Stories

  • Our UD is: Life-changing

  • Our UD is: Connected

  • Our UD is: Inventive

  • Our UD is: Devoted

  • Our UD is: Transformative

  • Our UD is: Distinctive

  • Our UD is: Impactful

Executive Summary

From Dayton-area teachers to an entertainment-industry titan, diverse support and collective passion for UD made all the difference this past year. Enjoy these highlights from the 2017 impact report and check out the full edition — This is our UD.

Our UD is:

Life-changing for generation after generation.
Learn why a UD alumnus and entertainment-industry titan established the $1 million Pay It Forward Scholarship to recruit underrepresented students to UD.

Connected to the city of Dayton.
Did you know that the UD Arena contributes $10 million every year to the local economy — with the First Four accounting for $4.5 million?

Inventive — breaking ground and glass ceilings.
Female students at UD are turning the tide in pursuit of STEM degrees in predominantly male fields of study and practice.

Devoted to future students.
A pair of Dayton-area teachers channeled their lifelong commitment to education into a lasting legacy at UD through an $840,000 scholarship for language, math and science majors.

Transformative for people as well as programs.
Thanks to a gift from two 1971 grads, students can use state-of-the-art equipment to study the intricacies of the human body, such as how blood vessels respond to stress and affect muscular performance.

Distinctive — delivering a one-of-a-kind education.
UD’s experiential learning program — supported by gifts from nearly 350 alumni and friends — funded an award-winning research project to supply nonelectric refrigeration for medications and vaccines in areas without reliable electricity.

Impactful — working together for a common purpose.
The class of 2017, the first to experience all four years with the University’s fixed net-price tuition plan, realized an eight percent increase in its graduation rate and borrowed 22 percent less in student loans.

Other Facts and Figures:

$162 million = amount of University scholarships and grants awarded this year
15.8% = percentage of students who received $4,885,350 in donor-funded scholarship awards this year

Our Shared Vision

Dear alumni, parents, and friends,

Through interactions with you and other Flyer faithful during the last 18 months, my family and I have come to understand the spirit that sustains this unique and inspiring campus community. So many people, across all ages, backgrounds, and cultures — encompassing alumni and non-alumni — have had life-changing personal experiences in connection with the University of Dayton. Each of you can say, with strong conviction, “This is MY UD.”

The University’s spirit stands on the strength of this diversity, but thrives on all of us coming together in common purpose. We stand united, striving to make a difference in the world and aiming to deliver on a promise to become “The University for the Common Good.” Our individual experiences become more meaningful in this common cause, binding us in solidarity as we proudly say, “This is OUR UD.”

This report illustrates what our UD is — and all that you, our dynamic and devoted community, have done to foster this spirit and identity. Thank you for fueling our shared vision for the University and enabling us to work toward a future of even greater growth and impact.

Eric F. Spina, President

Life-changing

For Generation after Generation

Ed and Eileen Stankey, a truck driver and a teacher’s aide, sacrificed much to send their son Bill to the University of Dayton, hoping that he could escape the financial worries the family endured throughout his childhood.

They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Forty years after becoming the first college graduate in the family, Bill Stankey ’80 is president and founder of Westport Entertainment Associates, a prominent talent negotiation firm. Stankey represents an array of celebrity clients through his firm, including Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and he has secured talent for some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.

Bill Stankey’s road to financial freedom was far from smooth. For example, early in his career, he landed a job at an entertainment agency in New York City making only $100 a week. How did he make do? “You go to happy hour, eat the wings … you figure out a way to get by. You don’t date,” he said, with a smirk.

“For me, that fear of financial difficulty was paralyzing as a part of my life and if I can relieve that for somebody, that’s a good use of that money.”

Getting through UD was even a struggle. Going into his last semester, he found himself $700 short on tuition. However, thanks to some available scholarship funds facilitated by then-athletic director Tom Frericks, Stankey was able to finish his schooling and embark on his career.

Now, in honor of all his parents did for him, Stankey is able to pay back — and greatly amplify — the scholarship support he received with a $1 million commitment establishing the aptly named Pay It Forward Scholarship.

Once fully funded, the endowment will provide four $10,000 annual scholarships to first-generation college students, like himself, to ease the financial burden often tied to receiving an exceptional education.

“For me, that fear of financial difficulty was paralyzing as a part of my life and if I can relieve that for somebody, that’s a good use of that money,” Stankey said.

