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Alumni Connection

Scholarships boost future alumni

by Keith Stichtenoth, associate executive director, UC Alumni Association

An emphasis on "scholarship" is a hallmark of UC's great history, as well as a cornerstone of UC|21, the university's academic plan to build on that great history.

Not surprisingly, "scholarship" has been fundamental to the UC Alumni Association's work for many years. It's an acknowledgement of the achievements of all UC alumni, a way to reward and encourage excellence in our future alumni and the means to provide greater opportunities for the direct descendants of UC graduates to "keep UC in the family."

For the Alumni Association, these goals are largely manifested in the Christos Demakes Legacy Scholarship Program, established in 2000 to honor long-time UC alumni director Chris Demakes, A&S '62, Law '65, for his lifelong commitment to his alma mater. Since then, 170 students have received a total of almost $180,000 in Demakes Scholarship assistance.

Each fall, a new class of incoming freshmen is recognized as Demakes Legacy Scholars. The collective academic profile of this year's class was the most impressive in the program's history. The 31 students had average high school GPAs of 3.93, ACT scores of 29.38 and SAT scores of 1336. They're enrolled in eight different UC colleges and were congratulated by their respective deans at the annual Demakes Scholarship Dinner last October in the Myers Alumni Center.

"I've been thrilled to personally greet our newest Demakes Legacy Scholars each fall, because they so uniquely represent the university's past and future excellence," said Judith Koroscik, dean of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, which often welcomes more Demakes Scholars than any other UC college.

"While DAAP draws outstanding students from all over the world, we especially cherish those who could go anywhere, yet honor their own past as they come to UC. Their commitment brings an extra, invaluable dimension to the university. Indeed, they embody the link between generations that helps perpetuate a special aspect of the UC community."

As students are applying for the Demakes Legacy Scholarship, some are also weighing offers from other universities. Even with their "UC family connections," these are top-tier students who have many options. The Demakes Scholarships can make a difference in these students ultimately choosing UC.

The application window for freshmen who will enter UC in the fall of 2007 is open now through March 1. The only stipulation is that applicants must be lineal descendants (children or grandchildren) of UC alumni who are members of the UC Alumni Association.

Sarah Carne

2006 Demakes Legacy Scholars feel sense of family history

"I know UC will be a great fit for me as it was for my grandmother and great-grandmother. Past generations have created our future possibilities. They have helped the future generations to be stronger and have taught us the culture of responsibility."

Sarah Carne, Long Grove, Ill. (DAAP - Graphic Design)

Jane Neyer


" 'UC is not right for me. I will never go to UC. Mom, Dad, why are you making me apply?' Last year, I said each of these things; however, as my college search began to narrow, UC became an option I could not ignore. It has so many opportunities and advantages for me."

Jane Neyer, Cincinnati (Engineering - Chemical Engineering)

Shannon Sellers


"Both of my parents are UC graduates. My father is a registered pharmacist and has prospered from his UC education. I feel UC can have this type of positive influence on my life. It's a place that produces strong leaders for the next generation, and I want to be part of that."

Shannon Sellers, Oxford, Ohio (Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services - Criminal Justice)

More about UCAA scholarships (including application information), UC license plates or donating directly to the UCAA Scholarship.

A family of scholarships for the UC family

The UC Alumni Association's commitment to scholarships isn't limited to the Demakes program. For example:

An increasing number of UC's regional alumni networks across the nation fund scholarships to help send deserving students from their geographic areas to UC.

"Regional alumni networks aren't just about staging social events in our areas. Involvement means more than that," says Kathleen Atkins, Eng '90, of her alumni work in Atlanta. "For instance, we're involved in recruiting students to UC from our region and providing scholarships to help that cause, which diversifies the UC community and in turn helps create a more positive environment for students and alumni."

UCAA has a legacy scholarship program for lineal-descendant upperclassmen carrying a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Each year, a UC junior who exemplifies excellence in and out of the classroom, as well as unusual loyalty and commitment to the university, receives the Kacher-Bloom Memorial Scholarship, which honors the memories of two such former students, Margaret Kacher, Bus ’85, and Sheri Bloom, AHS ’85.

UC license plate

License plates drive more scholarship opportunities

Although more than 30 freshmen receive Demakes Legacy Scholarships each year, it's a goal of the UC Alumni Association to extend the opportunity to many more UC families.

