Last word

Bicentennial personal for alumni director

I have loved the University of Cincinnati from the moment I chose to follow in my mother’s footsteps and become a Bearcat more than 25 years ago. As a student, the more I engaged in university life, the greater my affinity grew, and I found myself wanting to share that wonderful feeling with others in my ever-widening UC circle.

Therefore, it was unsurprising that as a relatively young alumna, the aspiration to become the alumni director at my alma mater began to crystalize in my mind and in my heart. Five years ago this month, that dream became a reality, and each subsequent day, I have felt blessed to represent the 300,000-plus Bearcats who make up the UC alumni family. Through these recent years, it had been hard to imagine things being better. And then along came 2019.

UC’s long-awaited Bicentennial has finally arrived, compelling us to look back at our first two centuries with immense pride and forward into our next two centuries with unbridled anticipation. This milestone, which few universities have experienced, represents an unending stream of individuals each discovering their own personal potential, writing their own fascinating stories and changing the world in their own unique ways. From Daniel Drake in 1819 to this spring’s new graduates in the Class of 2019 and beyond, the transformative power that lives within the UC community is something special. Yes, this is the institution’s birthday, but the Bicentennial is really all about the amazing people who have called UC home. Their determination, creativity and brilliance coalesce into one of the world’s great universities.

“Boldly Bearcat describes not only what we do, but also how and why we do it.”


All of this falls under the heading of being “Boldly Bearcat,” which captures the essence of UC—its origins, tenacity, innovation and spirit. “Boldly Bearcat” describes not only what we do, but also how and why we do it. It looks back as well as ahead—hailing 200 years of excellence while simultaneously creating the next 200.

Celebrations are taking place throughout this unforgettable year, culminating with our Bicentennial Bearcat Bash—UC’s biggestever party—on November 8, and a special Bicentennial edition of Homecoming the following day.

I find standing in the midst of history to be energizing and humbling. In founding our predecessor institutions, the Medical College of Ohio and Cincinnati College in 1819, Daniel Drake lit a torch which has been carried and passed through many generations in the UC family. It’s in our hands now. So this year we celebrate and continue to live out our shared mission: Fulfill our dreams, lift our community, transform lives and change the world.



Jennifer Heisey, A&S ‘97, is executive director of the UC Alumni Association.

Everyone in the UC family is invited to participate in Bicentennial festivities — from events to experiential opportunities to resources. Visit to learn more.


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Last word

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