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UC Clermont celebrates record $1 million in fundraising

Annual event honors student scholarship winners, community partners

Nearly 300 scholarship recipients, donors, faculty, staff and community partners of the University of Cincinnati Clermont College gathered Oct. 24 on the college’s Batavia campus for the 2019 Community Celebration Luncheon.

The event underlined the importance of donor-funded scholarships to the education and lives of students. UC Clermont Dean Jeff Bauer welcomed the attendees in the college’s Student Activities Center. Overall fundraising for UC Clermont totaled nearly $1 million for academic year 2019-20 — a record amount. The college awarded almost $500,000 in private donor-funded scholarships and Merit, leadership and completion scholarships.

Two newly established funds were recognized as well: the Sofia Fund for Innovation, started with a $500,000 gift from an anonymous donor and intended to directly benefit students; and the Jessica Hains Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Sauls family was also recognized for being the college’s steadfast community partner and carrying on the legacy of James Sauls Sr., who started the Sauls Stay-in-School Fund out of concern for students at risk for dropping out due to a financial emergency. Since its establishment in 1990, the fund’s endowment has grown to nearly $500,000.

“The Stay-in-School Fund has helped students in emergency situations pay for day care, broken down cars, food, housing, books and event tuition,” said Dean Bauer.

The crowd also heard from one of the scholarship recipients in attendance — Alan Nguyen, who received several scholarships toward his aviation education, including the Staff Book Scholarship and two funded by Sporty’s Aviation. Nguyen graduated from UC Clermont with his associate degree in 2016 and his technical bachelor’s degree in 2018, and is now a full-time pilot with PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines. Nguyen’s parents were first-generation immigrants from Vietnam, and he said scholarships made his education possible.

“My higher education dreams and goals were attainable because of generous donors,” Nguyen said. “I hope to be a donor someday, too.”

UC Clermont’s 2019 Distinguished Alumnus, Christopher Titzer, also spoke at the event. Titzer graduated from UC Clermont in 2013 as a 37-year-old former professional golfer. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in information technology from UC’s Uptown campus and is now a senior business intelligence solutions engineer at Anthem. Titzer is also heavily involved in the autism community, sitting on the board of Cincinnati’s Linden Grove School and working with Dr. Sander Martin of the University of North Texas to find ways to improve how clinician’s diagnose autism.

“In 2010, I was a non-traditional student with four small kids, the unemployment rate was at 10 percent, and the stakes were very high,” Titzer said. “But as soon as I got on campus, things began to change. UC Clermont is great for helping students invest in themselves and their futures.”

Joe Malloni was also honored with the college’s Community Volunteer Award. Malloni serves on UC Clermont’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Malloni retired from Siemens PLM, now known as Siemens Digital Industries Software, and shared his own experience as a first-generation college student.

“UC Clermont is a special place, providing students with an affordable roadmap to meet their educational goals in a positive, friendly environment,” Malloni said. “This is a community, not just an educational institution, and is an essential part of Clermont County and the University of Cincinnati.”