Making It All Add Up

Joe Rippe’s college career began like that of many students—academically awful, but, boy, was it fun. He was in Missouri, three states removed from the watchful eye of his parents and far from his previous responsibilities, he was free to do as he pleased. And he did.

He joined a fraternity and played saxophone in a band. Studying was something he did when he had time.

This, of course, didn’t sit well with his father, who was a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of guy. He left school at age 14 when his father died so he could drive a cinder truck and support his family. Even though he wasn’t old enough to get a license, the local police knew that if they busted him the family would starve, so they left him alone. After serving in WWII, he spent his nights in school, learned the hard way the worlds of real estate and banking and eventually went to work for one of his childhood friends—Carl Lindner—as president of Provident Bank.

Life’s tough, he tried to teach his kids. You need to work hard. You need to be disciplined.

“We ate dinner together every night,” Joe says, “and if you were playing ball beforehand, you didn’t dare show up dirty. And there was the standing rule every Sunday: You don’t make Dad late for Mass. If you made him late, you were his for the day. You only did that once.”

So Joe’s preference for good times instead of good grades didn’t sit well. The elder Rippe, though, knew how to handle it. While Joe was home on break during the fall semester, the family hosted a fundraising event for the Musketeer Club. He made sure his son was introduced to Xavier’s president at the time, Paul O’Connor, S.J.

“What do you know about Xavier?” O’Connor asked.

“Not much,” Joe said. “I’ve been to a few Xavier-UC football games before.”

“Why don’t you come down and see me. I’ll tell you a little about Xavier.”

“OK. Maybe when I get back.”

“How about tomorrow?”

“When?”

“Tomorrow. Come see me tomorrow.”

The two spent the day together. Before Rippe left, O’Connor had his secretary tell the other college that Joe wouldn’t be back. Rippe laughs.

“That guy could sell you sand in the desert,” he says. Sales job or not, it worked. Rippe started at Xavier and started over. He became a serious student, earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA as well, landing fast a job with the Big Eight accounting firm Arthur Young. Life was good except for one thing: He noticed the little guys—the entrepreneurs—were not getting the attention they deserved. So he and two other accountants left the firm and created Rippe and Kingston in October 1976. Except no one told them it helps if they have clients. They crunched some numbers and made some cold calls until January 1977 when they got a call from a businessman in Detroit. He wanted them to help him acquire a business.

“You help me find an acquisition,” he said, “and you’ll have an ongoing client. Besides, you don’t have anything else to do anyway.”

He was right. He used them to buy five companies over the next eight years. They added mergers and acquisitions to their skillset and grew the company into one of the 20 largest non-publicly held accounting firms in the country, with additional investment in time management solutions, capital advising, real estate and a slew of other individual investments.

The collection of work helped him receive the Deal Maker Award for entrepreneurship from the Association for Corporate Growth in April, and gave him the wisdom that a long list of organizations have asked him to serve on their boards, including Xavier. It also helps that he’s not lost the Jesuit ideals of making the world better that were ingrained in him as a student.

“We try to take into consideration in each deal if are we making the world better or more difficult. We don’t go in and wipe out layers of management and destroy people’s lives. And we always look at ethics of the situation. If a potential client is a problem, maybe that’s not the client we need to represent.

“You know, you can lead a life of success and/or a life of significance,” he adds. “You can do the former without doing the latter, but there’s a lot we can be doing to help others, to make this a better place to live.”

The Gift of Caring

With the shortage of nurses in America, there seems to be a growing number of places that offer nursing education. Sure, those kinds of places can train people how to take blood pressure and draw blood, but there’s more to being a good nurse than the technical skills. That’s why Xavier’s nursing program takes a holistic approach to its curriculum. In Ignatian terms, they teach students how to care for the whole person in addition to their immediate medical needs. It’s a different approach, and it pays off. And in some cases, it literally pays off.

Earlier this year, the University’s development office opened an envelope from the Millner Family Foundation near Chicago. Inside was a check for $1,000 and a note directing it to be used for the nursing program. It seems a member of the Millner family gave birth to triplets after just 30 weeks, and one of the primary nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit at Prentice Women’s Hospital was Jennifer (Brewer) Bartels, a 2003 cum laude nursing graduate.

“She is truly a testament to Xavier University and the nursing profession,” the note accompanying the check read. “I hope this small donation can help educate other nurses, who can provide the comfort and care Jenny did for us.”

