UC4A News - Fall 2016

The quarterly update from UC's African American Alumni Affiliate

In this issue:

Update from the Chair

Greetings Bearcats!

Homecoming season is here and we hope you are all looking forward to returning to Clifton for a great week of activities. Below you’ll see the current calendar of events, so please finalize your plans and register for #UCHC16 today!

In addition to Homecoming, the UC4A team has been busy planning for the 2017 Onyx & Ruby Gala. The 2016 event was tremendous and our committee is hard at work to make 2017 event better. As a result of the support of alumni, university offices and our community, we have established a scholarship fund through the UC Foundation to provide scholarships for current students to travel the world as a part of their academic journeys at UC. We will have a formal announcement of the scholarship fund and applications for students out in the coming weeks. Let’s just say we have set an aggressive goal for fundraising and will need your help.

While these events are important for us to re-connect alumni and elevate their engagement with the university, we also have continued our work in other areas behind the scenes. The university, much like anywhere else in our country, remains in a place that requires constant evaluation and plans to improve. Students and alumni alike have peacefully participated with Black Lives Matter demonstrations and been active in how we can collectively influence change in our communities. There are Bearcats all over the country fighting for social change and justice reform, and as volunteers of UC4A we support them.

However, the change we want to see won’t come about unless we are actively a part of it. We have been excited about the level of engagement from alumni looking to get more involved, but we need more. If you have an area that you are passionate about, please reach out to us and share that so that we can work collectively towards the success of our students and the university.


Marcus Bethay II, Bus. ’06
UC4A Board of Volunteers

Homecoming 2016

A full listing of all UC4A and UCAA Homecoming activities are available here. A number of events require advanced registration, so please visit the website and secure your spots!

Nominate Outstanding African American Alumni for Onyx & Ruby Awards

For the second year in a row, the UC African American Alumni Affiliate will host the Onyx & Ruby Gala, an awards gala to recognize and celebrate the many contributions and overall excellence of UC alumni, faculty, students and community partners. The Gala will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Sharonville Convention Center.

We are accepting nominations for the awards until Friday, Nov. 4. Please click HERE to see a description of each of the six awards, and to nominate a worthy candidate.

Former Board Governor, UC4A Board Member Named UCAA’s Point Person for Diversity Engagement

Justin Gibson, Bus ’05, has joined the staff of the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association (UCAA) as associate director of diversity outreach and engagement. In this newly defined role with the organization, Gibson will formalize a diversity and inclusion plan for UCAA, implement and evaluate programs that strategically engage and serve a variety of alumni network activities, manage the relationship with affiliated alumni groups such as the UC African American Alumni Affiliate, LGBTQ initiatives, Golden Bearcats and women’s alumnae groups and nurture the future growth of diversity programs for the association.

Justin can be reached at Justin.Gibson@uc.edu or 513-556-4312.

UC Foundation Call for Nominations to Serve on the UCF Board

Potential nominees should demonstrate the ability to contribute and raise funds for UC and UC Health, have strong and passionate ties to the university and/or UC Health, and be highly valued in their professions and community.

In particular, they seek diverse nominees with strong executive leadership experiences and professional backgrounds in the fields of health, finance, accounting, and investment. The Committee on Trustees and Governance will review each submission and the Foundation Board will approve the final candidates.

Please submit your nomination by no later than November 28, 2016, in order for it to be considered by the committee and, subsequently, the Board.

Click here for the nomination form. You may complete it online or print, complete and email to Lynnette.Heard@uc.edu. A brief statement indicating your support for the individual’s potential candidacy may be submitted.

Alumni Spotlight: Lamar Cole, Bus, ‘94

Name: Lamar T. Cole

UC College and Grad Year: College of Business 1994

Employer, Title: Huntington Bank, Assistant Vice President

Current city of residence: Shaker Heights, Ohio

What was your fondest memory as a UC student? Three memories distinctly stick out: Being initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; the UC men’s basketball team making it to the Final Four; and walking across the stage to receive my degree from the College of Business.

Where was your favorite place to hang out on campus? One of my favorite places was the old TUC Bridge when the weather was nice. This was a destination and meeting place for many students, particularly Black Greek Lettered Organization members. Each organization hosted “Music on the Bridge” with a DJ every Friday from 12-2 p.m. during spring quarter. The other was the Rhine Room during the winter months because they served pizza by the slice and had my favorite arcade game, Pac Man.