Deepening the scholarship pool and awarding assistance to more students can happen in two ways:

If you live in Ohio, put an official University of Cincinnati license plate on your vehicle. Of the $35 special-plate fee charged by the state, $25 goes straight to the UC Alumni Association's scholarship fund. "Nothing is diverted to administrative expenses -- it all goes to the students," says Carol Friel, A&S '58, Law '80, chair of the UCAA Scholarship Committee. "In addition," she says, "displaying the C-Paw on your car tells the world you're a proud alum who cares about your university and the Bearcats."

A great impact is also felt when alumni make donations directly to the scholarship fund. Such contributions are fully tax-deductible and are eligible for matching funds by many employers.

Q&A with Dominic Iacobucci, UC Alumni Association Young Alumni chair

When Dominic Iacobucci, DAAP '04, MA (DAAP) '06, first began life as a UC student, he quickly realized he had become a true Bearcat-for-life. Now he proudly tells anyone who will listen that he "bleeds red and black."

Dominic Iacobucci

Photo/Dottie Stover

That devotion has led Iacobucci to a leadership position within the UC Alumni Association, where he chairs the Young Alumni Committee. "Young Alumni" are defined as anyone who graduated within the last 10 years, and Iacobucci's passion is engaging his peers in the UC alumni experience.

Q. Why are you so involved in UC's alumni community already?

A. My UC education prepared me well for my chosen career path, which is architecture. But being a UC alumnus is also about all the people in my Bearcat network, including those I haven't even met yet. It's about our shared experiences, helping each other whenever possible, staying connected to the university and our great "new" campus, and making a difference in my own way. I just feel that responsibility as part of the UC family.

Q. In talking with your peers, do you find it necessary to dispel some myths or misconceptions about the UC Alumni Association?

A. Many younger alums somehow think that the Alumni Association is for older alumni or that it's some kind of club for people who give a lot of money to the school. But it's for every alum, and there are opportunities for networking and camaraderie for everyone.

Also, many people think joining the Alumni Association is beyond their means, but annual dues are only $45, which enables the UCAA to provide all kinds of services that enhance the alumni and student experience. And the UCAA gives young alumni a greater voice in the university. I've been able to talk directly with the president, the athletics department leadership and others about UC's pressing issues because I'm involved in this way.

Q. What do young alums want from their ongoing UC relationship?

A. We value the connection between the individual and the university, yet it's just as important that alumni leverage their connections with each other -- keeping that UC network alive. For example, that's where inCircle is such a benefit. It's the online community just for UC grads, with career development features, plus tools to easily network with each other according to where we live, what we're interested in, what we studied, and so on. And inCircle is a free service from the UC Alumni Associ-ation to all alumni. For young alums especially, it lets us communicate the way we're used to communicating.

Q. What would you tell young alumni whose careers have taken them away from Cincinnati and their campus?

A. There are regional alumni networks all over the U.S., and many are led by young alumni. They do all kinds of things to have fun, help each other and support the university. Plus, with inCircle and other Web-based tools, distance is a deterrent to your UC involvement only if you want it to be.

E-mail forwarding combines convenience, pride

Keeping up with your fellow alumni while promoting your UC connection just became easier with the introduction of E-mail Forwarding, a free service from the UC Alumni Association.

The system offers a personalized "@alumni.uc.edu" e-mail address, which then serves as a virtual mailbox, passing e-mails immediately to whichever ISP-based e-mail address the alum designates.

"Beyond being a convenience, a UC alumni e-mail address is a way to avoid the disruption caused by occasional changes in e-mail services -- your UC e-mail address stays constant and just reroutes incoming e-mails the way you want," says UC Alumni Association executive director David Macejko, CCM '71.

"It's also a visible way to promote your university and tell others that you value your UC experience," says Macejko.

UC Magazine, Alumni Association help alumni reminisce

The UC family may be far-flung in space and time, but rewarding connections are often just a call or e-mail away.

Paul Mabie

Paul Mabie, MD '54, at Catalina Island Airport.

Last May, UC Magazine highlighted "Tales of an American Soldier," Werner Von Rosenstiel's autobiographical walk through the latter stages of World War II. A German-American who studied at UC in 1935-36 as an exchange student, Von Rosenstiel joined the U.S. Army, fought the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge, then assisted prosecutors during the Nuremburg Trials.

Seeing the summary of the book, Paul Mabie, MD '54, felt compelled to communicate with Von Rosenstiel, compliment him and share his own first-hand recollections of post-war Germany and his German ancestry. Working through the UC Alumni Association, Mabie reached across the country, from California to Florida, where the 95-year-old Von Rosenstiel resides.

Von Rosenstiel, who received an honorary degree from UC in 2003, graciously replied, sharing some new reflections on their mutual observations and experiences. "Reading your letter," he wrote, "was a charming opportunity to reflect on what I had written."

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