To Do or Not to Do?

The image of an exploding Ford Pinto was cemented into the fertile brain of Jamie Schade by an ethics professor whose name has escaped Schade’s memory. But the image and the corresponding message about the irreversible consequences of a corporate decision that favored saving money over saving lives have not. And, Schade says, that has made all the difference in his life.

In 2006, Schade was a middle-markets manager at Merrill Lynch, and he kept noticing unusual transactions involving people in the financial services industry—even within his own company. They didn’t seem right. They were talking dollar signs. He kept seeing the burning Pinto.

“Our team came to the crossroads of either joining the party and selling commission-loaded bonds or going the other direction,” Schade says. “Xavier taught me the ethical decision was to go the opposite direction, so I’m one of the few in the firm who never got involved in the toxic bond stuff that ended the careers of a number of people.”

Schade, a 1996 finance graduate, survived the financial crisis that led to failures of the largest investment banks including Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns and the near collapse of the American financial system. But it wasn’t easy. Or fun.

In 2006, in the Dayton offices of Merrill Lynch where Schade’s team managed their clients’ investment portfolios, he was seeing behavior industry-wide he’d never seen before, and it worried him. He saw financial advisors making risky investment decisions with their clients’ money that earned them huge commissions. He saw new mortgage programs with lots of unusual fees and bond trading that netted large commissions buried deep inside.

“They were doing things for their own desires and not in the best interests of their clients,” he says. “There were rating agencies that wanted to give a safe rating to bonds that were unsafe so they could get the fees, and brokers that wanted to sell safe bonds that weren’t safe so they could get more commissions.

“Whether it’s the firm or the mortgage underwriter or the greedy insurance company or bank, everybody at one point or another allowed greed to look in the opposite direction of ethics and that’s what brought on this crisis. There was a personal decision at almost every level all the way through.

“We made the opposite choice. I remember coming into my chairman’s office and saying there are excessive commissions in these bonds, and we’re never going to do a trade in this product, whereas nearly every other person in the marketplace industry-wide were buying these bonds.”

He was scolded for not participating, but he stuck to his principles and when the dust settled, he and everyone on his team were still employed while others were losing their jobs.

“Not us. We were loyal to our clients and they to us.”

Those few years were lonely for Schade as he stood by his ethical decision. But he was buoyed by memories of the class on ethics and the case of the Ford Pinto. The car’s defective gas tank would explode if struck from behind, but Ford decided it was cheaper not to fix the tanks—even if it meant some people would die as a result.

“That really affected me,” he says. “I’m sitting in that class wondering if any of that is going to have an effect on my career. Not only did it impact it, it saved my career. I tie it all back to ethics. The decisions we made [at Merrill Lynch] before it got bad were made because of the ethics class. The message was that you have to have the courage and the confidence to make unpopular decisions at times.”

Schade, now a senior vice president and financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, shares his experiences at Xavier, He’s served on the President’s Advisory Council for about 10 years and speaks to students in the Williams College of Business about his industry and his experience.

“I’m willing to discuss it because it is ethically the right thing to do,” he says. “I want people to understand what happened so we don’t have it happen again.”

He also contributes to his family’s scholarship so others can attend Xavier and learn the same lessons he learned.

“Because I went to Xavier, I feel like I’ve had a lifetime of rewards for the education they provided me, and I want that exact same thing for others,” he says, “and I can do that with the scholarship fund. I will do everything I can to support the University for the rest of my life.”

Gallagher Gratitudes

“Observe the turtle,” Charlie Gallagher likes to say. “It can’t make any progress unless it sticks its neck out.”

Gallagher, a 1960 economics graduate, spent a lifetime sticking his neck out, taking risks and making progress. A lot of progress. After turning around a number of struggling industrial businesses, he created his own private equity firm and has managed more than 20 middle-market mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He has saved companies and created jobs.

But perhaps nobody—or no place—has benefitted more from Gallagher’s expertise and leadership than Xavier. In December, Gallagher retired from the Board of Trustees after serving 20 years.

He is, of course, the namesake of the Gallagher Student Center, for which he contributed $9 million. He’s also the primary funder of the Conaton Learning Commons, which he chose to name in honor of former Board chairman and friend Michael Conaton.

Gallagher also sponsored a scholarship program called the Pacesetter Program in which he underwrote the education of inner-city students from his alma maters, St. Martin de Porres and Central Catholic High School in Toledo.

