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Educating Leaders Who Build Communities.

As a Marianist and Catholic university, we are called to more than service. We are called to learning. We are called to leadership. We are called to justice. We are called to build community.

Carrying out the University of Dayton's vision as a national leader in educating community builders, the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community initiates and sustains partnerships with urban neighborhoods and larger communities for both comprehensive community building and as a context for connected learning and scholarship. The Center stimulates, coordinates and facilitates learning and scholarship throughout the University, within the community and between the two.

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The community is our classroom.

The Fitz Center for Leadership in Community initiates and sustains partnerships with urban neighborhoods and larger communities as a context for connected learning and scholarship. The University of Dayton is a national leader in educating community builders and the programs of the Fitz Center fulfill the University's Catholic and Marianist initiatives. Teams of students, faculty, and Fitz Center staff are continually contributing to a network of community building partnerships throughout the region that enriches neighborhoods and communities and provides opportunities for connected learning.

downtown Dayton

What is Community Building?

Community building is the art of co-creating a desired community future based on a widely shared vision that is characterized by respect, the common good, and a preferential option for the poor.

True to our Catholic and Marianist initiatives, the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community has become one of the key brokers for University of Dayton students and faculty seeking service learning opportunities within the local community. Like several other offices at UD, we're committed to building partnerships - to benefit the Dayton community while adding to the UD experience of learning through service. Find opportunities for you to learn, lead and serve.

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Learn. Lead. Serve. Connect.

Service learning initiatives in the Fitz Center connect over 500 UD students a year with the Dayton community.  Our special focus is on our partnership with Dayton’s Neighborhood School Centers. We develop and promote a wide range of UD student volunteer and academic projects to benefit the students and families of the NSCs and the surrounding neighborhoods.

When the community identifies an opportunity or need, the Fitz Center is available to help turn requests into assignments that complement the UD curriculum. Ideal projects not only yield an impact on the community, but also lead both campus and community partners to develop new skills and a better understanding of urban and social justice issues. Thanks to financial support from the Marianists, the Fitz Center can develop and manage several dozen service learning projects each year, enabling students and faculty to work and learn with community partners, reflect on experiences and integrate theory with practice.

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Our research has community impact.

The research and scholarly efforts of our faculty and staff ensure that all students are educated in a vibrant and engaged environment. Learn about our recent research and scholarship projects.
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Our goals and accomplishments.

Staff and students become involved not only through Fitz Center programs, but also with scholarly contributions to publications and event presentations.

Who are we?

The faculty and staff of the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community are dedicated to providing a diverse and stimulating learning environment for students of any major through academic, service and research programming.
Image for Dick Ferguson

Ferguson, Dick 

Executive Director, Fitz Center for Leadership in CommunityStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Kelly Bohrer

Bohrer, Kelly 

Director of Community Engaged LearningStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Char Cook Robinson

Cook Robinson, Char 

Administrative Support StaffStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Brenda Donnelly

Donnelly, Brenda 

Director of ResearchStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Raymond L. Fitz, SM

Fitz, SM, Raymond L. 

Professor; Fr. Ferree Professor of Social JusticeFull-Time FacultyCollege of Arts and Sciences: Political Science, Fitz Center
Image for Judy Keyes

Keyes, Judy 

Administrative Support Staff: Senior Administrative Assistant to Bro. Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Ph.D.StaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Leslie King

King, Leslie 

Rivers Institute CoordinatorStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Suzette Pico

Pico, Suzette 

Administrative Support StaffStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Robert L. Stoughton

Stoughton, Robert L. 

Research Administrator, Montgomery County Family and Children First CouncilStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center
Image for Don Vermillion

Vermillion, Don 

Fitz Center Director of Public Projects; Adjunct FacultyStaffCollege of Arts and Sciences: Political Science, Fitz Center

How can we help you?

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community
St. Joseph Hall Room 433
300 College Park Ave.
Dayton, OH 45469 
Phone: 937-229-5400
Fax: 937-229-3900