UC Clermont Celebrates Class of 2017

Outstanding sophomore to fellow graduates: “Remember what you accomplished here.”

Date: 5/2/2017
By: Amanda Chalifoux
Phone: (513) 558-8199
Photos By: Danny Kidd
On Friday, April 28, UC Clermont College recognized the graduating class of 2017 during the college’s annual Commencement Celebration. Nearly 1,000 attendees gathered at the Oasis Golf Club and Conference Center in Loveland, Ohio, to honor the latest batch of UC Clermont alumni.
UC Clermont graduates during commencement.
UC Clermont graduates (from left) Kayla Rauch, Julia Hebel and Chelsea Atwell.

Dean Jeff Bauer presided over the ceremony, which recognized more than 400 graduates who completed their degrees in the summer, fall and spring semesters of 2016-2017. Included in this total are the 37 graduates who completed the college’s Bachelor's of Technical and Applied Studies in Applied Administration degree in the spring — a single-semester record for the BTAS program. A number of UC Clermont graduates also took part in UC's all-university commencement on Saturday at Nippert Stadium on the Uptown Campus.

The keynote address was delivered by distinguished alumna Sharon Burns, associate professor of English at the college. Burns raised three children and served as a missionary in Honduras before enrolling at UC Clermont as a nontraditional student. She later transitioned to the Uptown Campus to earn her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, working at UC Clermont throughout. She received tenure in 2016 and is co-coordinator of UC Clermont’s English Composition program. Burns shared the struggles she encountered on her journey — and how the college provided a supportive launching pad — with the new graduates in the audience.

“I remember being terrified on my first day of class,” recalled Burns, who was 36 when she enrolled at UC Clermont in the fall of 1998. “I thought, ‘what am I doing?’ But my instructors taught me to have faith in myself.”

Burns also thanked her family and colleagues for their support, acknowledging her success as a “group success” and offering sage advice for the class of 2017. “When life gets tough, lean in,” Burns said. “You can’t control the challenges you’ll face, but you can control your response. Keep moving forward.”

The commencement ceremony also honored outstanding sophomore Cassandra Booe, a graduating student in UC Clermont’s Health Information Systems Technology program — who had never set foot on the college’s campus before Friday. Booe, a Texas native who currently resides in New Mexico, was a distance learning student, completing her courses entirely online while working as a medical billing specialist. She is transitioning to Uptown Campus and plans to continue her education from afar through UC’s online bachelor’s degree program in Health Information Management.

“My time at UC Clermont has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life,” Booe said. She also identified with and encouraged her fellow graduates. “As you have found, life doesn’t always happen in a straight line and go as perfectly has you planned. There are twists, curves, dead ends, detours, and for some of us even loop de loops. … Your ride is going to set you apart and make you different from others. And when life throws more at you, and it will, and you’re feeling defeated, remember what you accomplished here, and remind yourself that you have what it takes.”

See more images from UC Clermont’s 2017 Commencement Celebration.

UC Clermont College is located in the center of Clermont County on 91 beautiful wooded acres in Batavia Township. The college is an accredited, open-access institution offering more than 50 programs and degrees. UC East, a Clermont County expansion in the former Ford plant in Batavia Township, opened in the fall of 2010. It is home to UC Clermont's Allied Health programs. The college is part of the nationally recognized University of Cincinnati. For more information, call 513-732-5200 or visit