Alumni Spotlight

Catherine McMichael, Class of 1972 and 2017 Upper Arlington Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus

Catherine McMichaelNotable achievements at UAHS

Catherine was the accompanist for the 220 voice UAHS choir for all three years of her attendance at UAHS.  She was also a member of the independent 16 member singing ensemble Strollers.  In addition to her musical activities, she was one of the top 20 scholars in her enormous ’72 class of 792 students.

College and career experience

Catherine has her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and master’s in Chamber Music and Accompanying from the University of Michigan.  While there, she won the annual Concerto Competition, which led to her being a soloist with the University Philharmonia Orchestra.  She has taught hundreds of students in piano, improvisation and composition, and has written hundreds of pieces on commission. She is a performer, arranger, composer and/or co-director for several musical groups in Michigan including the River Raisin Ragtime Revue in Ann Arbor, the Bijou Theatre Orchestra of Bay City and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.

How did UA Schools prepare her for success?

“There was an expectation of excellence communicated by every teacher I had at UAHS. That expectation was complemented by an enthusiastic atmosphere of support for learning and effort. I felt prepared to catch everything the University of Michigan could throw at me, and I did, because of the expectation of excellence fostered by UAHS faculty and staff.”

Posted by Colleen Wright in alumni on Wednesday August 23, 2017 at 08:01AM
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Jack Nicklaus, Class of 1957, retired professional golfer who won 18 career major championships

The Upper Arlington High School boys golf team with honoree Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus became the first inductee into the newly created Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He shared these memories at the ceremony on April 19 at the Ohio State Golf Club.

Notable achievements at UAHS

Nicklaus had twice earned individual medalist honors at the state golf championships in 1956 and 1957 and led his team to win the state championship in 1956 and place third in 1957. He also won the Tri-State State High School Championship in 1957 and was the individual medalist with a score of 67.

As a sophomore, junior and senior, Nicklaus was selected as all-league in basketball, and he received honorable mention all-Ohio as a shooting guard his senior year.

“As I grew up in Arlington, something that was really special to me was that I got to play all sports,” Nicklaus recalled. “The school was big enough to compete but small enough that you got to be able to play everything or anything you wanted to play.”

The origin of the Golden Bear nickname

He recalled that in 1961, as he turned pro, he was looking for an emblem for his first contract with a sportswear company when an Australian reporter wrote an article referring to him as “a cuddly golden bear.”

“At that time I was a little taller and a little bigger, and so I came back and we went through all the different things that we might have for an emblem.  And finally I said, ‘Guys, come on. I’ve been a Golden Bear all my life. Why don’t I stay a Golden Bear?’

“I’ll always be a Golden Bear, and I’ll always be proud to be a Golden Bear — not only through my company but also through the schools.”

How did UA prepare him for success?

“Arlington was very special,” Nicklaus recalled. “We got a good education at Arlington. I know you still get a good education at Arlington.

“Arlington prepared us very well for college, prepared us for the what-ifs, and I enjoyed it.”

To view a video of the induction ceremony, please visit The Upper Arlington High School Athletic Department will share nomination guidelines later this year for the class of 2018 inductees.

Posted by Colleen Wright in alumni on Tuesday May 16, 2017
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Abby Johnston, Class of 2007, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in Diving and 2016 Olympic Team USA Diver

Notable achievements at UAHSThe diver in front of the American Flag wearing an Olympic medal

I was a member of the varsity swim and dive team for 3 years (2004-2007), and, as a team, we won the state championships all 3 years.

College experience

I am starting my third year of medical school at Duke University and plan to go into emergency medicine.

How did UA prepare her for success?

Growing up in Upper Arlington was very formative for my academic and athletic success. UA has a tradition of excellence both in and out of the classroom. The community helped foster my work ethic, which ultimately allowed me to pursue my dreams of going to the Olympics and becoming a doctor. I wouldn't be the person I am today without the support and encouragement of the Upper Arlington community.


Posted by Colleen Wright in alumni on Monday August 8, 2016
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Tags: alumni, spotlight

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1950 North Mallway Drive
Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
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Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
(614) 487-5000

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