HILLS, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2022) — At Thomas More University, service to the
community is a part of life that lasts well beyond a student’s time on campus. The
mission of the Catholic liberal arts education offered at Thomas More
University is to encourage students to examine the ultimate meaning of life,
their place in the world, and their responsibility to others. Service
opportunities are important avenues for students to grow as individuals and to
connect with their community. As students build a foundation of service and
come to understand their responsibility to others, they go on to become leaders
in the community, continuing to seek opportunities to help those in need.
Otis Miller III ’16, is one alum who strives to serve the community. He has partnered with Cincinnati-based nonprofit, Future Ambassadors Inc. to create “Spread Love Turkey Day!” Miller helps by collecting monetary donations, which are used to purchase meals for families across greater Cincinnati who otherwise could not afford a Thanksgiving meal. These households include low-income families, single parent homes, or families who face poverty. “I am looking forward to going to the grocery store, shopping for 125 families, and watching those families pick up their food with smiles on their faces knowing that they can enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying about the burden of if they can afford it,” says Miller. Miller even recruited some of his former Thomas More teammates, Joshua Hunter ’17 and Amadin Imade ’18, to get involved in the project.
community involvement doesn’t stop with Spread Love Turkey Day!, he also uses his
background in athletics to pay it forward by volunteering with Saturday Hoops.
Volunteers through Saturday Hoops serve as mentors, interacting with children
from elementary through high school every Saturday. They play basketball,
soccer, and participate in arts and crafts activities, among other things. “These
kids need us to be there to give them something fun and exciting to look
forward to while also guiding them with advice as they progress to the real
world,” explains Miller. Miller was introduced to Saturday Hoops by fellow Thomas
More alums, Christopher Nieto ’15 and Brandon Lorentz ’17. “My goal was to do
what I can to give back to my community,” says Miller. “For me it’s about being
present and helping people. I understand that people need help and some of the
people that need the most help might not even ask for it.”
Laura (Berkemeier) Gossett ’06/’17 earned a theater degree during her undergraduate years at Thomas More and that degree led her to participate in similar volunteer opportunities in the region. Gossett has stayed active volunteering with community theatre groups, including Beechmont Players, Inc., Mariemont Players, Inc., The Drama Workshop, Footlighters, and Village Players of Fort Thomas. She also served on the board of Know Theatre of Cincinnati for three years.
Her drive to support the community also inspired her day job, serving as the Director of Development at Life Learning Center (LLC). At LLC, Gossett raises funds to support at risk adults experiencing the most vulnerable time of their life. Many have been incarcerated or suffer from Substance Use Disorder. LLC works with these individuals to improve their situation by teaching essential skills and assisting them to get back into the workforce. “The values imparted through my education at Thomas More directly impacted my affinity for giving back to the community,” Gossett reflects. “I am very proud to be a lifelong Northern Kentuckian and take great pride in my community. I support NKY and Greater Cincinnati anyway I can.”
students, faculty, and staff strive to continue a legacy of service. Most
recently the Thomas More community served the region in fall 2022 through an
initiative called Saints Serve. Established in 2021, this campus-wide, day-long
event consists of community service projects which benefit over 50
organizations in the local area (Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana). Saints Serve day
will continue as an annual event in support of the University’s mission. The
athletics department also has a continuing relationship with Special Olympics
Kentucky (SOKY). This decade-long tradition includes the sports teams spending
time cheering for and bowling with Special Olympians, hosting the Regional Flag
Football Tournament on campus, and participating in the Polar Plunge to raise
money and awareness for SOKY.
What a joy it
is to know that the time spent in service while at the University carries over
to alumni commitments which make this region a truly great place to live. Thank
you to Otis Miller, Laura Gossett, and to all the Thomas More alumni who make a
difference in their communities by giving back of their time, talent, and treasure.
For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.
For more information on Saturday Hoops, visit www.saturdayhoops.org.
Learn how to support Spread Love Turkey Day! at spreadloveturkeyday.org.
About Thomas More University
100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be
More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its
founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts
education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn
to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth,
which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created
to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than
2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in
the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, build upon its excellent return on
investment (ranked #1 among private universities/colleges in Kentucky by MSN
Money in 2021 and ranked #2 for long term gain in Kentucky by a 2022 Georgetown
University study) and share with this generation the transformative power of
the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit thomasmore.edu.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lyna Kelley, director of communications and PR, firstname.lastname@example.org, 859.344.3309