It is, he says, more satisfying to give your treasures away than it is to accumulate them.

“We are a better institution because of Charlie’s contributions,” says University President Michael Graham, S.J., “and we are extremely grateful for his commitment and generosity to Xavier.”

Honor Thy Father

Dinners at Roger Fortin’s home were always big family affairs. With six mouths to feed on a history professor’s salary, they weren’t always extravagant. But they were special. They were one of the few moments during the day when everyone came together from all their different directions and settled into a single place, together as one.

On occasion, the dinners were also celebratory. At various periods throughout his 40-year career at Xavier, the longtime history professor and former provost would be recognized for some outstanding achievement, and the observance of the feat turned dinner into a festival.

And those moments left their mark on the memories of the family. Or at least on Michael Fortin, the second oldest of the clan.

“Many of my young memories were of my father, working hard and on occasion being rewarded for going above and beyond,” he says. “That was a big deal. All of us remember those moments.”

The lasting memories were so strong, in fact, that Michael wanted to do something to recognize and honor his dad upon his retirement as Xavier’s provost last year. Something that would give other families the chance to experience those same moments. So the 1985 computer science graduate, who is now vice president in charge of the Windows operating system at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., worked with Kerry Murphy from the University’s development office to find a way to help others recreate those suppertime celebrations. What they came up with is the Roger A. Fortin Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship in the Humanities—an annual award that honors faculty members in the humanities.

The winner receives $10,000. Unlike other teaching awards, however, the money granted from the Fortin Award isn’t tied to conducting specific research or being applied to the classroom. It’s cash. No strings. No demands. No requirements. It’s available for use however the recipient desires—academics, a vacation in Australia, a special family dinner.

“Most of these people could make a living at anything, but they chose to dedicate their lives to teaching, to educating students,” says Michael. “That’s a special calling. They chose what actually matters. I remember my dad working tirelessly at it. So I didn’t like the idea of tying it to things like that puts limits on people.”

The award is focused on those who teach in the humanities—those fundamental programs that colleges were built upon—history, the classics, modern languages, English, philosophy. Theology was once seen as a capstone subject—what students learned after they knew it all. But in today’s era of specialization and make-as-much-money-as-you-can values, the humanities seem to have lost their emphasis among students. The well-roundedness that comes as a result of their learning has been flattened. And the ability to attract and retain professors in those areas has become increasingly difficult.

“I feel like the humanities can be overlooked and today’s world,” says Michael. “If this can attract or retain some of the faculty in the humanities, it’s well worth it.”

Each fall department chairs, faculty and student nominate candidates from the roughly 50 tenured faculty in the humanities programs, and a committee of four faculty members and one humanities student created by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences selects the winner, which is announced at a public event in the spring. The award goes to a “teacher-scholar who—in the judgment of students and peers—is excellent to outstanding in her or his teaching and—in the judgment of the faculty—shows evidence of scholarship that is recognized and given positive evaluations by the scholarly community.”

It took nearly a year to create the endowment and hammer out many of the details—the nomination criteria, the selection process, the long-term process so it outlives those who are on campus now. And it wasn’t easy keeping it a secret.

“Dad was aware of that fact that we were working on something, but he wasn’t sure what,” says Michael. “He kept prying for information. When we finally told him, he was very excited and proud, but also very measured.”

Many are the Options

Ray and Sue Broerman have been giving to Xavier for more than 20 years.In addition to buying season tickets to men’s basketball games every year, they make regular donations to the Annual Fund at The 1831 Society level, as well as to the Parents Fund, the All For One Club, and to the Ray and Sue Broerman Family Scholarship they started five years ago. Xavier offers these and several other ways to support the mission of educating students.

ANNUAL FUND

The Annual Fund raises more than $7 million a year to support Xavier’s mission of educating students intellectually, morally and

spiritually. Unrestricted gifts allow the most flexibility in directing money to scholarships for deserving students, where it’s needed

most. These gifts help make up the difference between tuition and the actual cost to educate a Xavier student.

THE 1831 SOCIETY

Donors can make a bigger impact on a student’s life with larger gifts of $1,000 or more to the Annual Fund. These gifts qualify donors for membership in The 1831 Society, an elite group whose members make leadership gifts that generate more than 90 percent of total gifts each year.

PARENTS FUND

Gifts to the Parents Fund allow parents of current students to support the education of their son or daughter and all their classmates.

