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Senior Director of Development Karen Sieber Always Working, Thinking about UC Law


On Sunday, July 3, Karen Sieber will be at the All-England Club in London, viewing the Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles championship match with a friend.

Of course, even when talking about the prospect of attending the finals at tennis’ most prestigious event, the College of Law’s Senior Director of Development still has her job on her mind.

“Now that I think about it, I’ll have to see if there are any donors in London.” Sieber said. “See if I can see anybody over there.”

A large part of Sieber’s position with the College of Law involves meeting with alumni and building relationships with hopes of identifying potential donors.

But even when Sieber is not in her office or in the United States for that matter, her mind is always focused on how she can help strengthen the College’s alumni base and increase donations toward the current $50 million campaign.

“I am always thinking about the College of Law,” she said.

Sieber, who has been with the College since 2007, often finds herself “connecting [with people] and giving our elevator speech” wherever she may be at a given time. But that does not bother her one bit.

“That’s the fun part for me,” she said.

Sieber grew up in Cincinnati and received a communications degree from The Ohio State University. At that point, however, Sieber never envisioned working in development.

She got her start while working in admissions at Franklin College, a small school south of Indianapolis. At the suggestion of Franklin’s vice president for development, she started combining some admissions trips with alumni visits. 

Sieber spent about 10 years working in central Indiana, including a stint with a non-profit organization that ran international work-exchange programs and study tours with companies in Europe.

Mike Hogan, Peggy Ruwe, Ryan Mabry, Karen SieberShe then moved to New York City, where she worked for two fundraising-connected magazines and also spent time with the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Park Avenue-based fundraising office.

Family and friends brought Sieber back to Ohio, where she first held a position at OSU, similar to that of her current role with the College of Law.

Now that Sieber is back in Cincinnati, she not only enjoys meeting UC Law alums and building great relationships, she has embraced working alongside fellow development employees Mike Hogan and Peggy Ruwe.

“One of the reasons that we are able to be successful is that we’re a great team,” she said.

Sieber, a self-described energetic and enthusiastic person, said they are constantly brainstorming new ideas and opportunities “to get in front of alums and get their attention and have them learn about what great things are going on at the law school… and then support it.”

The Walnut Hills High School graduate said one of her favorite parts of her job is meeting with small groups of alumni.

“I love that small-group feel,” she said, reflecting on past events locally, as well as those in places such as Phoenix, Nashville, New York City, and Washington, D.C. 

While there is still a lot of progress to be made regarding the current fundraising campaign, Sieber recognizes the key to a successful campaign and is enjoying the entire process.

“People, people, people. It’s all about the people,” she said. “Building great relationships with people [and] feeding off of their passion for the place.”

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13