McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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UC Grad Swims Upstream in Clifton

In 1999, Derek Mize joined the UC swim team during his freshman year of college.

Date: 7/14/2006
By: Jessica Donovan
Phone: (513) 556-5087
In 1999, Derek Mize joined the UC swim team during his freshman year of college. Just as he was about to enter his sophomore year, the Madison, Miss. native wrestled with a decision of whether or not to reveal to his peers a personal secret that he had been harboring for several years.

Satisfied that the time was right to relieve himself of the burden of silence, Mize confided to his roommates that he was gay. Unfortunately, Mize’s revelation did not go over very well and he quickly found himself isolated from his friends and teammates.

Mize quit the swim team and finished his studies before graduating from UC in 2003. Vowing never to return to Cincinnati, Mize spent a year in New Orleans before ultimately coming back to the city and earning a master's degree in women's studies at UC. He then left to study in Europe, but has again come back to UC, this time to pursue a law degree. Recently, Mize won a national scholarship that will cover the cost of his studies.

Unlike his early collegiate experience, today the 25-year-old has found a very comfortable place in both Cincinnati and UC.

Read more about Mize in an article in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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