ALL FOR ONE CLUB

Donors score big with a gift to the All For One Club and support the unique programs that help Xavier’s student-athletes find success on the playing field and in the classroom. All For One Club members know they’re making a difference in the lives of student-athletes while also helping Xavier stay competitive. These gifts help the AFO fund scholarships for student-athletes, pay for the academic support provided to all student-athletes, increase the level of competition for all 18 programs, improve facilities, and find and keep great coaches.

WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE

Gifts to Women of Excellence support the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of women through special programs that foster active engagement with and for Xavier. These include the Giving Circle, an annual competition that awards grants to projects and programs submitted by faculty and students that aim to improve conditions and offer opportunities for women and all students at Xavier and in the community. The Women of Excellence was created in 2007 to recognize the significant contributions of women graduates of Xavier and Edgecliff College to Xavier’s history and traditions.

ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIPS

Those who are able to create endowed scholarships find great satisfaction in being able to set up a permanent fund that generates ongoing tuition support for deserving students. A minimum of $25,000 is needed to provide a student benefit of $1,200 a year, while $700,000 generates scholarship funds of about $30,000, nearly full tuition.

XAVIER’S ENDOWMENT

Gifts to the University’s endowment are a promise to ensure Xavier’s future for years to come. An endowment is a sign of fiscal strength, and growing the endowment is fundamental to sustaining Xavier’s long-term vision of being the nation’s leading comprehensive Jesuit Catholic University. Xavier has an endowment today that’s smaller than at most other Jesuit universities and puts Xavier at a distinct disadvantage. In addition to setting up endowed scholarships, donors can contribute to the endowment with gifts to endowed professorships and chairs.

Spreading the Love

Life was good when Ray Broerman was growing up in the 1950s. His family had it all: a new house in Bridgetown on Cincinnati’s west side and a neighborhood pool down the street where he and his seven siblings spent the better part of their summer days.

They would head out the door in the morning, swim towels in hand, and stay until it was time to come home for dinner. They slept in bunk beds—the four boys in one bedroom, four girls in the other. There was a peaceful sense of security and routine. Mom was always home, caring for their burgeoning family, while dad went to work each day.

Broerman’s father, Paul, picked a home in Bridgetown for a reason. It was a blue-collar community of hard-working people, the kind who found a good job and kept it for life. And it offered what was most important for Broerman’s father—easy access to the bus line. The family couldn’t afford a car then, so his dad took a bus every day to his job as a machine operator at Macke Brothers Bindery near the railroad yards at Union Terminal. He worked there all his life and rode the bus until Ray, the oldest son, got his driver’s license. That’s when his father bought a 1968 VW Beetle for Broerman and his sister to use to drive mom to the grocery and dad to and from work. They also drove themselves and their siblings to all their sports and school activities.

Though his parents didn’t finish high school, they managed to send all eight children to Catholic elementary schools and encouraged them all to continue their education. When Broerman said he wanted to go to Elder High School, his dad helped with the tuition, but Broerman contributed as well by working part-time jobs. And at the University of Cincinnati, his dad helped him secure loans that he paid back in full.

“My parents knew it was important for the kids to better themselves, and dad never flinched when I asked about going to Elder or UC,” he says. “It was like, ‘I’ll help as much as I can.’ ”

Now Broerman feels it’s his turn to help, and while he can take care of his own family just fine—three of his four sons enrolled at Xavier—he’s taken his father’s example a step further and is trying to help others. This is where his wife, Sue Driehaus, fits in. She also graduated from Xavier in 1976 with a degree in psychology. Broerman may have married into a Xavier legacy family, but he has wholeheartedly signed on as the ultimate Xavier fan. He began about 30 years ago by joining the Driehaus clan as a season ticket holder to men’s basketball.

When his boys enrolled at Xavier, two got academic scholarships. Feeling blessed by their good fortune, and inspired by Bob Driehaus’ annual gifts to Xavier, the Broermans began giving to the Annual Fund as a way to help others the way they and their sons were helped. As that annual contribution rose, they became lead donors to the Annual Fund as members of The 1831 Society. They also support Xavier athletics with regular donations to the All For One Club, they give to the Parents Fund, and three years ago, Broerman began serving on the President’s Advisory Council.

But the Broermans wanted to do more, something more lasting. So five years ago, they created the Ray and Sue Broerman Family Scholarship and have contributed to it every year since. Now that it’s reached its minimum investment of $25,000, the fund can begin helping Xavier students this year.