In addition, Stankey wants to share his personal experiences with recipients to help them navigate their time at the University.

“That freshman year, when I wanted to pout about a girl back home in Indiana and wanted to think, ‘none of my buddies are here,’ I isolated myself — I had no connection here,” he explained. “When I got out of my own way, and just got a little bit involved, it made a difference … and there’s no better way to get out of your head than to lift up your hand to somebody else.”

Through such generosity and involvement, Stankey hopes that he can pay forward the transformative experience he had at the University.

“My life changed as a result of having the opportunity to go to college. And it changed dramatically as a result of being at the University of Dayton,” Stankey said, holding back emotion. “This place is truly special in terms of the sense of the community that you get here.”

Transformative

For people as well as programs

When talking with Anne Crecelius, Ph.D. about her research in the Department of Health and Sport Science, you can sense a passion. Her speech heightens and quickens, and her gestures grow more animated. It is obvious that she loves her work — and is eager to share this passion with students.

Crecelius studies the cardiovascular system, specifically how blood vessels respond to stress and affect blood flow to muscles.

“We’re working to understand how this system is regulated, how it changes, how exercise can benefit it and how aging, unfortunately, causes decline in function,” she explained.

Such research has real-world implications for people from all walks of life — from young athletes to nursing home residents — and the impact recently grew exponentially thanks to a generous gift from Dave and Norma McCarthy, both 1971 graduates.

The McCarthys’ donation has funded new, state-of-the-art equipment in the recently named Dave and Norma McCarthy Integrative Human Physiology Laboratory, where Crecelius furthers her expertise alongside students.

The new equipment allows Crecelius and her team of student researchers to collect more data simultaneously and in a more dynamic manner. For example, rather than capturing a snapshot of blood pressure, they can now collect it beat by beat — the difference between viewing a photograph versus watching a film. To call the gift a boost for her work at the University — and the students involved — is an understatement.

“Adding all of this new technology and equipment gives us the freedom to really explore our ideas in the lab.”

“The new equipment allows us to do things in a much more in-depth, scientific way, which is not just good for the sake of more thorough, accurate research — it also helps us be more competitive for grants, helps us publish in better journals, attracts better students, and gives our undergraduate students experiences that set them up to attend better graduate programs and things of that nature,” Crecelius explained.

Graduate student Cameron Dickens ’18, who works with Crecelius in the lab, speaks to the impact of the McCarthys’ gift on student researchers: “It fosters our creativity because the number one limiting factor to somebody’s ideas in research is whether they have the capacity to measure what they want to measure. Adding all of this new technology and equipment gives us the freedom to really explore our ideas in the lab.”

The gift’s effect goes far beyond Crecelius’ work, reaching into other research fields, such as dietetics, where faculty and students can, for example, collect data to evaluate the effect of different types of nutrition on the body. In addition, the equipment enhances students’ classroom experiences.

“While obviously research is important to us, we can also use the equipment to improve instruction,” Crecelius said. “If I’m trying to teach students about how the body is responding when you go from a seated to standing position, rather than pulling up a YouTube video or pointing to a picture in a book, I can use the equipment to show students.”

The department’s community outreach efforts have also been dramatically bolstered by the gift, thanks to the portability of much of the equipment. For example, faculty and students will be able to transport the metabolic analyzer and the body composition scale to assist with nutritional counseling at the fresh food market at the bus hub in downtown Dayton.

Since the arrival of the equipment, the new possibilities that have evolved throughout the department have created a palpable feeling of enthusiasm.

“Getting new, top-of-the-line equipment and being able to just run wild with it is really exciting,” Dickens explained. “It’s a great thing … we couldn’t be happier.”

Read More:

Impactful

Your combined support opens the University’s doors to thousands of the most promising, dedicated students – regardless of financial situation. The University stands with you in this quest to keep our one-of-a-kind educational experience within reach.

In 2013, the University enacted a fixed net-price tuition plan which ensures that a full-time student’s financial aid will keep pace with tuition increases over the course of their undergraduate studies. The unique approach, designed to keep costs down and be transparent, also eliminates all fees, so students and their families can budget with confidence.

Four years later, the results are in:

Distinctive

Delivering a one-of-a-kind education

Experiential learning, or learning through experience, is not exclusive to our campus. Colleges and universities from across the country aim to take education beyond the classroom. However, a heavy investment in EL paired with a drive to become the University for the Common Good morphs the concept into something much more impactful at the University of Dayton.

