Chatfield College Plans to Renovate OTR Park


Students often use this park for art classes.

A triangular shaped park wedged between Kemp Alley, Liberty Street and Central Parkway may be getting a face-lift, thanks to Chatfield College.

Directly adjacent to the college’s new campus in Over-the-Rhine, the park currently has grass, some nice trees, and a few weather-worn concrete walkways, but neither furniture nor programming.  Chatfield College wants to transform it into a thriving green space to be used as an outdoor classroom and meeting destination, filled with year-round neighborhood and student activity.

“Now that our new state-of-the-art campus in OTR has been in operation for nearly a year, we believe that the revitalization of the park adjoining the campus is the next logical step in providing even more opportunities to our students and our Over-the-Rhine neighbors,” said John P. Tafaro, Chatfield’s President.

Planned improvements to the park include a sitting wall, park benches, landscaping, trees, and a paved focal gathering space as well as new sidewalks, and the resurfacing of the adjacent Kemp Ally, making a seamless transition between park and college campus.  The landscaping and architectural plan was designed in 2014 when Chatfield College partnered with Miami University’s Department of Architecture and Center for Community Engagement.  Miami students living and working in Over-the-Rhine actually designed the park renovations as part of a landscape design class.  The plans compliment the aesthetics of Chatfield’s recent building renovations, which won a Historic Preservation Award in 2015 from the Cincinnati Preservation Association.

The renovated park will offer Chatfield students and instructors an inspiring outdoor classroom, be a venue for community events, and inspire pride in students and community members.

“We believe that this green space project will benefit our students overall experience at Chatfield, as well as provide a wonderful resource to our neighbors in Over-the-Rhine,” said Patricia Homan, OSU, Chatfield’s OTR Associate Dean and Site Director.  “Green space is viewed as an essential part of the urban and collegiate infrastructure.  Studies indicate that areas where there are green spaces experience higher rates of community involvement and lower crime rates.”

Partial funding for the project has already been secured, and Chatfield has an agreement with the Cincinnati Park Board to move forward with the project as proposed as soon as the remaining funds are acquired and City Council has approved it.  Once initiated, construction should be completed within six months.

Sister Patricia continued, “In addition to offering attractive, outdoor learning and study space for our OTR students, this project is sure to make a positive impact on the surrounding OTR community. Urban green spaces are proven to increase positive social engagement, safety levels and property values in the neighborhoods where they are located.”

Chatfield College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college offering the Associate of Arts degree in St. Martin and Cincinnati. An open enrollment college, Chatfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  For more information, visit the website, at, call (513) 921-9856 or e-mail

Welcome, or Welcome Back, to Chatfield!

young tafaro

John Tafaro, circa 1961

I distinctly remember going back to school in the fall as a child growing up in New Jersey.  At Catholic grade school – they call it Grammar School in the east – I can still vividly recall the smell and feel of a new, white shirt, fresh out of its plastic wrapping.   After removing the pins and cardboard inside the collar, it was still pretty stiff the first time I put it on.  Adding a new, knit tie completed the torturous process.

I must tell you the truth, in case you haven’t already figured it out. I didn’t like returning to school back then, especially because of how hot it was immediately after Labor Day when we started – also a change from modern day where we get a jump on school in mid-August.  Of course, we also had no air conditioning.  How great would it have been to begin classes in the comfort and coolness of the beautiful Mongan Academic Building in St. Martin, or the wonderful, new, state-of-the-art campus in OTR?

As I got older, going to high school, then college, I actually began to look forward to the start of the school year.  I got to see old friends again, and was anxious to make new friends of the people who arrived at school for the first time.

Then in law school, attending at night as an adult learner with a family at home, I went year-round, and discovered all the things we now know about learning and academic progress: that going to school in the summer has many advantages. We know from reliable data that students who attend fall, spring and summer semesters retain more knowledge, have a better chance of success, graduate sooner, and with less debt.  That’s a winning combination!  You should consider it next summer, for sure.