“We felt we had this wonderful opportunity to continue providing education for others beyond our own children, and we’ve been very fortunate,” says Sue. “So I think we’re just trying to carry on the values that we’ve witnessed with our parents.”

“A scholarship just seems like a great way to do it because we feel we can help someone who can’t afford to go, and it’s a way we can give back,” Broerman says. “Today you read about these kids who come out of school with all these loans, and so I want to help if I can.”

There is, of course, a reward for him and Sue. It reminds him of his own humble beginnings and the way his father helped him get his start in life, so he could have it all. “Mainly it just feels good to help someone that maybe would not have attended Xavier if the money was not there,” he says.

The New Generation

Colin Willer and Kerry Murphy are hip young urbanites with a different viewpoint on living and giving. They live in Cincinnati’s edgy Over-The-Rhine neighborhood in a 117-year-old house. They share one car and ride bikes or the bus to get around. They shop at the farmer’s

market a few streets over. They’re in their 30s. They’re well-employed. They’re both Xavier grads. And they regularly give to charity, beginning with a monthly check to Xavier.

The young couple is part of a new generation of philanthropists who believe that giving is something you do as a matter of course. But they didn’t feel they needed to wait until they’re old or retired or have amassed a certain amount of wealth. The time to start giving, they said, is now.

“As we prepared to get married, we talked about our finances and the things we valued, and one of them was giving,” Murphy says.

Willer and Murphy have given to Xavier ever since they graduated, but they upped their commitment when they married in 2009, a reflection of the value they place on their Xavier experience. Willer graduated with a business degree in 1998, and Murphy with a sociology degree in 2002, but they didn’t meet until 2007 at a tavern after a Xavier basketball game in Washington, D.C. A year later, she was offered her current job as regional director for development in the Division of University Relations, and the next year, she and Willer were married in Chicago.

As soon as the wedding gifts were put away, they set up the Murphy Willer Endowed Scholarship and have contributed $5,000 to the fund each year. Once it reaches $25,000 in 2013—the minimum for an endowed scholarship—the University will award 4.5 percent each year for a student scholarship. The monthly commitment is a little more than $400, which Murphy says is like a car payment.

Willer says the reward is knowing they are helping other students have the same Xavier experience as they did. “I was fortunate to have the ability to go here because my parents provided the financial opportunity for me. Now I want to provide that opportunity to other students.”

Murphy says while regular gifts to the Annual Fund are just as valuable, having their own endowed scholarship guarantees their commitment will be long-term. “While it’s only one student in the beginning, it will become a more substantial fund providing more tuition for more students over the years,” she says. “Colin and I have a long-term goal to grow this scholarship to affect many more people over our lifetimes.”

Saving Students

Two years ago, Mark Costello did the unthinkable. He went to the financial aid office and told them he was getting ready to withdraw. He wondered if there was anything more they could do for him.

“I had started looking into transferring to Bowling Green.”

Costello was sad. He fell in love with Xavier when he arrived in 2008 with big dreams of becoming a doctor. He was a good student in high school and earned a Trustee scholarship plus two smaller grants that whittled his balance to a manageable amount.

Costello helped out by working part-time and summer jobs. The money was good, but it wasn’t enough. So he was totally surprised one day when his advisor told him he won a scholarship he hadn’t even applied for—the Joseph J. Peters, S.J., Endowed Scholarship for deserving junior and senior biology majors.

“I was speechless,” he says.

The scholarship, $5,500 a year for his junior and senior years, allowed Costello to stay at Xavier. Now a senior, Costello is preparing to graduate in May and has already been accepted to two medical schools.

Costello wanted to thank the donor, Dr. Joseph Marr, who set up the fund and named it after Fr. Peters, a former biology professor and chair of the department. So he wrote him a letter:

“Without your extremely charitable donation, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today. People like you are the reason that many students are able to achieve their calling in life.”

It’s something Marr knows all about. Marr was only 16, a baby-faced teenager who finished high school early and came to Xavier for its pre-med program. He never had a biology class, but was expected to do college-level science. Help arrived in the form of Fr. Peters, who became a mentor for the young student.

“He taught us not only science but the philosophy of science and critical thinking and judgment and intellectual honesty,” Marr says. “He expanded the realm of the possible, and he instilled a love of learning and mental inquiry that has lasted my entire life.”

