UC's love affair with new executive director Myron Hughes started
on '80s basketball court
It's all about recruiting. Recruiting a 6-foot-7 high school basketball player from Leighton, Ala., to play at UC. Using a UC degree to recruit world-class businesses to major metropolitan areas. And using that experience to recruit UC alumni engagement in their alma mater. For Myron Hughes, Bus '86, the circle is complete now that he's the new executive director of the UC Alumni Association.
"The UC Alumni Association is about creating relationships, first and foremost -- connecting people and possibilities while linking the past to the future," Hughes says. "I am honored to receive this opportunity to return to my university and do this important work with my fellow lifelong Bearcats."
"We are a large, urban university with a wonderful family of alumni whose experiences, interests and dreams are quite diverse," UC president Nancy Zimpher says. "We're thrilled that Myron has chosen to come home and lead UC's alumni relations efforts because the passion and involvement of our alumni will greatly enable us to realize our institutional aspirations."
Hughes, who assumed his new post in February, will lead the university's alumni engagement initiatives, seeking to build and strengthen connections with alumni. "It's going to be lots of fun being part of a family that I love," he says.
That love was mutual when Hughes wore the No. 44 jersey in the '80s. This is how Bearcat basketball star Roger McClendon described his teammate in the book "Tales from Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball," by Michael Perry (A&S '84): "He was our protector. He was the father figure, the big brother. … You know how some people could get in the ring, like Muhammad Ali, and punish a guy, but then off the floor, he's kissing babies? Myron had that split personality."
After being recruited by former UC basketball coach Ed Badger, Hughes quickly considered Cincinnati his adopted home. "More than basketball brought me to UC, and more than basketball kept me at UC, even as we went through our own coaching change at the time," Hughes says, recalling the 1983 transition from Ed Badger to Tony Yates.
His degree in marketing led him into a career in economic development, which included seven years with the then-Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce (now the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber), where he was manager of national marketing and recruited business development prospects to Cincinnati, much like he had been recruited here from Alabama. He also worked for two years as downtown division manager for the Cincinnati Department of Economic Development before leaving town in 1995.
Next, he filled economic-development leadership roles with the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, the Memphis Center City Commission and, most recently, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, where he was vice president of economic development.
"Myron blends a breadth of experience, a knack for building partnerships, an understanding of this university and a passion for its people," says Michael Carroll, UC's vice president for development and alumni affairs. "This array of qualifications and abilities will translate perfectly in the UC of today and tomorrow."
"The UC Alumni Association is undergoing a strategic transformation similar to what the overall university has done," says Robert Dobbs, president of the UC Alumni Association's volunteer Board of Governors. "So it was paramount to identify someone with the leadership qualities, character, experience and devotion to steward this vital work. Myron fills the bill on all counts."
"Overall, I just want to get alumni more engaged," Hughes says. "And I want to get the message out that UC is a tremendous part of the city. This position and this university mean a great deal to me."