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PROFILE: Faculty Member Gives Back To The University That Made Her Education Possible

Nancy R. Hamant, honorary co-chair of the We’re All UC faculty/staff campaign, says she owes her career and college education to the University of Cincinnati.

Date: 5/9/2005 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
UC ingot
Yearbook photo
Nancy Russell Hamant's yearbook photo

When Nancy Russell Hamant was attending Hughes High School in the early 1950s, she saw the big university just up the street on Clifton Avenue. But without the financial support to attend college, she may never have been a student in a UC classroom, let alone taught the thousands of students that she has prepared for teaching over her 41-year career at the university.

“My mother passed away right before I came to college and my father was disabled, so I had to make money to live on as well as make the tuition, and I don’t think I could have done that without a scholarship. I think there are a lot of students in those same kinds of situations today. They just couldn’t be here without the financial help from the university,” says the associate professor of teacher education.

A classics scholarship made college possible for Hamant, who earned a degree in history and in education in 1957. Her college yearbook photo in “The Cincinnatian” shows she was a high achiever and student leader as an undergraduate, serving offices in Mortar Board, Union Board, YMCA and her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha.

Nancy R. Hamant

Hamant returned to UC to earn her master’s degree in education in 1961 and her doctorate in education in 1967, working part-time as an instructor. She became a full-time faculty member in teacher education in 1964 and ever since has taught generations of future teachers. She has worked with the North Central Association on accreditation reviews of schools locally as well as internationally. Hamant serves as faculty representative to the NCAA and is an active member of the Herman Schneider Legacy Society, UCATS, C-Club and the Order of the Black Blazer. She is past president of the UC Alumni Association and is faculty representative the UC Foundation Board faculty advisory committee.

She says her financial contributions to the university started out small. At the time, she says she couldn’t afford to give more. “The first time I gave, I thought it was the neatest thing to be able to do that. I knew at the time that what I was contributing may not have made a lot of difference, but I think the idea then and continually for me is to do something.”

Hamant’s growing donations have paid back her own scholarship from the university again and again, and she says her reward is seeing the difference it has made for her students. “There are so many students that I’ve advised who would not be able to stay in school if it weren’t for some kind of scholarship help. That’s been a very important thing to see because I think unless people have been in that situation, they may not understand that.”

The “We’re All UC” campaign is reaching out to the entire university community, primarily through direct mailings to more than 7,800 co-workers and retirees. Donors can choose to contribute among hundreds of funds, ranging from supporting UC|21 to supporting their favorite college or department, scholarships, fellowships, medical research or athletics. In most cases, the gifts are 100-percent tax deductible. All gifts and pledges made within the fiscal year (July 1, 2004-June 30, 2005) will be counted toward the campaign total. The result of the campaign will be celebrated at the State of the University Address in October.

Nancy R. Hamant

“I was able to come here because of someone’s generosity,” Hamant says. “We all know the differences that we can make in the lives of our students. Now, we’re in a wonderful position to make that kind of difference.”

To learn more about the campaign and to make contributions online, check the We’re All UC Web site.

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