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Imagine the possibilities your gift could make

When you make a gift to UC, you enrich the lives of students now and provide the momentum for UC to be recognized as one of the best universities on the world stage. Scholarships, fellowships, professorships, research, technology, laboratories ... what could your gift make possible?

Perhaps, it could ...

• Educate the world's next renowned architect

• Spur the next groundbreaking discoveries taking place in the Nanoworld Lab

• Classically train the next world-famous singer, actor or musician

• Empower the next Fortune 500 CEO

• Embolden the next Olympic gold medalist

• Motivate the next bestselling author

• Fund the discovery of new treatments and cures for cancer, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and neurological disorders

• Provide the impetus to test inventions like the Impella 2.5 heart device, 3-D brain imaging, and canine hearing aids

• Inspire a student to be the next president, astronaut, Supreme Court justice or Nobel Prize-winning physicist

Thousands of students get a successful start at UC every year. Here are just a few famous Bearcats who've made their mark in business, medicine, design and more.

Paul Polman

Thirty years after earning dual UC master's degrees in finance/international marketing and economics, Paul Polman, MA (A&S) '79, MBA '79, HonDoc '09, took the reins as CEO of consumer-goods giant Unilever, maker of brands like Lipton, Hellman's, Dove, Ponds, Vaseline and Suave. Before Unilever, his studies at UC helped launch a 26-year career at Procter & Gamble, culminating with his position as group president of P&G Europe. From 2005 through 2008, he was chief finance officer for the world's largest food company, Nestlé.

Investor Magazine's 2007 CFO of the Year and the Wall Street Journal/CNBC 2003 European Business Leader of the Year, Polman has always exhibited a leader-ship philosophy rooted in deeply held values. He believes business plays an important role in helping to tackle societal issues such as poverty, global warming and water shortages.

"Creating a better world is equally important for business, which simply cannot succeed in societies that fail," he says. "And successful leadership requires a high level of integrity and trust, today more than ever. This is true for us individually, but also in how we work together as teams."

The Netherlands native returns to UC periodically to share his experiences and has hosted many students at his offices in Europe. "I've always been impressed by the quality of the students at UC," he says. "The university has many good things to offer."

He urges students to share those "good things," telling them, "You can achieve anything you want if you're passionate about it. And you can do well by doing good."


Vinod Dham

Vinod Dham, MS (Eng) '77, had just $8 when he got off the plane that brought him to Cincinnati from his native India in the mid-1970s. But a scholarship from a generous benefactor enabled the start of what would become a world-changing career.

Dham's master's degree in electrical engineering helped propel him to a crucial role in changing the way work gets done. By the early '90s, he was leading the team at Intel that was developing the Pentium computer chip in California's Silicon Valley.

It was understood that a "space race" of sorts was taking place; the company that produced the first "better chip" would be positioned to tap into an eager market and the lucrative rewards that would follow. Of course, creating the next generation of microprocessor would also enable a new generation of computing that would prove transformational. "We knew if we built this product that there was a very big market out there, and people would buy lots of it," Dham says. "There wasn't a question of validating the concept with customers. It was only a matter of execution."

Dham completed the Pentium project and rose to the position of vice president within Intel, earning the nickname "Father of the Pentium" along the way. He then moved to NexGen, a start-up firm, where he helped launch the K6 chip, then the world's fastest personal computer microprocessor.

From there, Dham became a venture capitalist, co-founding NewPath Ventures, which creates and funds leading-edge startup companies that focus on systems, silicon, software and services. In doing so, he is actively helping new-economy technology pioneers to follow in his footsteps.

Bill Wiesmann

William "Bill" Wiesmann, A&S '68, HonDoc '08, began his academic career at UC majoring in chemistry and targeting a future medical degree. Yet even his high aspirations as a young man could not have predicted the dramatic impact of his life's work.

His long career with the U.S. military involved leadership of development teams whose work greatly improved survival rates on the world's battlefields, including crucial research on life-support systems, deployable field hospitals, resuscitation devices and bandages that stop bleeding and control infection. Many of these advances later became standard practice with civilian trauma cases.