So, if you are a new student, welcome! If you are returning, welcome back!  I hope you will reconnect with former classmates, and make new friends.

Chatfield is a friendly place.  One of our Ursuline core values is to create a community of support for one another.  Make it a point to say hello to someone who might look lost, or confused, or overwhelmed.  Give them some encouragement or simply a kind word. You might be beginning a friendship that will last a lifetime.

And please stop me in the hall when you see me, too, to introduce yourself.  Be ready for me to ask you about your classes, your instructors, and your academic progress.  Like the rest of our board, faculty and staff, I am interested in you, committed to your success, and proud to have you as part of the Chatfield family.

Have a great semester.  See you at Chatfield!

-John P. Tafaro, President

Returning to School as an Adult

Are you ready to begin or go back to school?

adult-students-02Going to college or entering a job training program is a big decision. You have to be in the right frame of mind to succeed at getting a credential or finishing your degree.

There are many reasons adults over age 25 return to school. Some are planning a career change or need new skills or credentials to move up in their career. Others enroll for personal development or after there has been a change in their life situation.

There are a number of things to consider:

  • Identify what your reasons are for going to school.
  • Consider the pros and cons.
  • Be realistic about the time commitment and energy involved in taking classes.
  • Figure out how you will pay for tuition, books, and other expenses.
  • Do your homework about programs and schools to find the right fit.
  • Decide whether you want to go part time, full time, or take online classes.
  • Explore options to earn college credit from prior learning or by exam.
  • Think about if you want to enter a multi-year program, or take an accelerated, shorter program.

Returning to School

You may feel like you are in unknown territory and need some extra guidance. There are many steps you need to take before you begin your first class.

  • Schedule a campus visit or attend an admission event for adult learners.
  • Make an appointment with someone in student services or admissions that supports adult learners. They can help you navigate through the admissions process.
  • Order your transcripts from any previous colleges you attended or your high school.
  • Complete any required admissions tests or placement evaluations and assessments.
  • Fill out the admissions application. This can often be done online. Some admission requirements for may not apply to older students.
  • Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is no age limit for federal or state aid.
  • Make an advising or counseling appointment to help chose your class schedule and make a graduation plan.
  • Sign up for classes.

If you are returning from the military:

  • Seek out a veteran’s counselor on campus. Transitioning to civilian life is a challenge, and adjusting to school can be difficult. Other students your age will not be coming from the same experiences as you and may not be as mature.
  • You will be in a less structured environment and it may take some getting used to.
  • Start the admission and military financial aid process early.
  • Remember that your military transcript may be worth college credit.

Adjusting to School

A non-traditional student often has delayed enrollment in college for various reasons. These students usually attend school part time, work full time, are financially independent, and often have children or other family that depend on them. Some adult learners over age 25 need to earn their high school diploma before enrolling.

Adult learners face many challenges that younger students don’t:

  • They worry that they don’t have good study skills.
  • They think they don’t have time for it.
  • They don’t think they can afford to go to school because of other financial commitments.
  • They may be intimidated by the college environment and worried about feeling isolated.
  • They often have to juggle career, family, and school responsibilities.

Easing the transition:

  • Take advantage of lower-pressure learning opportunities, such as refresher classes, to get to know the academic environment.
  • Start on a part-time basis rather than jumping in full time.
  • Be a positive role model, respect diversity, and be assertive in the classroom. You will be interacting with younger students. You may have a different lifestyle, attitude, and way of learning than the traditional, fresh-out-of-high-school student.
  • Be prepared for homework. Have a private, quiet place at home to study. Start early and allow extra time to complete assignments. Get help if you need it.
  • Be realistic about what the college environment will be like.
  • Talk with your family about how going back to school will affect home life and changes that will occur.
  • Expect to feel some stress. Students of all ages do.

Staying in School

The following are some tips to get you through that first year. They will help you stay committed to finishing school.

