UC Foundation Names Philanthropy Award Winners, Celebrates 40 Years

UC Lindner College of Business Alumnus Receives Top Honors

CINCINNATI – October 19, 2015 – On its 40th anniversary, the University of Cincinnati Foundation today announced five recipients for its highest awards in philanthropy – the Outstanding Philanthropic Volunteer Awards. Honorees were selected based upon their extraordinary philanthropic commitment to the University of Cincinnati.

“I continue to be inspired by the incredible generosity of UC’s donors. This year’s class of honorees has served UC for more than a century combined,” said UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “They’ve given back their time, talent and treasure, supporting vital areas including the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, UC Department of Ophthalmology, College-Conservatory of Music, UC Blue Ash and annual giving to the university.”

Nominations are open for next year’s Outstanding Philanthropic Volunteer Awards and can be completed online at uc.edu/foundation/awards.

2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Volunteer Award Winners

John Goering

Chairman’s Award – John B. Goering

The Chairman’s Award is the UC Foundation’s highest recognition for a volunteer who has made a noteworthy, university-wide philanthropic impact. This year, the prestigious award went to John Goering, a 1958 and 1960 (MBA) graduate from the Lindner College of Business. Goering served as a professor in the College of Business until 1981 while simultaneously acting as University Registrar and Associate Vice President of Admissions and Records from 1967 to 1975.

His passion for accelerating family-held businesses led him to both fund and found the Goering Center for Family and Private Business at the College of Business. The Goering Center provides strategic counsel, direction and networking opportunities for those who operate closely-held or family businesses. As one of the longest-serving trustees in UC Foundation history (1988-2014), Goering is also credited with providing oversight, direction and support during two major fundraising campaigns.

Michael McGraw

Trustees’ Award – Michael McGraw

The UC Foundation’s Trustees’ Award recognizes a volunteer’s contribution to advance philanthropy for a specific UC college or area. In recognition of his nearly two decades of service and support to ensure Greater Cincinnati has access to the highest level of care for eye and vision disorders, Michael McGraw was honored with the Trustees’ Award.

In 1996, McGraw established and led the Quest for Vision Advisory Board, bringing together business leaders and volunteers interested in eye and vision disorders to partner with ophthalmologists and researchers from the UC Department of Ophthalmology. The Quest for Vision Advisory Board supports fundraising for ophthalmic research at UC that will advance understanding and provide effective management of eye diseases and uncorrectable causes of vision loss.

Friends of CCM

Group Philanthropy Award – Friends of CCM

New this year, the Group Philanthropy Award honors a group that has been highly engaged in philanthropic activities at UC and has made a significant positive impact. The Friends of CCM, a group that has advocated for UC’s award-winning College-Conservatory of Music for more than 30 years, took home the inaugural award.

The Friends of CCM and the CCM Alumni Boards recently joined together to become one organization. With approximately 600 members and an active board led by President Donna de Graff, Friends of CCM raises more than $300,000 each year to benefit the college’s extraordinary students, faculty and programs. Its longstanding efforts to enrich CCM have helped ensure that it remains one of the nation’s leading performing and media arts conservatories — and grows stronger through new opportunities and collaborations.

Cady Short-Thompson

Staff Award of Merit – Cady Short-Thompson

UC Blue Ash College Dean Cady Short-Thompson received the UC Foundation’s Staff Award of Merit, which recognizes a staff member who has fostered a culture of philanthropy at UC and embraced the spirit of Dr. George Rieveschl, Jr. Rieveschl was a visionary philanthropist, internationally-known chemist, scientist, UC alumnus, professor, researcher and inventor of the antihistamine Benadryl.

Short-Thompson currently oversees more than 5,200 students, more than 700 employees and nearly 50 degrees and certificate programs. She received the Staff Award of Merit in recognition of her tireless work to increase scholarship funding and support so fewer students drop out or “stop out” of their educational pursuits due to financial hardships. In addition to significantly increasing the scholarships available via active fundraising, she helped develop UC Blue Ash’s Emergency Relief Loan Fund for students who encounter unexpected challenges. She also served as a co-chair for the 2015 Faculty/Staff Campaign, the university’s most successful faculty and staff fundraising campaign on record. 

Jack Kelly

Student Philanthropy Award – Jack Kelly

Students are often the primary beneficiaries of donor support at UC, but Lindner College of Business student Jack Kelly has been on the other side — encouraging investments from alumni through the university’s telefund student caller program and realizing amazing results for UC. In recognition of his on-campus philanthropy, Kelly received the UC Foundation’s Student Philanthropy Award.

Since joining telefund, Kelly has brought in more than 1,200 gift pledges and raised more than $196,000 for scholarships, discretionary funds and annual giving initiatives. Kelly helped motivate other students to participate, attracting new student callers through his fraternity, encouraging his fellow telefund callers and sharing tips for success. Last year, he served as Annual Giving Co-op Student at the UC Foundation, where he learned about strategy and donor cultivation.

Back to Top