Xavier Magazine

The Name Game

Two years ago, when William Grote III made a pledge toward the construction cost of the clock tower lounge in the new Gallagher Student Center, he earned the right to name it. Rather than naming it after himself, as many donors do, he chose to honor his mother. In September, the name Mary Louise Dolle Grote was permanently etched into the lounge’s front glass panel.

While many of the University’s new properties have been named after donors, many other naming opportunities remain:

• The theater and a variety of rooms inside the Gallagher Center.

• The Commons Mall outside the Gallagher Center.

• The Commons apartment building, which includes a unit for University President Michael J. Graham, S.J.

• The Athletic Hall of Fame, which will move forward when $250,000 to $500,000 is raised.

• The new alumni center, which will be created in the F&W Building.

Naming rights to scholarships, department chairmanships and professorships are also available

Xavier Magazine

Recalling Ryan

Ryan’s Pub in the new Gallagher Student Center serves up memories alongside its meals. Stephen G. Ryan of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Charles P. Gallagher, a Toledo native and Denver businessman, were roommates, best friends and graduates of the Class of 1960. And when Gallagher donated the funds to build the new center, he asked that the pub be named in memory of his friend.

A collage of photos and memorabilia adorns one wall inside the pub, with a quote from Gallagher reading: “Let all who enter here hoist a toast to Steve Ryan, my best friend, and everyone’s best friend of the Class of 1960.”

Ryan, a former Navy lieutenant who served in Vietnam from 1964 to 1965, died in 1981 at age 42 of heart disease.

Xavier Magazine


The University received two grants aimed at creating opportunities in math and science.

The National Science Foundation gave a $99,970 grant for retaining and increasing the number of math and science majors.

Also, the Ashland Foundation gave a $70,000 grant for a program that takes six math and science teachers from a local college preparatory school and has them work with Xavier faculty.

Xavier Magazine

Annual Fund

For 50 years, the University has had an annual giving fund, although a lot has changed in those five decades. Compared to the single program of 50 years ago, today’s annual fund is a complex mix of programs.

But, says annual fund director Dan Cloran, it’s “more than asking for money. The annual fund actually plays a vital role in the University’s financial well-being. There’s a big gap between what it actually costs to educate a student and what tuition covers. There’s also been an increase in operational expenses as the University grows and adds buildings. The annual fund helps those areas or wherever the University needs it most. And every year we close the books and start over from scratch. On the first day of the fiscal year, our account always shows a balance of $0. We then have 365 days to raise $5 million.”

The annual fund is divided into two categories—restricted gifts, which account for 35 percent of all donations, and unrestricted gifts, which account for the remaining 65 percent. What most alumni are familiar with, says Cloran, are unrestricted gifts, which are broken down into six programs, each targeted toward specific groups. These programs are:

• B.M.X.—Businesses Mobilized for Xavier. This is the annual fund’s oldest giving program. These are gifts from businesses.

• Matching Gifts. Some businesses also match contributions made by their employees to the University dollar-for-dollar—or in some cases two-for-one or three-for-one.

“Matching gifts doesn’t cost a donor anything,” Cloran says. “All they have to do is fill out a form. We take care of the rest. But our challenge is making sure every donor knows if their company offers this, because if the company does and we don’t know about it, we’re leaving money on the table.”

• Parental Giving. This is for parents of current and past students. Although it may seem like a lot for a parent to make a donation after paying for tuition, last year more than 1,500 parents participated.

• Faculty/Staff Giving. This is targeted at those working at the University. The goal, says Cloran, is 100 percent participation.

“These are the people who are direct beneficiaries and know its importance the most.”

• Senior Legacy Fund. Each year, members of the senior class are asked to pledge $25 a year for four years.

“Because of the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating a student, somebody helped these students financially for the last four years whether they knew it or not. We ask that they give a portion of their newly found income back to help the next group.”

• General Fund. The general fund is the broadest and largest program. It encompasses everyone who doesn’t fall into one of the other programs. It’s broken down into five subprograms:

G.O.L.D.—Graduates Of the Last Decade. This is a continuation of the senior legacy program, but because the University is aware that a person’s life changes most in the first 10 years out of college—getting settled, getting married, climbing the corporate ladder—the donation levels are different.

Direct Mail. The direct mail campaign includes everyone. Four times a year, general solicitations are made. More targeted direct mail pieces are also made to specific groups throughout the year.

“We’re trying to segment these mailings so that if you give, you don’t continue getting solicitations,” says Cloran.

