Personal touches convinced incoming student to attend UC

Where are they now? Catching up with incoming students who were part of UC’s Decision Day surprise

Ultimately it was the people and personal connections that put the University of Cincinnati over the top for Grayson Mentzel.

The Walnut Hills High School senior had narrowed her college choices down to three — UC’s Lindner College of Business and two impressive out-of-state business schools that were recruiting her. All of them offered outstanding higher education resumes and college experiences, including enticing opportunities to study internationally. 

Only UC and the Lindner Honors program, however, made it personal. Very personal.

This “where-are-they-now” series of stories is designed to catch up with the newly admitted students who were lucky enough to be part of UC’s first Decision Day surprise to find out how their life has gone since UC literally showed up on their doorstep with news that they had been admitted.

 

Grayson Mentzel with Lindner College of Business Dean Marianne Lewis, Jack Miner, vice provost for enrollment management,  and the Bearcat.

Grayson Mentzel stands on her front porch with Lindner College of Business Dean Marianne Lewis, Jack Miner, vice provost for enrollment management, and the Bearcat. photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

Feb. 4, 2021, was a typical pandemic Thursday for Grayson, who like so many other high schoolers had spent the day in front of a screen doing remote learning. While her parents were in on the surprise, she had no idea that a UC shuttle and members of the media had just pulled up outside their East Walnut Hills home. 

Neighbors watched as UC leaders and the Bearcat mascot piled off the bus, crossed the street and made their way up the Mentzel’s sidewalk toting two giant mylar “UC” balloons and armloads of swag.

Grayson opened her door to be greeted by Jack Miner, UC’s vice provost for enrollment management, and Marianne Lewis, dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

“We have gotten such great feedback from the Decision Day surprises,” says Miner. “We decided to add the surprises this year to make this a special day for students who had experienced a tough year of hybrid and remote learning under COVID. It clearly resonated with the entire community. This became a chance for not just the family and UC to celebrate Grayson but the whole community.”

By that evening when Grayson’s surprise video began circulating, the attention grew.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mng2KANmHZ0?rel=0

“I actually had a huge amount of people reaching out to me,” Grayson says. “Everybody on our street and people who I’d never even met before would find me on social media to say ‘Congratulations.’”

Suddenly she had dozens of new Instagram followers including members of UC’s student government who she had never met. UC alumni connected with her on LinkedIn as Grayson began to realize the massive network associated with her city’s largest university. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is really awesome.’”

Grayson snapped a selfie near one of UC's entrances during her visit to campus.

Grayson snapped a selfie near one of UC's entrances during her visit to campus.

People who were overjoyed to see a university recognizing and celebrating a student’s academic achievements with such special efforts contacted her.

“I heard from friends of mine just how special it was to be able to experience something like that during a pandemic,” says Kate Burroughs, Grayson’s mom.

Still, Grayson was faced with choosing between some very competitive business schools, and it was the Lindner team who ultimately helped her lock onto UC and never look back. Grayson was able to take part in an in-person competition with other Lindner Honors attendees in late March where she was able to, as her mom puts it, “get a taste” of business school at UC.

She followed that experience with an early April one-on-one visit to campus, when she toured UC’s new state-of-the-art business building and learned about Morgens Hall, the residence hall where she would be living.Replace with your text

Lindner College of Business building exterior

UC's new Lindner College of Business building opened in 2019.

Morgens and Scioto Hall on UC's campus

It will be suite-style living in Morgens Hall for Grayson at UC.

For Grayson, UC’s personalized approach and all the opportunities coupled with the benefits of the co-op program became a no-brainer that she should become a Bearcat.

“In the modern-day setting to have experience and to build your resume before you graduate business school is unparalleled,” she says. “UC is the inventor of the co-op program.”

Soon after her visit, Grayson formally confirmed her admission by logging into UC’s “Check My Status” page and walking through a few simple steps. All incoming students are encouraged to confirm as soon as possible and ahead of UC’s May 1 confirmation deadline.

“The University of Cincinnati and the Lindner College of Business was by far the leading institution through the whole process,” says mom Burroughs. “UC has been welcoming, and they’ve been so supportive and proactive in providing us with relevant information.

 

The UC Bearcat makes his way to Grayson's door with giant mylar UC balloons

The UC Bearcat makes his way to Grayson's door with giant mylar UC balloons. photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

“The leadership team, oh my goodness, went above and beyond by making this personal. While we’ve seen multiple emails from other institutions and gifts in the mail or letters that come embossed with Grayson’s name on them, all of those are just things. Where UC stands out and the Lindner College of Business stands out is the people. 

“They took the time to connect with Grayson and to help her forge those first relationships within the school. Those special connections made UC the obvious No. 1 choice.”

 

Where UC stands out and the Lindner College of Business stands out is the people. They took the time to connect with Grayson and to help her forge those first relationships within the school. Those special connections made UC the obvious No. 1 choice.

Kate Burroughs Grayson's mom

Make it official

If you are an admitted UC student and haven't yet confirmed your admission to the University of Cincinnati, simply login to your Check My Status page and complete a few simple steps. All incoming students are encouraged to confirm as soon as possible and ahead of UC’s May 1 confirmation deadline.