  • Go at your own pace to avoid being overwhelmed.
  • Seek out transitional counseling assistance and support groups. Many students leave the first year because of financial and adjustment problems.
  • Find a peer group to help you study, spend time with, and keep you on track.
  • Keep focused on your short and long-term goals.
  • Expect money to be tight while you are in school. Look for ways to cut back on expenses.
  • Create a school schedule well in advance to allow for family commitments. Get extra help with household chores.
  • Keep to a regular study schedule.
  • Learn to say “no” to activities and requests you don’t have time for.
  • Take time for yourself and your family to relax and stay connected.
  • Involve yourself in campus activities.
  • Exercise, and take frequent breaks from the routine of work, home, and school.
  • Meet with your advisor or counselor regularly to help plan your class schedule so you complete your credential or degree on time and other guidance.
  • Don’t get discouraged or give up. Take one semester at a time.

Content originally published here.

6 Tips to Get You Mentally Prepared for College

6358807491559534981433414291_collegeIf you’ve chosen the school, are set on a major, and already have your financial aid all squared away, you might think you’re 100% ready for college. But are you mentally prepared for what is to come? During this last month of summer, review this final off-to-college checklist with a few things you may have overlooked.

#1. Brace yourself for newness.

Whether you’re going to the hometown college or heading across the country, college is a time of change. If you’re leaving home for the first time, it is especially different, with your parents not around to take care of things for you and give you advice, and no set of house rules to follow. But no matter who you are, college is a major life transition. You’re leaving the familiar and broaching the unfamiliar. You’re being exposed to many different types of people and ways of thinking, which changes how you view the world and yourself. Know that things may feel uncomfortable for awhile.

#2. Maintain your support system.

Who are you closest to? Maintain those ties and don’t be afraid to lean on your support system when you need to. The first semester or year of college can be overwhelming in good and bad ways, and you may sometimes need people outside of your college friends and classmates to talk to. Even if you’re eager to be on your own, stay in touch with the people in your life who have your best interests at heart and are there for you when you need support.

#3. Learn to manage your time well.

Poor time management will be your worst enemy in college. Start off on the right foot by getting a handle on your schedule, buying a planner, and USING that planner. Don’t over commit yourself to too many things, but remember that the key to juggling a full course load, social life, and job (if applicable) is being structured and efficient with your time. So, get organized when school begins, and don’t let yourself fall into bad habits, such as piling up papers and never keeping track of upcoming important dates.

#4. Know that you may need help from time to time.

The transition to college may be more difficult than you expect. Before the first day even begins, scope out the services that can help you through—the tutoring center, counseling services, disability services, and more. Every college campus has a wide variety of support services designed to make your college experience great—and give you help when you need it.

#5. Teach yourself life skills you’ll need.

On your own for the first time? If you’ve never been a morning person, now is the time to practice getting up early. If you’re bad at budgeting, laundry, or cooking, don’t wait until adulthood to learn. Don’t let life’s to-dos sneak up on you and cause you stress. And remember that it’s important to take care of yourself at college. Strive for balance in all that you do.

#6. Be open.

College is a place where you will meet and interact with many new people from all walks of life—and form lifelong friendships. It might surprise you who you develop strong connections with. Be willing to get to know all types of people.

Content originally published here.

Submit Public Comment

Chatfield College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The College will host a visit October 24-25, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. Chatfield College has been accredited by HLC since 1971. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college to the following address: Public Comment on Chatfield College Higher Learning Commission 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 Chicago, IL 60604-1411 The public may also submit comments on HLC’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by September 26, 2016.

Submit Comment Now

Nature Lovers (& Pokemon Hunters): Welcome At Chatfield!

Snake & LeeOn any given day I can walk outside the Welcome Center at Chatfield and become immersed in the natural surroundings of the St. Martin campus. No other college or university in the area can offer such a gorgeous expanse of acreage for its community to utilize for spiritual, personal, family or recreational use. The college grounds are a verdant gem in the rural farm country of northern Brown County, and I hope that it stays that way.

