After 22 years of teaching art, Roberta Thies took her skills into another arena—a riding arena. The 1972 graduate co-founded Cincinnati Riding for the Handicapped in 1985, a non-profit organization that teaches horseback riding to disabled children and adults. “The movement of the horse makes it therapeutic,” says Thies. “The three-dimensional movement of the horse’s shoulder muscles exercises nerves on the riders that don’t normally function as easily as everyone else’s.”
In April, the Cincinnati Bar Association gave out its annual awards and inducted a new president. The meeting had a distinctly Xavier flavor:
• The late Leo Breslin, a 1950 graduate, was honored for his trial skills and high degree of professionalism, civility and ethical standards.
• Sister Rose Ann Fleming, coordinator of academic/athletic advising at Xavier, was honored for her volunteer legal work with the poor.
• Barbara Howard, a 1976 graduate, was inducted as president of the bar association.
• Donald Klekamp, a 1954 graduate, was honored for his service to the bar association, legal community and community overall.
Hauling around 25 pounds of supplies and looking for fresh water doesn’t sound like an ideal vacation, but that’s how Wendy Gordon is spending her summer break. The staff nurse at Xavier’s health and counseling center is hiking the Appalachian Trail. She covered almost half of the 2,167-mile trail last summer, and will try to complete the Maine-to-Georgia trek this summer. Only about 10 percent of those who try to hike the entire trail actually complete the journey. “I didn’t know if I could survive the long-distance hikes and the hardships,” she says. “I wanted to see if I was up to the challenge.” She was—and a challenge it proved to be. She endured hiking up to 22 miles a day last summer alone, a deer stealing her clothes, mice in the shelters and a bird attack.
What look like exotic atlas points to the rest of us—Kenya, Singapore, Greece, Thailand—are mere stamps on Diane Egan’s passport. The 1988 graduate joined the U.S. Department of State shortly after graduating and has spent most of her career overseas. She’s held posts in Africa, the Philippines and now England. Her duties are generally geared toward maintaining and improving the U.S. government’s relationship with the host nation and promoting U.S. interests. It’s been exciting, exotic and occasionally harrowing. In addition to adapting to language barriers and local customs, she’s also contended with earthquakes, floods, sniper fire, even wild animals. In 1992, while posted in Zimbabwe, Egan and several colleagues were in a car accident outside a game park. “It happened in the late afternoon, just when the animals wake up hungry,” she recalls. “Some of us had injuries.” Fortunately, a truck came by two hours later.
Egan’s new post is in London, where she works with the British on regional issues of interest to both the U.S. and Britain.
St. Xavier Park
Before Xavier was a university in Norwood, it was known as St. Xavier College and located downtown at Sixth and Main streets next to the St. Xavier Church. The spot is now a parking lot, but won’t be for much longer. The Cincinnati Planning Commission adopted a comprehensive neighborhood plan for the area that includes housing and retail sites. The new neighborhood’s name: St. Xavier Park.
As reported in the spring issue of Xavier magazine, the volunteer tax assistance program serves elderly and low-income individuals. Not included was the fact that students can also use the free service.