A Greater Focus on EL

This unprecedented commitment to EL starts with the newly created Office of Experiential Learning, headed by the University’s first director of experiential learning, Karen Velasquez, Ph.D. In her second academic year, Velasquez has hit her stride, working with an EL advisory council and two faculty fellows to deepen and more readily facilitate EL opportunities and to help students and faculty understand the true nature of EL.

“Experiential learning is about the student engaging in self-guided exploration, as well as how they make sense of the experience and relate it back to their class, major and professional goals.”

“Experiential learning is about the student engaging in self-guided exploration, as well as how they make sense of the experience and relate it back to their class, major and professional goals. It’s helping them make those connections,” Velasquez explained. “And beyond that, it’s taking the values of the University — an awareness of the common good, a desire to find one’s vocation — and weaving them into the experience for students.”

Over 340 alumni and friends have recognized the necessity of such learning experiences and added to the University’s investment, providing more than $200,000 in support to the Fund for Experiential Learning. Among them are Bill and Marilyn ’97 Humes. As a student, Marilyn experienced EL firsthand, helping manage $100,000 of University investments in the early years of what’s now known as the Davis Center for Portfolio Management.

“That experience is something Marilyn’s talked about ever since I met her,” Bill said. “Obviously it had an impact on her.” Now they have made sure that today’s students can have similar experiences — students like Abby Lisjak ’18 and Joshua Romo ’19.

Making an Impact Near and Far

Working toward a degree in mechanical engineering, with a minor in human rights, Lisjak is one of 55 students who have contributed to the Lincoln Hill Gardens project in Dayton’s Twin Towers neighborhood. A collaboration between the Hanley Sustainability Institute, Mission of Mary Cooperative and East End Community Services, the project is converting a one-time Dayton public school site into a community space with an urban garden, a nature playscape and a gathering space. Lisjak spent the summer designing the nature playscape, a play area that incorporates natural elements.

“...this experience has allowed me to better understand what I learned in the classroom because I am able to apply it rather than just hearing about it and imagining it.”

“Projects like this are really important because it allows us to engage in the community and put stake in the area around the University,” Lisjak said. “And this experience has allowed me to better understand what I learned in the classroom because I am able to apply it rather than just hearing about it and imagining it.”

Romo’s EL experience began a world away from Lisjak’s in Bihar, India. As a chemical engineering major, he is one of seven students currently contributing to the award-winning Solar-Thermal Adsorptive Refrigerator (STAR) project, which focuses on providing nonelectric refrigeration for medications and vaccines in areas that lack access to reliable electricity, such as Bihar.

“What I’ve learned is that the real-world process goes beyond engineering,” Romo explained. “As you go into valuing different factors in your design process, you have to take into account what’s acceptable in the culture and how to connect with different faith traditions. It really broadens your scope and helps you realize how you can use engineering to help the world.”

Thanks to the support of our Flyer community, students are able to explore more and more learning experiences that are uniquely UD — deepening their knowledge and furthering our goal to become the University for the Common Good.

Read more:

Devoted

To our future students

Both Paul ’50 and Aleen Schreiber, or “Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber” as they were known to students, taught for decades in the Dayton area. Aleen taught modern languages at the University of Dayton before settling in at Centerville High School and teaching Spanish and Latin from the 1950s through the ’70s. Paul briefly taught math and science alongside Aleen in Centerville, as well as at Sinclair Community College and the Air Force Institute of Technology — in addition to establishing a prominent career as a research physicist.

The couple eventually enjoyed their retirement, immersing themselves in local dance clubs and traveling, but continued to educate others in a volunteer capacity. Paul helped AARP members file their taxes, while Aleen taught English to international students and helped them adjust to life in the United States.

“We are deeply grateful for the Schreibers' generous gift which provides scholarships toward areas of study that meant so much to them as educators," said Jason Pierce, College of Arts and Sciences dean. "Their legacy opens doors of opportunity for many deserving students poised to make a difference in their professions and communities, just as the Schreibers did.”

Both recently passed away, but they ensured their lifelong devotion to education would carry on, establishing the Paul and Aleen M. Schreiber Scholarship at the University of Dayton with a bequest of more than $840,000.

