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College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Awards Dinner Recap

Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Metropolitan Club, Covington, Ky.

The College of Arts and Sciences celebrated two exceptional alumni at its annual A&S Alumni Awards Dinner on Oct. 19. Paul Kruchoski ’10 was honored as the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus, and Glen Weissenberger ’69 was honored as the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus. Mr. Weissenberger will also be honored at the UC Alumni Association’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Celebration as the college’s Outstanding Alumnus on Thursday, April 12, 2018, during Alumni Weekend. You can read about their accomplishments in a news release from earlier this year and view the photo album from the evening.

You can read about their accomplishments in a news release from earlier this year and view the photo album from the evening.

We asked each honoree to share their remarks from the ceremony. Here is what they had to say:

Outstanding Young Alumnus - Paul Kruchoski ’10, Interdisciplinary Studies

I am incredibly honored to receive the Young Alumni Award from the college. Dean Petren has described for us a compelling vision for the College of Arts and Sciences, and he has really put his finger on what makes A&S — and UC as whole — such a unique and special institution: the emphasis on interdisciplinary study, the support for cooperative education and professional experience, and the importance of individual students. Without these, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Interdisciplinary studies was, of course, the heart of my own experience at A&S. My degree is in interdisciplinary studies. You may (or may not) know that I started as a cello performance major at CCM. I transferred to A&S because I wanted to pursue the full range of my interests: human rights, international relations, and philosophy, as well as music. And I wasn’t alone. What a unique institution that encourages students to find the connections between biology, psychology, economics, and more. Accommodating interests like those isn’t possible at every institution. I would not have succeeded without the support of the college and my home departments of political science and communication encouraging me along the way.

Additionally, I never would have made it to Washington — or the State Department — without the unflagging support for cooperative education. I started at the State Department as an intern in 2009, during the winter of my junior year. I continued working there through my senior year. Through the entire experience, the college supported, encouraged and nurtured me. In all, I spent a year and a half of my undergraduate experience away. What sort of institution would let you do this, let alone encourage it? This one — and the incredible results show.

Last but not least, the support for students that Dean Petren discussed. He talked about the importance of scholarships, but that is only one of the many ways the college takes individual care of its students. When I arrived at the college, I spent the first year building an individualized, interdisciplinary degree with the help of the assistant dean. Every other week or so, we sat down to discuss how to make my experience meaningful, what courses might make sense, and where I might go professionally and intellectually. In the end, we crafted an individual degree for me, unlike any other option available. That, again, is unique.

The College of Arts and Sciences, and UC more broadly, are unique institutions. They gave me a solid foundation to build my career and my life, as they have done for many others. And I hope that they’ll continue to do so long into the future.

Distinguished Alumnus - Glen Weissenberger ’69, Philosophy

I would like to thank my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Klein, who once told me, “Glen, you are difficult.” While I am grateful to all of my teachers, my philosophy professors at the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences stand out as the most inspired teachers I have encountered throughout my education, including law school. I’m also grateful to my wife, Sun-Hee, who is remarkably tolerant of all of my idiosyncrasies and eccentricities.

Congratulations go to Paul Kruchoski who also receives an award at this time. He and I also have shared the honor of the McKibben Prize for Manliness. I was told that at the time I was being considered for the award, no senior man had received the honor who had not participated in some athletic activities while at the university. Some of my fraternity brothers even suggested that it was a requirement for receipt of the award as stated in the 1911 trust document creating the prize. To maximize my chances of winning the award, my fraternity brothers secured me a place on the bowling team. Bowling would be my only attempt at athleticism while in college. Recently, I looked at the 1969 Cincinnatian, and the yearbook had no photographs of the bowling team. I don’t remember ever bowling with the team or with anyone else for that matter. So, my receipt of the award may have been obtained by fraudulent means . I’ll be happy to return the medal to anyone who comes to my home where the award sits on the bedside table in the master bedroom.

Getting back to Mrs. Klein, I pose the question whether being difficult is a virtue. While much attention is currently focused on Alexander Hamilton, my favorite founding father is Benjamin Franklin. You may recall that Franklin identified 13 virtues and attempted to live his life consistent with these values. While he did not specifically identify being difficult as a virtue, his fourth virtue is resolution: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.” I believe it is inescapable that to live a life with resolution, one frequently needs to be difficult. In a world where many people simply do not do what they ought, only difficult people can ensure that those who lack fundamental values do not prevail. Resolution and difficulty are the antithesis of passivity, acquiescence and resignation.

Actually, I did not relate Mrs. Klein’s entire statement. In fact, she said, “Glen, you’re difficult. That’s good. Never change.” I’m certain that if I hadn’t heeded her advice, I would not be receiving this award today.

Disclaimer: Glen’s receipt of this award was not fraudulent. Per the documentation provided when the gift was established in 1911, a winner will be selected who is deemed the embodiment of manliness as manifested by “reverence for God, reverence for woman, and reverence for the rights of the weak, as well as those of the strong.”

Contact

Juliana Sinclair Saneholtz
Associate Director of Alumni Relations,
College of Arts and Sciences

Email Juliana
or call 513-556-6466

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