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UC Magazine

Illustrating hundreds of ways UC makes us proud

Alumni couple returns to the University of Cincinnati amazed at the campus they hadn't seen in two decades.

by Deborah Rieselman

On their first visit to campus in 20 years, alumni Mike and Sandy Simpson found themselves speechless. Well, they weren't entirely speechless; they kept repeating, "It's amazing."

The University of Cincinnati often has that effect on people these days. So often, in fact, that we decided to create a theme issue on the ways UC makes all of us proud.

In planning content, we took a partial lead from the Simpsons, picking subjects that most intrigued them. Fortunately, their admiration wasn't reserved strictly for the physical campus. They were equally taken with the students and the university's growing reputation.

In truth, they found it all amazing, which is quite a compliment coming from someone with the kind of critical eye that Mike, Bus '63, developed over the last six years as mayor of the fastest growing city in the U.S. (Frisco, Texas). First impressions and reputations are so critical to him that he and his wife simply had to view UC's achievements firsthand.

Initially, they raved about all the grassy areas, the numerous parking facilities and new buildings that "make it evident that the university is capitalizing on its reputation for architecture and engineering schools," Mike said. But seeing the familiar McMicken Hall, Van Wormer Hall and Teachers College still standing on the ridge along Clifton Avenue was important, too.

"You can tell that they took what we called a 'streetcar college' and turned it into something more friendly for the students with lots of green space and walkways," Mike noted. "It feels more like a traditional college campus, yet it still feels like it's in the city. We were impressed."

Even students they interacted with made an impression on them -- "courteous, clean- cut and nicely dressed with backpacks," Mike recalled.

"Being in the Big East gives you a whole different perspective," he added. "We have to think of our competition not only athletically, but we're competing with Rutgers and Connecticut, for example, in other ways, too. The overall quality in the way the university has grown and expanded is impressive."

The Foundation hopes such pride will be contagious. In October, it launched a five-year $1 billion campaign under the theme "Proudly Cincinnati: Tower of Strength, Rock of Truth."

In this issue of the magazine, you will find hundreds of reasons to be proud of UC, grouped according to campus transformation, rising academic reputation, medical research, successful alumni, students and sports greats.

Our lists are far from all-encompassing, but we think they provide a nice cross section of the reasons people are saying they are "Proudly Cincinnati."

Jump to main stories in this issue:
Ranked programs, rising reputation
Record enrollment, brighter students
Historic season takes UC to Orange Bowl