Thank you to all who helped us celebrate and recognize the academic, professional and civic achievements of University of Cincinnati African American alumni, students, faculty and staff.  

scholarship winners

Ashleigh Moorer and Nonso Okonji, two of the 3 Shani Scholarship winners, pose with their awards.

Congratulations to our 2019 Shani Scholarship recipients! Each student will receive a $500 award to study abroad in their respective countries:

Dominique Francisco, South Africa

Ashleigh Moorer, Costa Rica

Nonso Okonji, Peru

Did you have your photo taken in our photo booth during the gala? View the photos from the event on Facebook.


J. Phillip Holloman

J. Phillip Holloman ’78
Georgia E. Beasley Legacy Award

Recognizing the contributions of alumni 30 or more years removed from graduation who have made sacrifices, shared their experience and expertise, and enhanced the quality of life at UC and in the community.

After earning his UC degree in civil engineering, J. Phillip Holloman rose steadily through the business ranks of Procter & Gamble (his co-op employer) and Cintas, where he became the company’s first African American senior manager. He proceeded to lead the engineering and construction of 37 new North American plants, and soon applied his growing management expertise to ever larger leadership roles and eventually became Cintas’ president and COO. He retired in 2018, leaving a legacy at Cintas for tremendous corporate growth while embedding the broadest principles of diversity into the company’s operations and culture.

Learn more about Phillip

Michael Wright, Esq.

Michael Wright, Esq. ’93, ’96
Linda Bates Parker Legend Award

Recognizing alumni for their professional accomplishments and active development of those around them.

An influential attorney in Cincinnati and Dayton and one of America’s top trial lawyers, Michael Wright focuses his work in the areas of catastrophic injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability, nursing home neglect, and personal injury. He has provided matching funds to help establish an endowment for future UC Law students who serve as president of the college’s Black Lawyers Student Association.

Learn more about Michael

Dr. C. Keith Melvin

Dr. C. Keith Melvin ’80
Pillar of the Community Award

Recognizing alumni who support their communities by sharing their time, talents and treasure.

A widely respected doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Keith Melvin has turned his own personal history as a cancer survivor into the motivation to lead the work of the Black & White Cancer Survivors Foundation, which donates generously to help others meet cancer’s many challenges. He is active in many civic organizations, serves as a mentor to aspiring medical students, and offers personal support and counsel through the American Cancer Society “Man to Man” educational initiative.

Learn more about Dr. Melvin

Cheryll Dunn, PhD

Cheryll Dunn, PhD, ’66, ’68, ’69, ’77
Tower of Strength Award

Recognizing a UC faculty or staff member for shaping students’ personal and professional development.

A natural mentor, relationship-builder and consistent favorite professor among her students, Dr. Cheryll Dunn has been a standout among UC faculty for nearly 40 years. Teaching chemical engineering technology within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and serving as a devoted academic advisor, she was the college’s only African American female professor for many years. Dr. Dunn started her own scholarship endowment and nurtured its growth to nearly a half million dollars. Her reputation for helping to shape her students’ emerging career paths is legendary.

Learn more about Dr. Dunn

Anndrea Moore

Anndréa Moore ’10
Emerging Leader Award

Recognizing alumni from within the last decade who are rapidly becoming new leaders, with significant talents and contributions that actively enhance their communities and fields of endeavor.

After graduating in 2010 with honors and receiving the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence, Anndréa Moore earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, then embarked on a professional career that has taken her from Google to Apple to Facebook, where she serves as Global Product Marketing Manager. She is also founder and CEO of Black Tech Women, which cultivates African American women to leadership roles in the technology field.

Learn more aout Andréa

Alberto Jones

Alberto Jones ’19
Student Trailblazer Award

Recognizing current UC students who embody leadership qualities, are extremely involved in the campus community, inspire their fellow students, and blaze the trail for ongoing progress.

Already widely known and highly regarded in the UC community, journalism student Alberto Jones has overcome significant life challenges to become a rising star, UC ambassador and inspiration to others. Among many activities and accolades, he relaunched UC’s student chapter of the Association of Black Journalists, has worked closely with the AACRC, organized and moderated a Black Media Panel, and was appointed by Ohio Gov. Kasich as a student representative on UC’s Board of Trustees. Alberto is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Learn more about Alberto

Thank You to Our 2019 Onyx & Ruby Gala Sponsors


UC Health


J. Phillip Holloman ’78

SURE Mechanical

UC Black Faculty Association

University of Cincinnati Alumni Association

Geraldine and David Warner



Jerome S. Jackson ’87

National Technical Association - Cincinnati


UC College of Arts & Sciences

UC College of Engineering & Applied Science

UC College of Law

UC International

UC Lindner College of Business

UC Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact

UC Office of Undergraduate Admissions


Black & White Cancer Survivors Foundation

Collegiate 100 Mens Honorary

The Lambda Society

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Cincinnati Chapters

UC Division of Student Affairs

UC Office of the Board of Trustees

UC Office of the President


Cheryll Dunn, PhD ’66, ’68, ’69, ’77

Gary Porter

Girlfriends of Anndréa Moore

James Patterson

Marable Urban Development Partners


Patricia Branch-Zakkour, Harvard Business School ’16

Corinne Charity, Harvard Business School ‘16

Justin (’05) and Jami (’12) Gibson

Karen M. Jackson ’07, ’10

Lauren Richardson, Harvard Business School ‘16