If you ask someone from within a 20 mile radius about Chatfield, that person may say that it is a college, nuns live there, the chapel is beautiful, they used to have an indoor pool, and that the campus driveway was considered for a part in a little movie called Rain Man. What they may not tell you is that Chatfield is a veritable treasure of flora and fauna that gets overlooked as just another chunk of ground in the middle of Ohio farmland.

When I walk around campus on one of my work breaks, I can’t help but fall in love with the scenery over and over again. From the conservation of the natural waterway that runs through the entrance, to the reflection of the chapel in the pond- along with turtles basking on the bank- to the largest tulip poplar I have ever seen, Chatfield’s campus is a natural showcase. Anyone who has an appreciation for plant and wildlife would be remiss in not taking the time to explore the grounds.

IMG_0848One of my favorite things to do is tell visitors about our diverse bird population. That usually starts with me pointing out our nest of baby birds- Eastern Phoebes- at the entrance to the Welcome Center. The nest currently has 4 chicks and is on top of a light fixture next to the doorway. Mom and dad feed the chicks insects every few minutes. They are not shy, and will sit perched on a twig (or sign, or post, or bench…) and watch the coming and going of people walking by. When the coast is clear, the parents fly to the nest and are greeted by a cacophony of chirps, peeps, squawks, and wide-open mouths.

Another insect eater on campus is the Barn Swallow. These birds are aerial acrobats and quickly fly back and forth, skimming the grass for mosquitoes and other flying insects. They build nests in the eaves of buildings, and we have a pair of them under the porch roof of the gymnasium. If you get too close you will be in danger of losing some hair, as swallows will dive bomb intruders! I can’t help but watch them dart back and forth across the yard and am always struck by their grace and agility.

A gorgeous and energetic bird found on campus is the Red Headed Woodpecker. We have a pair of them, more than likely nesting in a rotted tree somewhere close by. One of them likes to sit on the fence around the tennis court. The male and female look alike, with a bright red head, white body and black wings. Woodpeckers make two drumming noises. One, when they are drilling into trees looking for insects; the other is used when they are “marking” their territory by drumming loudly on trees, gutters, telephone and electric poles, and any other object they take a fancy to.

There are, of course, other birds on campus that are equally interesting. Walking around the paths and driveways on campus will bring visitors in contact with Goldfinches, House Finches, Chipping Sparrows, Dark Eyed Juncos, Wrens, Downy Woodpeckers, Eastern Kingbirds, Robins, Pine Siskins, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Crows, Starlings, Red Wing Blackbirds, Red Tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons, Black- and Turkey- Vultures, and so many others. Binoculars are a no-brainer if you intend to spend some time exploring.

There are also larger creatures to be seen on a visit to Chatfield. One day while coming back from lunch a group of us saw a doe and her fawn walking through the creek that runs through the front of the property. The doe was standing in a shallow pool and her spotted fawn was running and bucking in a circle around her. I was driving and, as is my habit, looked upstream and saw the doe look up at us. I quickly stopped and backed up so that we could get a better look at them. One of my passengers made a joke about my quick braking and we laughed, but it was a wonderful moment that I got to share with my team of co-workers.

Another instance of coming into contact with the wildlife on campus happened when my 12- year-old daughter took a summer enrichment drawing class. She was sitting on a bench outside working on her tree drawing. She happened to look up and out toward the small field next to the cemetery and noticed something moving. It was a group of coyote pups, playing and jumping at each other in the tall grass. The mother was off in the distance, watching. My daughter, who takes after her mom, was not in the least bit concerned about the coyotes. She was delighted to see them and counted herself lucky to have the chance to watch them play. Her only regret was that she did not have my camera with her. We looked for them later, but they had moved on.

If you are a fan of snakes, we have those, too. Several black rat snakes have been seen on campus. Black rat snakes are very beneficial, non-aggressive, and beautiful to watch. I once followed one that I shooed away from the driveway. I even reached down to touch it as it moved into the grass. It paused and flicked its tongue a couple times, then went on its way, which happened to be a large hole in one of the maple trees by the tennis court. The day before, I had removed a small black snake from a (human) populated area and released it on a back corner of the property. One of my co-workers insisted on taking a picture, and now I have been given the moniker of “snake charmer!”