Phonathon. This also covers all groups. Student callers made 130,000 calls to alumni and friends last year.

“It’s the highest paid student job on campus,” says Cloran, “because it’s the most important. They are the direct beneficiaries of annual fund contributions, so it makes sense for them to ask.”

Class Agent Program. In this new program, an individual from each class contacts classmates on behalf of the University and asks them to contribute. These “ambassadors” help increase the percentage of alumni who give.

“That’s vital,” says Cloran, “because grants and foundations look at the percentage of alumni giving when they make their decisions. They figure if the alumni aren’t giving to the University, why should they?”

The 1831 Society. This, says Cloran, is the most important leadership society within the annual fund. It takes an annual donation of $1,000 or more to join. Several leadership levels exist within The 1831 Society as well: Chancellor’s Club, President’s Club, Trustees’ Club, Founders’ Club, Deans’ Club and Elet Club.

Xavier Magazine

Setting the Pacer

Like most universities, some of Xavier’s best salespeople are its alumni. Take Brian Grant, for example. The 1994 graduate and National Basketball Association member talks so much about Xavier that Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal knew all about the University even before his team held a weeklong training camp on campus in early October.

“He talked about it all the time,” said O’Neal, who was Grant’s teammate with the Portland Trailblazers. “I haven’t seen much of campus, but this facility is extremely nice.”

That seemed to be the consensus.

“The food’s been good. The environment’s been good. The facilities are great,” Pacers coach Isaiah Thomas said. “The arena is a baby Conseco Fieldhouse.”

Xavier Magazine

In the Spirit

Season ticket holders aren’t the only ones with great seats for men’s basketball games as it turns out. At each men’s game—as well as six women’s games—25 kids from area youth groups are given free tickets for seats right at center court.

The prime seats and the kids who fill them are part of the Cintas Team Spirit Program that the Cintas Corp. has put on for the last three years. The kids also receive snacks and a T-shirt, and are brought onto the court during a timeout to be introduced to the crowd. Plus, this year, they receive a chance to win a $1,000 savings bond. A “Shoot for the Spirit” chance takes place at five games during the season. Make a basket, take $1,000 back to your seat.

The money isn’t the message, though, says Chuck Helmes, national marketing manager for Cintas. Rather, it’s about encouraging and inspiring kids.

“Everyone in the community has the ability to encourage and inspire kids to believe in themselves and follow their dreams,” he says. “That’s the team spirit that makes our community great.”

Xavier Magazine

Going West

When Tyrone Hill was a senior, the University’s sports information department tried marketing him to those who vote for All-American players by creating a campaign. “T-time,” they called it. They received 10,000 tea bags from Kroger, tore off the tags and replaced them with their own tags with Hill’s statistics written on them.

This season, the effort the department is putting forth to hype David West as the national player of the year is mountainous in comparison to Hill’s. It’s sending out a West bobblehead, a poster, a keychain with a compass on it that’s permanently pointing west, a reporter’s notebook with West on the front and Romain Sato—who’s also being marketed as an All-American—on the back, and a mousepad with West and Sato holding the Atlantic 10 Conference championship trophy.

“As much as we are trying to reach the media and those voting for the All-Americans,” says Tom Eiser, assistant athletic director for media relations, “we’re also sending our message to NBA teams. When the Golden State Warriors made Tyrone Hill a lottery pick, their ticket campaign that year was, ‘It’s T-time.’ ”

Next year, some team’s campaign will undoubtedly be going West.

Xavier Magazine

Women’s Basketball

For six weeks after he was hired as the new women’s basketball coach in mid-June, Kevin McGuff spent his days living out of a tiny, sterile room in the Quality Inn in nearby Norwood. When the 32-year-old wasn’t staying in some hotel room on the road while recruiting—which was pretty much every day—he would come back and check into another hotel room.

Be it ever so humble, it wasn’t home. No amount of free continental breakfasts or USA Today newspapers could make it anything but what it was—unsettled. But it had to do. He had to hire a staff, get to know his team and recruit. He couldn’t afford to spend any time with a Realtor while other coaches were out there selling their programs to the tall and talented.

His top, middle and bottom priorities were doing all of the things he had to do to win. Such are the sacrifices of being a head coach, and McGuff was more than willing to make them. If anything, McGuff’s priority list was longer than others who might have filled the vacancy created by Melanie Balcomb, who became coach of Vanderbilt University. He was starting from scratch. He had no assistants, no playbook, no experience at doing all of the things a head coach does.