Was there a faculty or staff member who made a lasting impact on your life? There were two: Julie Anderson (Financial Aid advisor) and Nan Adler (Algebra professor). What was it, and how? Prior to arriving to Freshman Orientation in the fall of 1988, I neglected to submit my request for financial aid prior the deadline. Subsequently, when I arrived at UC, I was informed that I didn’t have enough financial aid to cover my room and board. Julie Anderson overheard the Student Financial Aid counselor giving me this disappointing news and took me to her office. She felt bad that I had come that far without sufficient funds to start school and began researching additional options. She was able to obtain an Ohio Instructional Grant, Guaranteed Student Loan and Work Study for me. If it wasn’t for Julie overhearing my story and taking action, I would have been forced to return to Cleveland without the UC experience that helped make me the man I am today.

As for Professor Adler, I wish I knew where she was so that I could thank her for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Bottom line, I was not blessed with math skills. If I would have dropped out of college, it would have been because I struggled with math. Professor Adler allowed me to come to class 15 minutes early for additional tutoring, and sometimes stayed a few minutes longer after class to make sure that I understood the homework assignment. Math was very intimidating to me. Nan Adler had the gift of building confidence in her students and explaining mathematics in a way that was not so technical.

Why are you committed to giving back to your alma mater? My UC experience was arguably one of the best of my life. My education opened doors that I may not have had access to otherwise. I’ll cherish the relationships I had with administrators, classmates and fraternity brothers for the rest of my life. The experience was priceless. I’m not sure I could ever give back enough to pay for it.

If you could offer any advice to freshmen on campus, what would it be? Respect deadlines — they are there for a reason. Build as many meaningful relationships as you can because they will be valuable later in life. And enjoy your college experience.

What are you most looking forward as UC prepares to enter its third century? Hopefully, joining a “Power 5” conference and our athletics program winning a national championship in basketball or football! More importantly, I hope that we become ranked as a Top 25 public university.

Student Spotlight: Chanel VanDyke, CECH ‘17

Name: Chanel VanDyke

UC College, Major, and Anticipated Grad Year: CECH, Middle Childhood Education (Concentration in Language Arts and Math), April 2017

Hometown: Akron, OH

Why did you choose to attend UC? I genuinely fell in love with the campus. Upon my first visit, I valued the effort that UC put forth to showcase its homegrown values incorporated into a setting for higher education. I knew I wanted to attend a big school and stay close to home, and UC presented the environment that I felt could nurture all of my educational, social and cultural pursuits. It was also confirmed that when I came to UC, after visiting many other schools, there was just something this place that I knew I could not pass up. Five years later, I am about to graduate and it is the best choice I have ever made.

What student groups do you participate in? Founder and President of the Minority Association of Future Educators, 2015-2016 B.A.S.E Mentor, AACRC Choir, 2015-2016 Peer Leader, Vice President of The Lambda Society, 2x Public Relations & Secretary for the UC African Student Association (UCASA), a member of CWEST, a member of Sigma Phi, a member of Cincinnatus Honorary Society, and a Girl Scout Troop Leader.

What has been your fondest memory of your time at UC thus far? My fondest memory of UC has definitely been my matriculation through the services, programs and loving staff at the African American Cultural & Resource Center. The influence from the AACRC began with my first-year experience in the Transitions program, to cultivating my leadership and by expressing my artistic pursuits with the AACRC Choir, and finally my experiences by winning Miss Kuamka in 2015. I went into the competition to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone but I never imagined I would win. Through the guidance and support of the AACRC, I accomplished far beyond my personal expectations from when I first entered college. While the AACRC has honestly changed my life, I extend much of my growth because it has played such an essential part in molding me into the woman I am today. It was such an honor, and being able to represent the AACRC and the Black community at UC is something I will never forget.

What are your career goals? After graduation, I will be joining Teach for America in eastern North Carolina. During my time with TFA, I hope to get my Masters degree in Education Administration and one day become a middle school or high school principal.

What makes you proudest to be a Bearcat? What makes me proudest to be a Bearcat is being at a university where I am surrounded by so many go-getters, activists, student leaders, and people who inspire me every day. Being around extraordinary peers, faculty, staff and administration constantly challenges me to work hard, stand up for what I believe in, and help mentor those who will come after me. UC is a place that helps shape, cultivate and inspire the very BEST students. While its track record is proven, UC has solidly positioned its students into the areas that define the next generation’s examples of the world’s greatest scholars, world changers and thinkers. I honestly do not believe there is any other university like the University of Cincinnati. I am proud to be a Bearcat.

Find UC4A On Social Media


Justin Gibson, Bus '05
Associate Director,
Diversity Outreach and Engagement

Email Justin
or call 513-556-4312

African American Bearcats in the News

Upcoming Events

Homecoming 2016
Wednesday, Oct. 19 - Saturday, Oct. 22
UC Uptown Campus

Onyx & Ruby Gala 2017
Saturday, Feb. 28
Sharonville Convention Center

Alumni Weekend 2017
April 20 - 23
UC Uptown Campus

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Questions? Email Marcus Bethay, UC4A Chair or call the UC Alumni Association at 513-556-4344.

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