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Student philanthropy after hours … way after hours

When you think about students after hours, your mind may drift back to college parties or all-nighters spent cranking out a 15-page paper at the end of a quarter. Some students, however, defy the conventional notion of an all-nighter for more altruistic reasons and dedicate a few nights a year to raise money for issues close to their hearts.

With community engagement at the core of UC’s principles, a culture of philanthropy pervades the campus throughout the school year. Two of the largest and most successful fundraising events include the 18-hour Relay for Life and the 24-hour Cincinnati Dance Marathon.

Supporting the American Cancer Society’s education, advocacy and research programs, UC’s Relay for Life raised more than $126,000 last year when 1,846 students and 173 teams participated by collecting pledges and walking the relay route through McMicken Commons. The event was recognized as one of the top 10 collegiate Relay for Life events in the nation and the No. 1 Relay for Life in Ohio for the past two years.

Alumni Association events


UC Day at the Reds, April 29, 7:10 p.m.
• Provost Santa Ono throws the first pitch
• Reds vs. Florida Marlins
• at Great American Ball Park
• discount tickets @ www.reds.com/ucalumni

Alumni Weekend, May 13-15
• a spring version of Homecoming
• free use of UC’s Recreation Center
• campus tours, May 14, 10 & 11 a.m.
• Taste of Cincinnati buffet, May 14
• Class of ’61 reunion, May 14
• Golden Bearcat Club Brunch, May 15

Sibs Weekend at UC, May 20-22
• hosted by the Student Alumni Council
• events for UC students and their siblings

UC Day, June 9
• 55th anniversary honoring outstanding alumni
• at the Kingsgate Marriott Hotel on campus
• 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner
• top honor is the William Howard Taft Medal
  for Notable Achievement, which goes to
  J. Richard Wuest, Pharm ’58, MS ’68, PhD ’71,
  who helped develop the warning-label system  that is applied to prescriptions.

Outside of Cincinnati:

Central Ohio Golf Outing, June 27
• featuring UC football coach Butch Jones
• at Riviera Country Club, Columbus
• 11:30 a.m. registration, 1 p.m. tee-off

Find details for all events at:

UC Alumni Association
Russell C. Myers Alumni Center
2906 Woodside Drive, P.O. Box 210024
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0024
(513) 556-4344, 877-4-UCALUM (toll-free)
UCAA website

For multiple reasons, junior Megan Hathaway volunteers for Relay for Life and serves as president of Colleges Against Cancer, the student organization of the American Cancer Society (ACS) that brings the ACS mission to college campuses and helps stage UC’s Relay for Life. “I volunteer because I know it has far-reaching effects,” she says. “One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, so there is clearly a need for this cause.

“The American Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research, but also provides so many programs for those currently battling cancer. Their efforts would not be possible without the money raised through Relay for Life.”
Like many students, Hathaway also volunteers for a personal reason. “I ’relay’ for my adopted grandmother, Sharon Standriff. She was such an inspiration to me and encouraged me to pursue opportunities in community service, which sparked my passion for volunteering, and motivated me in school, which led to being valedictorian of my high school.

“She was the strongest person I knew,” Hathaway adds. “She fought through lung cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer and liver cancer. She survived all but one when she finally lost her battle to cancer in 2006.”

Two years ago, Hathaway’s team, “Cancer Crushers,” became UC’s first Gold Team (a team raising more than $5,000 for an event) and raised close to $8,000 for UC’s 2010 Relay for Life. Her team’s goal is to raise more than $10,000 in this year’s contest. Since Hathaway started volunteering in high school, she has raised nearly $13,000 toward Relay for Life,
“I ’relay’ because I know one day there will be a cure, and no one will have to face this horrible disease. No one will have to feel the pain of watching someone they love battle it. No one will have to hear the words, ’You have cancer,’” Hathaway says. “And I know that I am helping to make that possible in the future, and every dollar raised helps.”

Like Relay for Life, the Cincinnati Dance Marathon (CDM) is an overnight event focused on raising money toward fighting cancer — in this case, pediatric cancer through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2010, 500 students danced all night to raise $13,500 in donations. At the 2011 marathon earlier this year, $23,800 was raised.

“My passion for CDM is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Carmen Pescatrice, marathon chairperson and a senior in the organizational leadership program. “I have grown and developed as both an individual and a leader by having the opportunity to impact the lives of those around me.

“To be a positive influence on others is something that I thrive on and strive to achieve through daily interactions. Being a part of CDM for the past three years has been a truly rewarding and life-changing experience.”

In addition to supporting the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Dance Marathon organizers encouraged attendees to support the Proudly Pennies Campaign, the student-led initiative to raise 1 billion pennies toward the Proudly Cincinnati Campaign. Proudly Pennies has raised more than $1.25 million in pennies to support the university’s ambitious priorities.

“Students can help move this university forward and help provide the next generation of college students with a superior education by getting involved with Proudly Pennies,” said Ravi Grandhi, a fourth-year biology/pre-med student and chair of the Alumni Relations Committee. “I enjoy volunteering for Proudly Pennies because it makes you feel like you are making a difference in the university and puts a greater perspective to your work here at UC.”
Through philanthropic endeavors like these, University of Cincinnati students will graduate with an invaluable understanding of how far generosity and compassion can carry them through their careers, family life and interactions in the community.

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Feature on UC students who study abroad
UC's 1819 Campaign