IMG_2675 (1)While a love of nature and wildlife may not be shared equally by all visitors to Chatfield, this is a place where students, families, and the community can come to relax in the quiet spaces and get away from the stressors and triggers of the daily grind. The grounds are open to the public until 10:00 pm every day. Bring a blanket to spread out underneath the huge beech tree. Pack some lunch to eat on one of our picnic tables. Children can play Frisbee or tennis- or hunt Pokemon- while parents walk through the grass in their bare feet. Watch for butterflies and hummingbirds along the edges of campus where the wildflowers grow. Take the dog for a walk around the pond and feed the bass and bluegill that gather in the shallows. Bring a camera, binoculars, or drawing supplies. Whatever it is that brings visitors to Chatfield, we want everyone to leave with a feeling of contentment that cannot be duplicated, and that will instill a desire to come back again and again.

PS:  Don’t forget to sign up for our annual 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, July 23! Get your dose of the great outdoors while helping out our students. The 5K helps fund our student scholarships, and this year, it also benefits the Hope Emergency Center. Bring a school supply and get discounted registration.  Check out our website for information.

-Lee Rose, Admissions Counselor




On To College by John Baylor: Five Tips for a Teen’s Summer

Summer can be a notoriously wasted three months for students. I know that mine often were. Parents might want to share these summer strategies with their lethargic teen in order to maximize his or her time away from the classroom:

  • Champions are made during the off-season: Colleges primarily care about the Big Three: grades, scores, and one extra-curricular.  Summers are when good cellists become great, when good actors refine their skills.  My tennis-playing daughter intends to master her volley before the fall.  Encourage your teen to set specific, reasonable goals and then to implement intentional, regular practice to accomplish them.  Your child may discover more joy and college interest from that extra-curricular.
  • Earn enough money now to avoid having to work during the school year: Many teens work a part-time schedule during the summer and school year.  Have them work full time now and over school breaks, and perhaps only one weekend day per week during the school year. Grades, scores, and one extra-curricular should pay more than flipping burgers.  Have your teen work more now and less this fall, when time really counts.
  • Volunteer. Scholarship committees and selective colleges love leadership and selflessness.  Volunteering can exhibit both.  Encourage your teen to commit to a cause she believes in—volunteering at least twice a week this summer and then once a week during school. More importantly, volunteering fuels self-regard and the soul. If all teens invested in a volunteer activity they cared about, we’d have stronger, happier children.
  • Read at least three real books. Reading now should increase self-awareness, an inquisitive nature, that ACT score, and the GPA. Encourage your teen to choose books that interest her; a trip together to the library or bookstore in search of one sounds like a great way to jump-start summer.
  • Set aside fun time with family. My junior-to-be will be leaving in about two years. So I treasure long walks together, trips to the ice cream store, games of tennis, and watching movies– for my own sake but also to help ensure that her summer doesn’t become too purposeful. During these times I just try to listen, asking questions as needed.

Of course, the above is not an exhaustive list.  Tiger parents might also push teens to prepare for the ACT or SAT, work with tutors to attack academic weaknesses, keep a journal, and self-publish a book—all worthy goals.  But the above are basic strategies that should strengthen and rejuvenate any teen. And isn’t that the goal for this great time of year?

Original content can be found here.

Should You Be Worried About the Zika Virus?

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. 

By now, you have probably heard of the Zika virus. The virus came to the attention of the world over the past few months due to an outbreak in Brazil, in particular because it is now known to have the ability to cause birth defects in pregnant women. Microencephaly, “small head” , is one of the major potential problems. In addition to the brain developmental problems resulting in the small head, microencephaly often results in the death of the child within just a few years.

