Dr. Santa Ono, University of Cincinnati’s President, spoke today on the topic of “grit” to a gathering of students and parents. Dr. Ono is a molecular biologist and leader with grit and charisma (including 29,000 twitter followers). Dr. Ono defined grit as a student’s, or any person’s, ability to set long term goals and then dig deep within their inner reserves to overcome inevitable setbacks and hardships. Grit, more than say cognitive ability or special talent or other perceived advantages, may make the key difference. Grit is a quality not only of individuals, but of communities, cities, groups, teams. Grit makes a difference in art and law. And in March Madness. Art history , when you look at the lives and struggles of its players, is more about grit than talent. Vincent Van Gogh, today a rock star whose work is valued in the tens of millions of dollars, barely had enough money to buy his own oil paint and struggled with illness and isolation. Without the grit to keep painting, Van Gogh would be as forgotten today as he was in his lifetime.