The scholarship, based in the College of Arts and Sciences, provides assistance to students majoring in areas for which the Schreibers had passions, mainly the languages, math and science. Five students currently receive support through the scholarship, including English major Madeline Sefton ’18, who shares Aleen’s love for language.

“I enjoy how literature takes on real world issues, and how words matter,” Sefton said. She aspires to attend law school — and to repay the Schreibers’ generosity in her personal life and career. “I plan to pay it forward by volunteering, particularly for kids … I also hope to do pro bono work, helping people who can’t afford an attorney.”

Through this impactful generosity, the Schreibers have become part of the Leo Meyer Society, an exclusive group composed of those who have remembered, or made a commitment to remember, the University of Dayton in their wills or estates. Over the last five years, this group has impacted the University in transformative fashion, gracing the University with more than $50 million in new planned giving commitments and $17 million in realized commitments.

Our mission to become the University for the Common Good begins with this special kind of devotion, one that extends far beyond any of our lifetimes. The Schreibers — and so many others — inspire us with their lasting dedication to and investment in future generations of Flyer students.

  • A Vision for All

  • Officially Family

  • Innovation Central

  • This is Our House

  • A True Dayton Legacy

  • Welcoming Diversity

  • Dayton Has Talent

Proud

During the past year and a half, I have documented many of my days on social media. Full of highlights, these moments illustrate that our University’s spirit stands on the strength of our diverse community – people across all ages, backgrounds, and cultures – encompassing alumni and friends around the world.

I am proud to share a few of the moments that have made this more than an inspiring University community – THIS IS MY UD!

Eric. F. Spina
President

A Vision for All
Feb. 14, 2017 - In Cleveland with about 80 enthusiastic alums, parents, and friends of @universityofdayton. We are great because of the accomplishments of our alums!

Officially Family
April 4, 2017 - I call on all of us to work together to make the University of Dayton the destination for pragmatic dreamers who see the development of community as essential in our world and are willing to work hard to achieve it.

Innovation Central
April 5, 2017 - This will be a place where students from all disciplines will engage in experiential learning by innovating or supporting others across the community to create new ventures. It will be a place where we can, indeed, work in community to change the world.

This is Our House
May 11, 2017 - The Arena is a transformational space for us, our students, and our community. That’s why we’ve chosen to boldly transform it into a state-of-the-art facility that will allow our hopes and dreams to soar for another half century.

A True Dayton Legacy
July 1, 2017 - Bet you didn’t know that @universityofdayton ranks ninth – ninth! – in the country for sponsored research among private universities without medical schools. Talk about a Dayton legacy of ingenuity, curiosity, and innovation.

Welcoming Diversity
Aug. 20, 2017 - Enjoyed spending time with some of the first-year students who are connected to the @universityofdayton Office of Multicultural Affairs. Bright, energetic, future leaders. #Dayton2021

Dayton Has Talent
Sept. 7, 2017 - Graduation of America’s best and brightest … that is what the American Talent Initiative is all about. Proud that @universityofdayton has been invited to join ATI – one of only 68 “top-performing colleges and universities.”

Follow @DaytonPrezSpina on Social Media:

Instagram     Twitter
Connected

With the city of Dayton

More than 150 years ago, when Father Leo Meyer presented John Stuart with a medal of St. Joseph and a promise, he did more than lay the groundwork for our great University — he tied the fate of the University to the fate of the city of Dayton.

Both have grown together; the city’s landscape has drastically changed, from boats traversing down canals to streets teeming with cars, and the University has radically transformed, from 12 primary school students at St. Mary's School for Boys to 10,900 students at today’s University. Both have persevered through difficult times, including the great flood of 1913, when the University, then known as St. Mary’s College, opened its doors to over 800 refugees.

“Everybody wants to be part of something good, valuable and important. For a lot of Daytonians, that’s University of Dayton basketball.”

This historic relationship courses through the University’s programs and initiatives — including the storied Flyers basketball program. Alumni and community members have witnessed — and been a part of — a century of great moments in Flyers basketball.

Vice President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan describes the Dayton community’s ties to Flyers basketball as “a deeply rooted tradition. I don’t think we could ever define it or replicate it. It’s in our DNA, and it is a result of the players, coaches and fans from every era of Dayton basketball. It’s cumulative, truly spanning generations.”

Given this long-standing emotional investment in Flyers basketball, it’s no surprise to see the tremendous amount of local support for the transformation of UD Arena. As of Dec. 4, 2017, 78 percent of the $31.5 million raised has come from Dayton-area community members and businesses.