Should you be worried? Unless you travel to Brazil, or some other country which harbors the Zika virus you have very little to worry about. In Ohio, the chances of coming down with the Zika virus are as close to zero as you can get. There are cases being monitored in Ohio but those have come from people who traveled to countries where Zika virus is already a problem. This includes the recent announcement from the Cincinnati Department of Health that Cincinnati has recorded its first travel related case. Studies have determined that Zika virus can be transmitted sexually from a man to a woman.  One such case has been documented in Ohio, when a husband traveled to a Zika country, unknowingly contracted the virus, and then came home and unfortunately passed the virus to his wife.

The main reason we do not have to worry in Ohio is that the primary mosquito vector (can carry the disease), Aedes aegypti, is not found in Ohio because it cannot survive the winters. A suspected secondary mosquito vector, Aedes albopictus (the Asian Tiger Mosquito), can be found in Ohio but would still have to bite someone who already has the disease in order to pass (transmit) the disease to someone else. The Ohio Department of Health is currently reporting 20 cases [we have 88 counties]. So this is highly unlikely, again, a near zero chance.

The other big news item related to Zika is high profile people who are choosing not to attend the Olympic Games in Rio de Janero, Brazil. It is encouraging to know that when we have summer, Brazil is having their version of winter, consequently, just like we do not have mosquitoes in the winter, mosquito activity in Rio is greatly reduced in their winter as well. But no matter what happens in Rio, there is little need to worry in Ohio. One more thing, if you recently saw a news item that said Cincinnati is number eight on the list of US cities for exposure to the Zika virus, consider the source. First of all, it was released by a mosquito control company with a vested interest in you buying their services. Secondly, the claim was based on a CDC map that is clearly labeled “potential range” for Aedes aegypti [not actually confirmed], and lastly, it made no mention of the fact that Aedes aegpti does not currently exist in the state of Ohio, nor will it any time in the near future because they cannot survive Ohio winters. The bottom line is that if you do not want to get bit by mosquitoes then take the necessary precautions to reduce the chances. You can find these precautions at the Ohio Department of Health website, the US Center for Disease Control and Cincinnati area health organizations.


Almost Famous: Thomas Lyon Hamer, The Man Who Literally Made Ulysses S. Grant

220px-ThomasLHamerVery few people today would recognize the name, “Thomas Lyon Hamer” due to the mere whim of fate. His name should be in all U.S. History textbooks. He should be famous. Brown County, Ohio should have statues and plaques dedicated to him. He even resides eternally in the old cemetery in Georgetown, Ohio; few even here know anything about the man. Some of his descendants still live in the area. Hamer Road in Georgetown is named for him, as is Hamersville, just east of Georgetown. Why could someone who was so important at both the state and national level in the mid 1800’s be so unknown today?

Thomas Lyon Hamer was born in July of 1800, in Northumberland,Pennsylvania. His family moved to Ohio in 1817. Hamer, just 17 years old, then struck out on his own. In what is now Clermont County, Ohio, he began working as a teacher at subscription schools….what could best be explained as tiny private colleges, in modern parlance. While teaching in Bethel, Ohio, Hamer lived with Thomas Morris, an important abolitionist lawyer (and later U.S. Senator). Hamer studied under Morris, became an attorney, and moved to Georgetown, Ohio, the new county seat of Brown County, Ohio. In 1821, he would soon meet another recent arrival to Georgetown: Jesse Root Grant (father of Hiram Ulysses Grant, who would lead the Union Armies to victory in the Civil War and become the 18th President of the United States). Hamer and the elder Grant would become good friends and travel in the same social circles. Hamer had serious political ambitions, as an Andrew Jackson Democrat. At the age of 25, he was elected to the Ohio Legislature. At the age of 29, he was unanimously elected to be the Speaker of the Ohio House. He then proceeded to get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He did well, if unassuming service there, but made one enemy: Jesse Root Grant. Jesse took exception to Hamer supporting most of President Andrew Jackson’s fiscal policies and very loudly renounced his friendship with Hamer. The elder Grant would eventually rue his temper getting the better of him. A few years later, Bart Bailey, whose family lived just up the street from the Grants, flunked out of West Point. Jesse was no fool; this provided an opportunity for him to get a FREE college education for his oldest son, Hiram Ulysses Grant, who was a year younger than Bart Bailey. The only problem was that he had to go through FORMER friend, and Congressman, Thomas Lyon Hamer. Jesse finally swallowed his pride, and wrote to Hamer, who quickly agreed to make the appointment, patching up the friendship.

