Mar 19, 2013

National #HottestCollegeinAmerica Storyteller: Ono? Oh, yes!

President Ono's tour is largely about
hearing what's on the minds of alumni.
 The UC success story deserves to be energetically told all across the country — so that’s exactly what new President Santa Ono is doing during the first half of 2013.

Ono embarked on his #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour in Dayton in January (140 in attendance) before visiting Phoenix in February (another 45). Presented and coordinated by the UC Alumni Association, the tour is named for Ono’s Twitter hashtag that promotes UC in the social media realm. The caravan is unfolding against the backdrop of continual good news, including:

  • Rising institutional rankings (UC is up a dramatic 17 spots in the last two years in U.S. News & World Report);
  • Steady elevation in academics (each incoming freshman class is more academically prepared than the last, with graduation rates on a steady climb);
  • Exciting innovations emerging from all corners of the university community;
  • Crossing the $1 billion threshold of the historic Proudly Cincinnati campaign.

A combination of presidential presentation, “fireside chat” and candid Q&A, each stop finds Ono making his way around the room with a microphone, answering whatever he’s asked. The audience is mostly alumni from that city, but also current students on co-op assignment, prospective students and their parents, and others who are intrigued by Ono’s story and school.

President Ono fielded questions all over the room.
The #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour is fundamental to the work of both President Ono and the UC Alumni Association.

“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. Obviously I hear from alumni and students all the time via Twitter and Facebook, but there’s nothing like being together, and then assimilating those viewpoints into how we advance the university.”

The UC Alumni Association feels the same way, especially in terms of getting that many Bearcats in the same room to talk about the huge common thread in their lives.

“When alumni know more about what’s going on and who’s leading the way, they inevitably want to get more involved,” said UC Alumni Association executive director Myron Hughes, BUS ’86.

Ono connected with the alumni, students, and parents 
who came to learn more about the #HottestCollegeinAmerica — 
and he did so with and without red-and-black neckwear.
 (Minutes before this photo was taken, he had gladly 
surrendered his tie when an alum asked where he
 might find one like it.)
“You wouldn’t believe how many alums I meet in my travels who are thrilled at the opportunity to get reconnected. Many of them say, ‘Myron, let me know how I can help.’ There is a genuine need within most alumni to have this important connection — to somehow be part of it. Working with the president, it’s our job to make these opportunities available and to welcome everyone who steps forward.”

The 2013 Tour is likely only the beginning.

“I’d like to keep doing this, visiting different cities every year,” Ono said. “Life isn’t a snapshot. It keeps changing, and we have alumni all over the world who want to help their university keep climbing higher.

“And I like to stay on the move,” he added, smiling.

Upcoming tour dates include: 

April 4
Atlanta, Ga.

May 29
Los Angeles, Calif.

May 30
San Francisco, Calif.

June 6
Cleveland, Ohio

June 27
Tampa, Fla.

June 28
Orlando, Fla.

Click here to learn more about the #HottestCollegeinAmerica Tour — and to register if @PrezOno is coming your way. Have you attended one of the tour stops? Share your experience by commenting below.

1 comment:

  1. I am in my sixth year as an employee for the University of Cincinnati and I’ve seen three presidents during my employment. The current president, Santa Ono, is my favorite of the three. He is one of the friendliest people I have met up the chain. He is very personable and does not hesitate to say hello to each and every student that he passes while walking on campus. He will even stop for the Facebook pictures without hesitation.
    The hoopla that Santa Ono has created with his Hottest Colleges in America Tour has lured more students to UC In 2013 than ever before.
    Students have the ability to talk to president Ono through these social medias and he usually responds within 24 hours. I know this because my son, who is a freshman at UC, tweets to him often, and he tweets back! No barriers are between the students and the president. I strongly recommend students to feel free to contact him if they have an issue about UC, or if they just want to meet President Ono through the internet.
    My son still thinks that President Ono is famous. He refers to him as “Dr. President Ono”. I have told him to use only ONE of the titles but he claims that he deserves both. So, Dr. President Ono, you are doing a WONDERFUL (bolded, italicized, underlined) job with the students. Cheers to you!