And the community’s investment is sure to pay off. The upgraded fan experience enables the University to further its unrivaled run of hosting NCAA Tournament games — 113 games to be exact, more than any other venue in the tournament’s history. This streak not only brings exciting games to the Dayton area — it also provides a significant boost to the region’s economy; the First Four alone brings in $4.5 million annually.

Above all, the transformation will continue to build the basketball program, fueling more unforgettable moments for our family of fans to enjoy. Local entrepreneur Larry Connor, a longtime University partner and Flyers basketball fan, knows the project’s importance to the program and invested heavily to ensure its success.

“If you really want to be an elite program, long term, you have to do everything right,” said Connor, who has founded two tech companies and a real estate investment firm with operations in 12 markets. “Whether it’s coaches, recruits or facilities … I personally think the University has done a fabulous job assembling all of those pieces. This is the last big piece, in terms of facilities, to position the program.”

In regard to the community’s historic and massive support of Flyers basketball, Connor said, “I think it’s both community pride as well as great entertainment. Everybody wants to be part of something good, valuable and important. For a lot of Daytonians, that’s University of Dayton basketball.”

Inventive

Breaking ground and glass ceilings

In our family of alumni, countless women have broken ground in male-dominated fields. In politics, Kristina Keneally ’91 became the first female premier in Australia’s New South Wales. In athletic officiating, Marcy Weston ’66 became the first woman to receive the Gold Whistle Award, college officiating’s highest honor. And in journalism, Erma Bombeck ’49 took household humor to another level with her newspaper column, reaching an audience of 30 million people.

Current female students can aspire to be in the same ranks as these extraordinary women, thanks to targeted programming and backing from alumni and friends. In particular, women majoring in science, technology, engineering or math have seen a swelling of support to help them excel in these ever-growing fields, in which they are underrepresented.

One long-standing University partner in such endeavors is the Henry Luce Foundation, which administers the Clare Boothe Luce Program — one of the largest national private supporters of women in the STEM fields. Since 1990, the program has provided scholarship and fellowship assistance to numerous female Flyers majoring in STEM programs. This year, the foundation continued their dedication through its competitive grant program, providing $201,600 to fund the work of eight female undergraduate research scholars.

The grant clears a pathway to careers in research and academia for students like Maggie Jewett ’20, a chemical engineering major whose passion for research was sparked in high school. “My AP biology teacher took my class to a lecture by an Indiana University professor about his research in biomedical engineering. During his lecture, he shared the current studies and advancements in lab-grown organs. The possibility to provide organs to individuals who need transplants made from their own cells presents so much potential in the health field. I want to be a part of this advancement.”

Since 1990, the Clare Boothe Luce Program has provided scholarship and fellowship assistance to numerous female Flyers majoring in STEM programs.

Jewett began her work toward her goal this year, along with three other sophomores in the first cohort. Over the course of two years, they will each receive $25,000 for research costs and stipends, travel to academic conferences and professional development. Each student will work with a faculty mentor to fine-tune their work. During both academic years, they will conduct research for at least 10 hours a week. They will be in the lab 20 hours a week during the summer between their sophomore and junior years. A final cohort of four scholars will embark on the same path in fall 2018.

Nancy Miller, research scholars program manager and associate director of the honors program, explained how the work aids Jewett and other recipients when applying to grad school, getting them one step closer to coveted careers in research or academia. “Having it on their résumé makes them more competitive at top graduate schools because Clare Boothe Luce is a very prestigious program. It also implies that students have significant lab experience, which is enticing for faculty who are teaching in graduate programs. Part of the way grad students earn their keep is through research assistance and everyone would prefer to have somebody with a great deal of lab experience.”

Award recipient and biochemistry major Emily Jones ’20, who is working on combating antibiotic resistance in bacterial cells, sums up what it means to be a woman in this day and age conducting research in a STEM field: “At the end of the day, the science will speak for itself, but being in a position to provide that evidence is an opportunity that women have not had in the past and still struggle to maintain today. The tide is definitely changing to allow a more diverse field of representation in STEM research, but there is still a very long way to go!”

She’s right — there is a long way to go. Thanks to the commitment of our friends at the Henry Luce Foundation, and so many others in our Flyer family, the University of Dayton is proud to assist our students as they move forward on that road.

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