hope they're not bagging your groceries, but they could well be the store's accountant, the company's computer program-
mer or the author signing books on aisle eight.

We could go on and on, but we won't. Sure, we
admit the world would still have a lot of merit
without all those contributions. Yet isn't life a lot
more fun because of them?

Giving credit where credit is due

The following alumni were responsible
for the items mentioned above:

  • Frisch's tartar sauce, developed by Mel Schulman, A&S '47
  • Frozen orange-juice concentrate and Preparation H (even sunlamps), invented by George Sperti, Eng '23
  • Credit unions, the concept created and implemented by Louise McCarren Herring, Eng '32, who spent 50 years helping to organize more than 500 credit unions around the country

Links for alumni and organizations mentioned in this article:

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Web site

"DAAP architect salvages historic theater" about Dick Blinder's renovation the Ford Center for the Performing Arts

Grand Central Terminal

Riverbend Web site

David Canary on Wikipedia

Golden Gate Bridge Web site with historic photos of Joseph Strauss and the bridge construction

Ellis Island Web site