Like Costello, Marr paid his way through Xavier with scholarships and a part-time job working the night and weekend shift at the McGrath Health Center. But his ties to Peters were sealed when Marr faced a life decision he was unable to handle on his own. At the end of his freshman year, he got a letter from the U.S. Naval Academy welcoming him into the next year’s class. He asked Fr. Peters what to do.

“He said to project yourself forward about 20 years and look back and see which route you wish you had taken. I did that and decided I would rather have been a physician than a naval aviator,” Marr said. “He was very helpful because he forced me to make the decision.”

Marr finished his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University and practiced internal medicine for 20 years. He also earned a master’s in microbial biochemistry at Saint Louis University, taught at Washington University and served as head of infectious diseases at Saint Louis University and the University of Colorado. He entered the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry just before retiring in 2008.

Marr believes he owes his success to the people who made his education possible through their scholarships—and to Fr. Peters, who died in 1998. Wanting to show his gratitude, Marr set up a scholarship fund in Fr. Peters’ name.

“I thought I really wanted to help others the way I had been helped,” Marr says. “And I wanted to put Joe Peters’ name on it because he helped me and many others.”

Marr gave a lead gift of $20,000 and made a round of calls to former classmates, generating donations. It now totals about $250,000, but he hopes to build it to $700,000, the amount required to fund a full scholarship every year.

Receiving letters like Costello’s makes it all worthwhile, he says. “I’m glad he could be helped like that. It’s a good use of the money,” he says. “Someone helped me in the past, and I am passing it on. That’s why people should contribute to endowments. You’re putting this money into educating good citizens, and that’s one of the best uses of money.”

Letters of Inspiration

Nobody writes letters anymore, right? It’s an email or cell phone call or posting on Twitter. Heck, people don’t even scribble personal messages on Christmas cards anymore.

Perhaps, then, that’s why the letters the students of the Summer Service Internship Program receive are so special. They’re personal. They’re thankful. They’re unexpected. And they’re from John Pepper, the former chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble. Letters from one of the most powerful business leaders in the world don’t just arrive in the mailbox every day. At least not for most people. But for the interns, they’re one of the surprising benefits of the program.

Pepper has been writing the letters since coming up with the idea for the intern program and helping it get off the ground in 1995. He’s remained closely connected to the program over the years, consistently providing it financial support. Students in the program work directly for nonprofit community service organizations in Cincinnati. The goal is to raise awareness of those less fortunate while fostering among students a lifelong commitment to social justice and the betterment of society.

“It was a genius idea at the time,” says Gene Beaupré, the program’s first director. “John really believed in engaging young people in community service in Cincinnati.”

Student interns fan out across 20 different agencies, working directly with their client populations for nine weeks. The interns live together in a campus residence hall, allowing them to build their own close-knit community during the experience. Their hourly wages are paid through grants and donations procured by Xavier.

Living together gives interns the chance to share insights, reflect on their experiences and address societal issues. Weekly reflection sessions allow them to exchange stories about their experiences, pose questions and provide support for each other. Students also read articles and keep a journal during the internship to help them gain a broader understanding of the impact of their work.

The idea, of course, fits perfectly within Xavier’s Jesuit ideals of teaching its students to be men and women for others. But it does more, says Angela Gray, associate director for service and justice in the Center for Faith and Justice. “It gets those students out of the campus bubble,” she says. “It connects them to the city of Cincinnati.”

Many of the student interns do become active leaders in their communities after graduating, using their talents to address the city’s social needs.

“It’s a critical mission of the University,” says Mary Kochlefl, executive director for grants and academic assessment and planning.

And, says Gray, “I think the letters mean a great deal to the students.”

Knowing that such successful business leaders care about community service sends a powerful message.

A Sampling of Agencies Served

  • Catholic Social Services’ refugee resettlement program
  • Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
  • Cincinnati Recreation Commission: Division of Therapeutic Recreation
  • Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati
  • Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • The Drop-Inn Center Shelterhouse
  • Freestore Foodbank
  • Healthy Moms and Babes
  • Imago Earth Center
  • Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center
  • Kennedy Heights Arts Center
  • Ohio Justice and Policy Center
  • Peaslee Neighborhood Center
  • Project Connect Homeless Children’s Fund
  • Stepping Stones Center
  • Starfire Council
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • Visions Community Services
  • Working in Neighborhoods