Mallows met at UC; today they focus on giving back

Rowing on the Ohio River at 5 a.m. may seem like an unlikely place for a budding romance. But that’s exactly where Bearcats Jennifer and Peter Mallow met as University of Cincinnati students and members of its rowing club.

Peter and Jennifer Mallow 2“You see each other at five in the morning, not looking your best, but it’s just so much fun,” Jennifer says. “We would have never met if it wasn’t for rowing because I was in engineering and he was in DAAP.”

The Mallows fondly recall their UC days and reminisce about the 5 a.m. practices, living in Daniels Hall, tracing steps through the DAAP building and the infamous (and now former) UC parking lots. They credit their academic backgrounds for their flourishing careers, and UC’s rowing club for their friendships and, of course, their relationship.

“By junior year, UC had turned into this small community,” Peter says. “It would be hard to walk around without running into people that you know.”

Jennifer also found a welcoming environment at St. Monica - St. George Parish Newman Center in Clifton.

“They had programs for the students and it was just a very welcoming environment,” Jennifer remembers. “That was a nice kind of overlap with everything happening on campus.”

The Mallows wed at St. Monica - St. George Parish Newman Center in 2001.

Nearly 20 years later, this Bearcat couple have five UC degrees between them, two children and fruitful professions. Jennifer is in marketing at Ethicon, where she started as a co-op; Peter is a professor at Xavier University, where he teaches health economics and health services research. (And don’t worry—he wears his UC hat during the Crosstown Shootout and NCAA tournament.)

Peter and Jennifer Mallow

The couple always supported their shared alma mater and 10 years ago had a more in-depth discussion about giving. They agreed their Catholic faith and education were priorities. Around the same time, the Conway Foundation, St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center and UC’s College of Arts and Sciences were working on launching a Catholic Studies program and endowing a chair for it.

This was a full-circle moment for the Mallows. They decided this opportunity was the perfect fit, and they have supported The Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies and the Conway Lecture Series  ever since. 

“It just feels right to connect Cincinnati’s heritage and UC, and really take this academic look at Catholicism,” says Jennifer. “The Conway endowed chair, Jeff Zalar, has kept the connection to the Catholic community and extended the program to other faiths, including the Muslim and Jewish communities.”

Because of the Conway Foundation’s gift and the support of others like the Mallows, UC launched its Catholic Studies program in 2012.

Zalar, PhD, credits the Mallows in not only helping the program’s start but designing its future.

“The support this new academic program has received from Peter and Jennifer Mallow has been crucial to its early success,” says. Zalar. “Indeed, I would not have been able to realize the program’s public engagement expectations without it. And not only have they been generous benefactors; they’ve been trusted conversation partners in considering the program’s thematic tendencies and intellectual intentions. They are fellow laborers in this vineyard.”

“We certainly remind our children of the blessings we’ve received in life on a regular basis,” Jennifer says. “And one of those blessings is our education at UC.”

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