Date: June 15, 2001
Coming Crosstown On New Scholarship
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: Profiles Archive
The first winner of the Leo J. Breslin Memorial Scholarship isn't hung up on the crosstown rivalry between the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University.
Blake Somers is the first Breslin recipient of a scholarship designed to go to a graduating Xavier student who will continue his education at the UC College of Law.
The scholarship honors the late Leo J. Breslin, a Cincinnati attorney who attended Xavier as an undergrad and earned his law degree at UC, and remained a proud supporter of both institutions throughout his life.
Somers, a Nashville native, says he loves Xavier, but never found any reasons to look down at UC, despite the intense basketball rivalry between the two schools and their fans.
Now, he and a Xavier roommate - Ben Dehner, who is headed into the UC College of Medicine - find themselves crossing the dividing line in that rivalry. "I don't know what we'll do now. I guess next year when the Crosstown Shootout comes on, he and I will just have to sit on the couch and beat each other up," Somers jokes.
Actually, UC is not entirely new territory for Somers. Besides being an outstanding student who graduated from Xavier's history program with a 3.8 GPA, he is also an avid musician. He can play guitar, percussion and violin, and is a member of a band called The Two Day Panic Attack that has regularly played at the Mad Frog bar located just a couple of blocks from the UC campus.
Somers also played in a number of bands, both school-sponsored and otherwise, at Xavier. His current band is made up of three Xavier students and a drummer from Ohio State. Somers sings, plays guitar and writes most of the original music that the band performs.
He hopes to spend his last summer before starting first year orientation classes at the UC College of Law on Aug. 13 working with Cincinnati lawyer David Altman in his work for the Ohio Citizen Action group.
"One things I'm really interested in is environmental law," Somers says. "I took three courses on the environment here at Xavier, and they really sparked and piqued my interest."
Whatever law school holds for him, Somers is aiming to end up in a position where he can make a positive difference in society. That news would surely please Breslin, who is fondly remembered by colleagues from his time with the firm of Lindhorst & Dreidame as a lawyer dedicated to serving his clients from the highest ethical and professional standard.
"I was very pleased and very proud when I heard about the scholarship. I called my mom right away," Somers says. "I've learned a lot more about Mr. Breslin since then, and the more I've learned, the more impressed I've become. He seems like he must have been a really incredible guy."
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