Famous Name is Among the First People to Move into UC's New Residence Hall
Date: July 9, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos by Dottie Stover and Colleen Kelley
There have long been reports that The King's fans have spotted Elvis at Kmart, but there's a lesser-known story about a famous name that's called out on campus at the University of Cincinnati--Al Pacino. Even more surprising, he answers back! He's a student. He plans to be a teacher, and he works as an RA (resident assistant) in UC's dorms. In fact, he'll be among the first group of students to live in Herman Schneider Hall, part of the UC's new Jefferson Residence Hall Complex, which opens this fall.
Okay, so the Alpacino (pronounced Al Pacino, but spelled as one name) we know is much taller than that other guy who starred in movies including The Godfather and Serpico. He's also much younger. The UC Alpacino wasn't even born in 1972, when the first Godfather movie won that other guy the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Twenty-one-year-old Alpacino ("Al") Beauchamp takes the famous name in stride and says its origin goes back to the night he was born. "All of my mom's sisters have different stories, but the one I've told all these years is from an aunt who said my mom was in the hospital to have me, she was watching TV, and the movie, Saturday Night Fever was on.
"I've never seen the movie myself, but apparently, there's a scene where John Travolta is singing in the mirror, and he keeps repeating Al Pacino's name really fast, so it sounds like it's one name.
"So then in the hospital, my mom goes, 'That sounds cool, I think I'm going to name my son that,' and her doctor says, 'Yeah, funny, so what do you really want on the birth certificate?' Alpacino's on the birth certificate, so that's my name."
A 1998 graduate of St. Xavier High School, Al started out at UC majoring in engineering, but opted instead to use his strong math skills to teach middle school. He has two years to go on his education degree.
Al still helps out at his high school, coaching the St. Xavier High School football team for the past three years. He used to play offensive line there. He's also spending the summer working at the Ridge Country Club and working as a Resident Assistant at Siddall Hall. He previously spent two years as an RA at Calhoun Hall.
"A friend of mine suggested I should consider being an RA," he says. "You get to help people, and you get your housing for free. I always liked helping people. I've been tutoring high school kids in math at St. X ever since I left. So I applied, got the job and started my junior year at Calhoun."
The Resident Assistant or RA, works to build community in the residence hall as well as enforce the policy and procedure of living on campus. That includes making sure stereos are turned down at 10 p.m.--quiet hours for students who are trying to study or get to bed early for their 8 o'clock class.
Al's floor will have about 40 students when he moves into Herman Schneider Hall this fall. Schneider Hall, the three connected buildings on the west side of Jefferson Residence Hall Complex, is named after Herman Schneider, the founder of UC's cooperative education program--the oldest program of its kind in the United States and one of the world's largest as well. Schneider Hall is the section of Jefferson that features suites with four individual bedrooms.
Al says his tour of Schneider earlier this summer was an eye-opening experience. Through the halls, there are splashes of bright colors, with green, yellow and purple-painted walls. "It brightens it all up, and it looks fun.
After he graduates, Al says he will eventually pursue a position in educational administration. He adds his RA experience -- learning how to be a leader but also learning how to work with the residents -- will benefit him in his future career. "As long as you know when to put your foot down and when to pick it up, you'll learn how to balance. I'm learning more every year."
More information on UC's new residence hall.
Profiles of other UC people.