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Viking Pride : Monthly News and Views for CSU Alumni and Friends

October 2015

Where Television Host Barbara Walters left off with her Fascinating People specials, we picked up with our own "Fascinating Alumni" project.

Originally conceived as part of CSU's 50th anniversary celebration, the Alumni Association undertook an effort to recognize 50 fascinating alumni. "It soon became apparent that 50 was just the beginning," said Brian Breittholz assistant vice president for alumni relations. "Hundreds of nominations poured in and we quickly learned we were blessed with a richness of accomplished and fascinating alumni among our ranks."

Fascinating Alumni is a printed publication produced to highlight the first 50+ alumni selected. The featured alumni represent a wide range of academic disciplines and degrees. Some graduated in recent years; some a while ago. They all went on to interesting careers, unique achievements and purposeful lives. They all have personal and professional stories that make them, well, fascinating.

In this, and coming issues of Viking Pride, we will highlight some of our featured Fascinating Alumni. We have also included many of their bios on the CSUAA website ( "We'll continue this effort in the years ahead," commented Breittholz, "and add to the honor roll on line."

Contact the Alumni Office at 216.687.2078 to obtain a copy of Fascinating Alumni or to nominate a future honoree.

Phot of Jean O'Leary

A trailblazer for herself and generations to come

Alumna Jean O'Leary, political activist and gay rights pioneer, envisioned a world where gay men and women would be treated as equals in all things. She took that vision and turned it into a reality, setting the stage for many of the remarkable advances in the LGBTQ movement still taking place today. Read more

Photo of Ric Smith Jr.

A magical career was in the cards

Stepping onto Cleveland State University's campus for the first time in 1999, Rick Smith Jr. had no idea he would become a world-renowned magician who would break two Guinness World Records. Read more

Photo of CIMP building

A stunning new home for the future of health education

"This building illustrates our commitment as an urban university to align our academic programs and the development of a workforce with the needs of our community," said CSU President Ronald M. Berkman. "It also symbolizes our commitment to a new model for training health-care professionals." Read more

Photo of smiling student

The Class of 2019, CSU's largest

And they've never licked a postage stamp. They also think WiFi is an entitlement. Yes, theirs is a world that's likely far different from your own. Find out just how different from Beloit College's annual mindset list.

Photo of alumni at Homecoming Vikefest

Homecoming 2015: A Huge Success

So says Brian Breittholz, Executive Director of the CSU Alumni Association, adding that what lay ahead for next year's festivities and beyond is a more personal touch. "We believe that the future of Homecoming at CSU will include more small-group reunions representing everything from athletic teams, to academic cohorts, to fraternities and sororities." Read more about the week

Photo of DAA awards

Celebrating the silver anniversary of the Distinguished Alumni Awards

Without fail, each year we're deeply moved by the stories of our honorees at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala. How CSU helped shaped their lives, and how they're leaving a lasting legacy on their worlds. It's a reminder of the power of the CSU experience. Meet the Distinguished Alumni Awards' Class of 2015.

Photo of Megan Stumpf

Nursing student seeks to make global impact

"Everybody should have access to the needed materials and knowledge to be healthy," says senior nursing student Megan Stumpf. Come May 2016, she hopes to embark on a globe-trotting mission of bringing healthcare to impoverished communities. Learn more about Megan.

Forest City employees

Welcome, Forest City

We're thrilled to announce that our newest alumni corporate chapter at Forest City Enterprises officially celebrated its launch during Homecoming week and will host its first event at the beginning of 2016. The CSU Alumni Association has a number of opportunities like this to stay engaged. Find out more

  From the Executive Director

Brian's Corner:

Conversations Matter
I've had great conversations and experiences with alumni over the past month. Homecoming, as you would guess, proved to be one great conversation after the next. Read more.

6 Words Top Headlines Quicken Loans Arena and CSU announce partnership

CSU Professor Bob Abelman named best critic in Ohio

CSU researchers awarded NSF grants totaling $1 million

Professor Jearl Walker's Flying Circus of Physics Episode 1.5

'Treasures of Jazz' Concert on October 17 Salutes Civil Rights Era

6 Words

Year in Review

We're incredibly proud of all that we accomplished last year. Building alumni engagement is why we get out of our beds in the mornings. Take a look at this neat look back on the year.

Hallo Hoops

Saturday, Oct. 31
10:00 a.m.
Providing a safe trick-or-treating environment for children 12 years old and under at the Wolstein Center and includes games, activities and autographs. Fans will also get their first look at the 2015-16 men's and women's basketball teams at the Green & White Scrimmages prior to trick-or-treating.

Passport Cleveland

Vikings Super Bowl at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Friday, Nov. 6
10:15 a.m.
Get in the game with Cleveland State alumni and friends at the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Viking Days for Viking Families
A Christmas Story House Tour

Saturday, Nov. 14
7:00 p.m.
Relive A Christmas Story with a tour of the famed home of the Parkers, now restored to its original movie splendor.

Alumni College: About Town

Tuesday, Nov. 17
8:00 a.m.
Is Cleveland the city of the future? Learn more about the wave of change taking place in Cleveland with this fascinating presentation by Richey Piiparinen, senior research associate in the Levin College of Urban Affairs

Connect! Linked InFacebookTwitter Instagram

Historically Speaking header
Photo of Mather Mansion

CSU purchases Mather Mansion on July 1, 1970

Mather Mansion, built by Samuel Mather in 1910, was the last of the mansions to be built along Euclid Avenue's "Millionaire Row." CSU purchased it from the Cleveland Automobile Club, taking possession in 1970. It is the first building in Cleveland to be listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1973.

What Say You? Did you get a kick out of one of our stories? Perhaps you even have a story idea. Don't be shy. Send 'em in. We'd love to hear from you.


Special thanks to our 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award sponsors Liberty Mutual and GCA Services Group.


As an alumnus, you could be saving on your insurance. Find out today.

CSU Alumni Association