Jan 29, 2013

@PrezOno’s #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour takes UC on the road

As is his custom at big group gatherings, the
 president took a picture of the setting and the crowd to tweet later.
During the Q&A portion of the first leg of UC President Santa Ono’s #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour, Michael Wright, CEAS ’93, Law ’96, asked where he could get a striking, red-and-black UC necktie like the one Ono was wearing. The answer led to Ono no longer wearing it — the president quickly took off his tie and gave it to Wright, much to the delight of 140 people in the room. “But I’m not giving away any more clothing,” laughed Ono as he resumed fielding more questions without missing a beat.

The face and voice of the University of Cincinnati have noticeably changed with the ascension of Ono from Provost to President over the past six months. Still, the overarching university message remains much the same: From college rankings, alumni engagement and fundraising to research excellence, academic achievement, and athletic accomplishment, UC is on a significant upward trajectory.

Have microphone, will travel: President Ono
visited all parts of the room fielding questions.
And while social media savant Ono is continuously pushing out UC good news via Facebook, Twitter and other communications channels, nothing beats face-to-face. So he’s carrying that message to alumni, co-op students, prospective students and their parents, and other curiosity-seekers in eight cities between January and June. He is unabashedly sharing his dedication and devotion to his job, which he pledges to continue doing for the next decade. And he’ll even give away his necktie just to emphasize the point!

“I’m sharing an exciting look at what UC is doing and where we’re going, which people say they appreciate, especially when they’re far away from campus,” Ono said. “Yet maybe more important is my opportunity to tap into what they’re seeing and feeling, and then assimilate those viewpoints into how we advance the university.”

The president, post-necktie giveaway. With or without
red-and-black neckwear, Ono connected with the alumni,
 students, and parents who came to learn more
about the #HottestCollegeinAmerica.
The Dayton tour stop constituted the largest Dayton-area UC event in at least a quarter century, and the vibrant roomful of Bearcats was excited to get “up close and personal” with Ono, as well as with deans Lou Bilionis (Law) and Bill Fant (Pharmacy) and Athletics Director Whit Babcock, all of whom made the drive up I-75. Ono led the discussion, touching on such topics as his own personal journey and how it has shaped his professional principles; his view of UC’s top institutional priorities; cooperative education and the conversion to semesters; athletics and conference realignment; and the nature of the college-aged Millennials demographic group and how they tend to see their place in the world.

Alumni and others in Arizona, Georgia, California, northeastern Ohio, and Florida take note: @PrezOno and his #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour, presented in partnership with the UC Alumni Association, are coming your way. Click here to learn more about the tour and mark your calendar.