Arts & Sciences graduate tapped as Mr. Bearcat 2021

Chase Morris receives distinction for embodying the Bearcat spirit

By Rebecca Schweitzer

Each year, from a student pool of thousands, one University of Cincinnati graduate is honored with the award of Mr. Bearcat based on their academic success, leadership abilities and contributions to the UC community.

It was these qualities that set up Chase Morris, a 2021 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, to receive the title of Mr. Bearcat this year. 

“Being selected for this award is truly a feeling unlike any other,” said Morris. “Seeing past award winners and being added to this group is such a humbling experience. Further, on a more personal note -- it shows me that my work truly is not done and is only just beginning as a UC alumnus.”

A&S graduate and UC's Mr. Bearcat designee 2021 Chase Morris

A&S graduate and UC's Mr. Bearcat designee 2021 Chase Morris

Honorary fraternity Sigma Sigma has been awarding the title of Mr. Bearcat to a graduating man each year since 1949 as a way to recognize leaders within the UC community. 

“The Mr. Bearcat designation recognizes outstanding leadership and service to the University with heavy emphasis on “Bearcat Spirit”,” said Kyle Neumann, Mr. Bearcat 2004. “It is that campus spirit and enthusiasm that often times differentiates the winner in a crowded pool of very talented and accomplished graduates.”

Candidates are nominated for the award by a student, student organization or faculty or staff member of the university. Traditionally, a selection of finalists is chosen by an on-campus committee and the final selection is decided amongst the previous Mr. Bearcat award winners. These individuals personally welcome the new Mr. Bearcat to the group. 

UC has given me so many great opportunities while also supporting me through them endlessly.

Chase Morris, UC's 2021 Mr. Bearcat

A political science and international affairs major with a minor in economics, Morris was nominated by the Student Advisory Committee on the University Budget for his commitment and leadership, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s two other finalists were 2021 graduates Marcos Aull and Kameron Marshall from UC's Lindner College of Business. 

Morris served as president of Sigma Chi Fraternity, a student trustee for the University of Cincinnati Foundation, on the Student Alumni Council, as an Arts and Sciences Ambassador, a Mortar Board Honorary and Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary. Morris will be attending law school at Washington University in St. Louis this fall.

He thanked A&S for the impact that it has made on his life in forming close relationships with professors and administrators — relationships he expect will continue throughout his life. 

“Being a first-generation college student, I truly had a lot to learn and gain from the moment I stepped on campus,” said Morris. “UC has given me so many great opportunities while also supporting me through them endlessly. Out of everything UC has given me, the people and memories I made along the way stand out the most."

Featured image at top: Aerial view of UC's uptown campus.