Recently, the 2017 Main Event was hosted at Holiday Inn and Suites in Eastgate. This is the second year the University of Cincinnati has held this event, a fundraiser for the programs and scholarships at UC Clermont. The event has been a success both years; in fact, at the 2017 Main Event, over $28,000 was raised in total for Clermont.
Some of the event’s sponsors include American Modern Insurance, Lykins Energy Solutions, ITA Audio Visual Solutions, and Park National Bank. The Main Event was catered by local eatery The Bite and featured an open bar, live music, and a fine arts student showcase. There were also onstage solo performances in the auditorium area prior to the speakers. One of the performers was an eighteen-year-old senior at Scarlet Oaks, Ellis Jae. Several of his CD’s were available for purchase at the front of the lobby. A live auction was also held during which guests bid on eight items, including a customized UC chess set, a football practice session with the UC Bearcats, and the Fund-A-Need opportunity, thanks to matching gift sponsor American Modern Insurance, which agreed to match any bid dollar-for-dollar until the goal of $5,000 was reached.
UC Provost Peter Landgren spoke to reporters from The Lantern about his involvement with UC and about his confidence in the goals of the Main Event. Mr. Landgren has been with UC for six years. Before he became interim provost, he served as Dean of the College Conservatory of Music (CCM). He is an alum of UC and believes in the importance of student scholarships, as he was a recipient of such scholarships himself. Landgren emphasized in his speech later in the evening that without these scholarships, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to study at UC at all.
One concept Mr. Landgren focused on throughout his conversation with The Lantern was the importance of regional branches. He noted that they provide great transition opportunities and that the College Credit Plus program is a fantastic experience for high school students who are ready to start college. He spoke highly of UC Clermont students, observing that they are highly motivated. Mr. Landgren wants all students and faculty to view UC Clermont as a peer of UC, rather than as inferior. “UC’s task [is]to elevate the perception of UC Clermont to be equal to the Clifton campus,” he stated. It’s important to Landgren to initiate this change in perception of UC Clermont by the language used to describe it. Landgren told us that he never calls the Clifton campus “main campus,” but instead calls it the “Clifton branch.” He knows that the words chosen to describe Clermont greatly influence people’s perception of it, and acknowledging that they are all branches of the same entity is a great way to start improving that perception. During his presentation, he shared some of UC Clermont’s perks (small class sizes, convenient location, etc.) and talked about the importance of the Calico Children’s Theatre and the Park National Bank Art Gallery, both of which work in conjunction with Clermont.
Mr. Landgren also spoke about the variety of opportunities accessible at UC. “The breadth of majors you can study is a phenomenal asset for the University of Cincinnati,” he said. Last, Mr. Landgren talked about the significance of the Main Event and the impact it truly has on students and the community. He observed that, because the mixture of people at the Main Event is so unique, it provides a chance for people to break down barriers and talk about what’s important to them.
Dean Bauer initiated the second part of the event, which was held in the Holiday Inn auditorium. He thanked all of the event’s sponsors and recognized notable guests—such as Joe Uecker, Ohio’s senator—and talked about the purpose of the event. In his words, the entire event centers on three goals: raising money for student scholarships, the library renovations at Clermont, and expanding classroom space for the fine arts. He then handed the microphone over to Provost Peter Landgren to speak. Athletic Director Michael Bohn was introduced subsequently; he is active with the Cincinnati YMCA and is an advocate for the Salvation Army, among other things. Last, Serge Kikonda, UC Clermont student and student ambassador, spoke about how student scholarships have helped him thrive at UC Clermont.
The Lantern had the opportunity to interview UC Athletic Director Michael Bohn one-on-one, and he stated that he attends the Main Event each year because he wants to show support for the University of Cincinnati. One thing he emphasized was that although there are different campuses, all of them work together as part of a partnership and support one another. “We’re all one UC,” he stated. Last, Mr. Bohn commented that all UC students are important. He said that Clermont students should be proud of their campus as well. “This is their university, their community.”
Professors of Fine Arts Kelly Frigard and Kim Taylor attended the Main Event to represent UC Clermont’s Fine Arts department. Professor Frigard stated that “[it’s our] second year doing the event and we are excited to represent the fine arts area.” She indicated that the art
professors at Clermont can’t wait for the new art labs, which are supposed to be double
the size they are now. “We’re very thankful for the commitment that the dean and the
college have made for the long-term success of the arts,” Professor Frigard commented. Professor Taylor and Frigard both made clear that “[they]can’t wait for the construction to get started.”
In a separate interview, Library Director Katie Foran-Mulcahy talked about the importance of the Main Event and the discussion with attendees that it engenders. “There’s really nothing better than meeting with someone face to face,” she stated about the networking that occurs at the event. She explained part of the vision for the UC Clermont library: creating new study spaces, remodeling existing study spaces, and adding private study rooms to the first floor of the library. The money that’s raised at the Main Event will make a huge impact on the renovations they have planned for the library.
If you would like to view a photo essay of the event, you can do so here.