Remembering Doc Oc

Since his death in 2005, the Hudson Relays have been run in memory of Dr. Ignacio Ocasio. Dr. Ocasio was a chemistry professor who mostly taught first-year students but was loved by all his students—past and present.

Doc Oc's passion for student life led him to be a coach for the first-year team and a strong supporter of the Relays. Now when the race is run, all runners and volunteers wear shirts that say "Thank You, Doc" in celebration of his passion for student life— both in and out of the classroom.

Doc Oc: Hudson Relays' #1 Fan

Case Western Reserve University students, faculty, and staff have mourned the passing of a beloved faculty member, "Doc Oc." Ignacio Ocasio, a former CWRU Teagle Professor of Chemistry, passed away suddenly in May of 2005.

Immediately following his death, students, alumni, faculty, and staff initiated a fund to commemorate him, and in the spring of 2008, hired artist Joseph Kinkel to create a bronze statue in his honor. The life-sized bronze statue was dedicated at the opening ceremony of the 2009 Hudson Relays on April 25, 2009. He was honored by alumni, students, President Barbara Snyder, and members of his family during a celebration on the steps of Adelbert Hall.

Ocasio, a classically trained pianist and prodigiously talented chemistry professor, came to the Case campus in 1980. During his time at Case, thousands of students had passed through his chemistry courses and were infected with his energy, enthusiasm, and dedication. Doc Oc won numerous teaching awards, including the Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching in 1993 and the J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in 2006 (posthumously). He was dedicated to helping students develop—not only academically—but also as members of society.

Doc Oc supported students outside the classroom as well as inside, whether it was through his celebrity judging of the Mr. CWRU contest, as Hudson Relays coach to the first-year class, or as fraternity advisor. Most of all, we remember him as a caring friend whose uplifting personality would instantly bring smiles to our faces even on the gloomiest of days.