There was just one problem: if Hamer had ever known the younger Grant’s full name, he had forgotten it over the years in which the two families had not spoken. Jesse’s oldest son was actually named Hiram Ulysses Grant. Hamer thought his name must be Ulysses Simpson Grant, and made the appointment, as such. Thus, Hamer CREATED the legendary propaganda initials of U.S. or “Unconditional Surrender’ Grant. These would be perfect for a Union general who could actually win battles during the U.S. Civil War. Thus, Hamer literally made the famous “ U.S. Grant!”

But what of Hamer, himself? When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, Hamer quickly volunteered for service as a private in the 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Within a month, he had been promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers, by his old Congressional friend, James Polk, now President of the United States. At the Battle of Monterrey in September of 1846, Hamer commanded the 3rd division of the U.S Army. His forces were the first to break into the fortified Mexican city, and first to raise the Stars and Stripes there. That flag had been given to him by the citizens of Brown County, Ohio and was the FIRST U.S. flag to fly over Mexican territory in the entire war. That flag, while badly worn with age, still resides in Georgetown, Ohio.

Hamer was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives while off fighting in Mexico. Sadly, he died of yellow fever, while the army was resting and refitting outside Monterrey, on December 2, 1846. After a military funeral and burial in Mexico, his body was ultimately returned to Georgetown, and a massive funeral was held for him in February of 1847. Hamer’s accidental creation, U.S. Grant, would later write in his 1885 memoirs, that Hamer would have likely become President of the United States, in 1852, if he had lived. My own research, for my pending book on Hamer, agrees. Fate is fickle…and it drastically changed U.S. history.

-Lonnie Griffith, History Instructor


Ways of Giving to Chatfield College:

IMG_1985If you are like me,  you are receiving solicitations from several non-profit  organizations daily.  I have gone so far as to sort my mail by the recycling bin.   I wanted to let you know of several  ways that you can support our students at Chatfield College through your daily purchases.

Chatfield College  participates in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Last Quarter (February through April)  19 households supported Chatfield College through the Kroger Community Rewards Program bringing a total donation back to Chatfield College of $141.  That is an average gift of $7.42 per household.  If we multiple this by four that is an annual gift of $29 per household.  If you have not done so already please consider joining this program and making Chatfield your charity of choice.

There is no cost to you to join and it is very easy.  Just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Kroger Community Rewards:
  2. 1. Visit
  3. 2. Sign in to your online account or create a new account. You can do this with your alternate ID (your phone number) if you do not have your card with you.
  4. 3. Find and select Chatfield as your organization and click enroll.

Please note that you have to renew your choice annually in April, and your fuel points or other discounts will not be adversely affected.

Amazon Smile:
We have the same opportunity with  Amazon.  If you shop at Amazon,  please consider making Chatfield College your charity of choice.  Follow the easy instructions below.

  1. 1. Go to and sign in or create an account.
  2. 2. Choose Chatfield College as your charity of choice.
  3. 3. Purchase items from Amazon and Chatfield College receives .05% of every purchase.

In addition to these immediate rewards, you have the option of making an annual or planned gift to our students.  Annual gifts are always appreciated and go to support the immediate financial needs of our students. You also have the option to contribute to one of our 28 endowed scholarships.

Planned gifts or estate gifts are used to help finance long term projects.  Please note that you do not have to be a millionaire to make a huge difference in the lives of our students with a planned gift.  Another simple way to donate to Chatfield is to include the college in your estate plans and announcements. This can go a long way to helping our students break the cycle of generational poverty through education .  For more information about planned  giving  please contact Jim Ludwig and I will be more than happy to meet with you on an individual basis.

Visit our “Give” page to find an option that best fits you.

Thank you for all that you do to help better the lives of our students and their families.