But none of that was an obstacle in McGuff’s mind. The biggest difference between being a head coach and being an assistant, he says, is that the final decisions are now his. He already knows how to break down a game tape. He already knows the strategies. He already knows how to recruit. The buck has just never stopped with him before.

Being in that position was inevitable, though. McGuff was lauded by basketball publications for his skills and was already interviewing for head coaching jobs when this position became available. Muffet McGraw, the head coach at Notre Dame, calls him “without question one of the brightest young coaching minds in the country” and adds, “There’s no one who is a better fit or a better choice for Xavier than Kevin.”

Sitting in his office overlooking the Cintas Center court, he nods in agreement with McGraw’s latter assessment. While he might not be able to sell his experience to recruits, he says, they will definitely be able to feel his passion for the University. This was the job he always wanted, he says, and he took himself out of contention for another job just to interview here.

He’s getting plenty of chances to sell himself and the program, too. Two players graduated and four transferred from last year’s team, leaving him with two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and six freshmen this year. Fortunately, two of those players are his starting backcourt—preseason All-American Amy Waugh and Reetta Piipari. While their positions on the team may be the most settled, he told all the players that he’s starting with a clean slate. There will be other changes, too. When they travel, they will dress up. They will make themselves available a lot more to the public. They will also take time during road trips to stop and visit interesting or historic locations.

“The team hasn’t done that in the past,” he says. “I think that helps them grow culturally and helps provide a balance.” Those kinds of things also help meld the players into a team, McGuff says.

Whether it helps overcome their inexperience and any challenges brought about by the coaching changes will be determined throughout the winter.

“Any time you change, there’s a lot of uncertainty,” he says. “A lot of players I didn’t see on the court until school started. I only saw one freshman play over the summer. So how everybody mixes will determine how successful we will be.”

McGuff’s stepping into a good situation, though. The team is just two years removed from its trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. It has a solid reputation and, most importantly, he says, the backing of the administration.

“Unfortunately, with a lot of women’s programs, that’s not the case,” he says. “Here, there’s not only financial support, but emotional support as well. And it has great facilities. This program can attract some quality student-athletes. We just need to get kids to campus.”

It wasn’t the facilities that sold McGuff on Xavier, though. He’s kept an eye on the University since he first got into coaching at Miami University in nearby Oxford, Ohio. And when he first heard about the job opening here, he did not waste any time applying, despite the fact he was in Italy with the Notre Dame team at the time. He got on his computer and sent a message to athletic director Mike Bobinski. Many coaches sent résumés; McGuff sent an e-mail.

But it’s all worked out so far. He’s even found a house.

“I’m where I want to be for a long time,” he says.

Kevin McGuff has, indeed, finally found a home.

Xavier Magazine

Music Man

When Helmut Roehrig announced his retirement, his wife, Evelyn, decided to do something special to commemorate his 20 years at Edgecliff and his 22 years at Xavier teaching in the department of music. Her idea: A scholarship in his name.

Her hopes sank, though, when she learned it takes $25,000 for a named scholarship.

Undaunted, she sent out letters to people in Cincinnati’s music community who knew her husband. Expecting to get about a third of the required funds, Evelyn was stunned when she learned of the response.

“Within five weeks of starting the drive, the full $25,000 had come in,” she says. “It was a phenomenal experience.”

Currently Roehrig’s scholarship fund sits at more than $30,000. It was kept a secret from him until the President’s Reception in May, when his retirement was celebrated.

“He helped nourish the music department and raise it from nothing to become a vital part of the University,” says Evelyn. “It’s a way of continuing his influence on students in the coming years.”

Xavier Magazine

Making History

Academic Vice President Roger Fortin now can add the title historical author to his growing list of credentials. This fall he published his second book, Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996, a 400-page retelling of the Church’s first 175 years.

“I’m a fan of the role religion has played in the development of U.S. society,” says Fortin, “and I realize how the archdiocese has played a very important role in the shaping of the Catholic church in the U.S. A lot of Catholics immigrated here and the church leaders became a powerful voice in the American church.”

Fortin, a history professor whose first work was a fictional novel, was given unfettered access to the Archdiocese’s archives by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, who decided in 1996 that a new history of the church was warranted.

A secular publishing house was chosen because Pilarczyk “wanted it subjected to the same careful scrutiny as a historical writing about any moment in history,” says Fortin, who finished the book last year after four and a half years of research and writing. And if that’s not enough, he’s already back at work on a third book—a history of the University.