Christian Service Award

For living out the Marianist ideals in today's society

The Christian Service Award is presented to an alumnus of the University whose life’s work best reflects the unique quality of service and sacrifice to others, consistent with the Marianist’s identity of the University of Dayton.

It is given to an individual who has devoted his or her life in service to others, who affirms the fullness and complexity of human existence, who appreciates social justice and who brings about changes that make it more possible to live the Marianist ideal in contemporary society.

This award celebrates the rare alumnus whose life is devoted to extraordinary self sacrifice for the benefit of others. To be eligible a person must be a graduate of the University of Dayton with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. The Alumni Board anticipates that this award will only be given when, from the pool of nominations for alumni awards, an individual clearly meets the criteria for the award. Unless there is a compelling reason to warrant an exception, only one award will be presented in any given year.

Daniel R. Fiehrer, D.D.S. '62
Bachelor of Science Pre-dentistry
College of Arts and Sciences

As a young dentist in 1966, Daniel Fiehrer moved to Browning, Mont., as part of the Public Health Service. After serving the Native American Blackfoot Nation for two years, he went to work on a degree in orthodontics. In 1972, he returned to Montana, opening a practice in Helena. From 1972 to 2010, once a month, Native American children were driven from Browning to Helena to receive orthodontic treatment from Fiehrer, who received no fee. Over the years, he treated as many as three generations in a family.

In the mid-1990s, Fiehrer commissioned an artist to create 42 paintings of the Blackfoot Indian Medicine Lodge Sun Dance Ceremony, a collection now housed in the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mont. Fiehrer also commissioned an award-winning television documentary on the Blackfoot people.

In 2002, the Montana Dental Association gave Fiehrer its T.T. Rider Award, which recognizes dentists for outstanding public service. In 2007, the head chief of the Blackfeet Tribe gave Fiehrer an eagle feather headdress and bestowed on him the title of Chief Dan Holy Eagle.

Daniel's Story


Daniel's Acceptance Speech