Wiesmann also served as the senior scientist/principal investigator for the U.S. military space test program to conduct research for NASA. In this role, he designed equipment and experiments used on 17 space shuttle missions, exploring the limits of cell and tissue responses to the stresses of spaceflight.

After his military retirement, Wiesmann established the medical consulting company BioSTAR, which went on to spawn companies that specialize in the development and commercialization of bandages, non-invasive sensors and equipment to protect firefighters from injury, medical robots and a wide variety of other technologies. He holds more than 30 awarded or pending patents.

Marilyn Gaston

When Marilyn Gaston, MD '64, was a 12-year-old in Cincinnati's Lincoln Heights neighborhood, her mother collapsed from uncontrolled hemorrhaging due to undiagnosed cervical cancer. Without health insurance or transportation to health care, she had not received medical care -- so her disease was not prevented or diagnosed and treated early. While her mother survived, Gaston became resolved to help poor, underserved and uninsured people access medical care.

She eventually enrolled in UC's College of Medicine, one of only six female students and the only African-American female. That began a medical career dedicated to improving the health of poor and minority families through her direct delivery of quality primary health care, the provision of medical education to young clinicians in training, her involvement in clinical research and administration of local and federal programs directed toward services for the underserved.

She became the first woman and African-American woman to direct a Public Health Service bureau upon being named assistant surgeon general in charge of the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Previously, her work at the National Institutes of Health addressed the management of sickle-cell disease, resulting in significantly decreasing the mortality in afflicted young children.

Dr. Gaston has received top honors from the National Medical Association and American Medical Association, and UC created the Gaston Scholars program in her honor, wherein each year two underprivileged and minority first-year students receive full, four-year medical school scholarships.

Michael Graves

Michael Graves, DAAP '58, HonDoc '82, is one of America's most accomplished architects and designers. His UC experience provided a broad base for building a remarkable career, and he has carved a unique niche in the design world that reflects great diversity of thought.

First and foremost, Graves is internationally known for striking the balance between aesthetics and functionality in his postmodern architecture. He has created commercial and residential buildings and spaces throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World, Cincinnati's Riverbend Music Center and UC's own Engineering Research Center.

He founded Michael Graves & Associates in 1964, with offices in New York and Princeton, N.J., and his work has earned him the highest honors from the American Institute of Architects. The Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Princeton University, Graves has complemented his architecture with interior design work, enabling his ideas to more fully integrate and resonate.

The interior design aspect of his work has extended Graves' reputation into the world of furnishings, office equipment, housewares, appliances and cookware, bedding, games and even backyard pavilions, with many of his creations marketed via retail giant Target.


Recent UC gifts of more than $100,000

Autodesk -- San Rafael, Calif.
College of Applied Science -- Gift-in-kind Equipment Fund

The Bernard Osher Foundation -- San Francisco
Institute for Lifetime Education -- Osher Endowment Fund

Barry and Ruth Bucher -- Barry, Bus '64, Cincinnati
Athletics -- Raising the Bar Football Facilities Fund

Dialysis Corp. of America -- Linthicum Heights, Md.
College of Medicine -- Nephrology Discretionary Fund

Evelyn Hess, M.D., adjunct professor emerita -- Cincinnati
College of Medicine -- Hess Endowment Fund for Lupus Research

Carolyn Johnson Trust -- Springfield, Ohio
College-Conservatory of Music

The Kroger Co. -- Cincinnati
College of Business College of Pharmacy, The Kroger Company Pharmacy Scholarship Fund

Carl, Bus '75, and Martha, Bus '78, Lindner -- Cincinnati
College of Medicine -- Lindner Center of HOPE Elizabeth Lips Memorial Fund Cincinnati Cancer Consortium

George Schaefer, HonDoc '06 -- Cincinnati
College of Medicine

James Schwab, A&S '65 -- Cincinnati
College of Arts & Sciences – James and Vivian Schwab Excellence Fund in Economics

Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation -- Houston
College-Conservatory of Music -- Starling Fellow Fund, Starling Pre-Collegiate Fund, Dorothy Richard Starling Fund

Sally and Alexander Thomson III -- Covington, Ky.
College of Medicine -- Thomson Geriatric Medicine Fund

Related story
Faculty/staff campaign

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