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The Future Shines as Bright as His UC Accomplishments for Jerry Tsai

The dynamic former UC Student Body President will address his classmates one last time as the student orator in the afternoon session of UC's All University Commencement ceremony.

Date: 6/9/2008
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
Anyone who has met Jerry Tsai during his career as a UC student will tell you the guy possesses a certain charisma.
Jerry Tsai
Jerry Tsai

His way with people has helped pave the path to a remarkable college career, one that will culminate on Saturday, June 14, when Tsai stands in front of his peers one last time as the student orator at the afternoon ceremony during UCs All University Commencement.

Among other honors, he is also one of three recipients this year of the highest honor available to UC undergrads, the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence, and he will represent the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences as a student marshal at Commencement.

The political science major was UCs Student Body president during the 2006-07 academic year and gained renown for his energetic and productive term in leadership.

A former class president when he attended Marysville High School outside of Columbus, Ohio, Tsai recalls getting early help from older UC students when he arrived on campus.

"About three or four weeks into school, I went to Camp Bearcat the first time it was put on by SALD (Student Activities and Leadership Development)," Tsai says. "In hindsight, that was one of the smartest moves I ever could have made as a freshman."

Tsai remembers meeting Camp Bearcat organizer Cindy Chiang, at the time a fifth-year student, who then introduced him to Justin Shafer and Ben Hines, who were preparing to run as a team for president and vice-president of the student body.

"She recommended me to them as someone who should be on their campaign team," Tsai says of the tandem, who won the election and served as campus leadership in 2004-05. "That was a big boost for my involvement with student government, and helped open up the avenues to being a leader on campus."

The rest of his campus resume reads like a laundry list of leading campus organizations. The former UC Homecoming King is the current president of Sigma Sigma, the UC honorary that recognizes students who have made significant contributions to the university.

Tsai could eventually be headed to law school and a career in politics, but first will be heading to Las Vegas to serve a two-year stint in the Teach for America program. There he will be teaching low-income students. "I see it as a tremendous opportunity to make a different right out of college," he says.

At Commencement, he will have the difficult task of putting perspective on the end of a college career that has meant so much in his life.

"My five years at UC have been tremendous, and not something I would trade for anything in the world," Tsai says. "The times I had interacting with whomever my friends, my classmates, the professors, the staff all those different aspects combined give me a sense of pride in being a Bearcat and motivation in giving back to this university so others can have the same, if not better, opportunities.

"I have a very blessed life, and my time at UC has only shown me that much more how blessed I have been." 

UC Commencement Web Site

UC Commencement News