MPA Program Celebrates 50 Years

The University of Dayton master of public administration program recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. MPA program alumni, students and faculty gathered Oct. 27-28 on the University's River Campus to celebrate the anniversary and the graduate program's impact on their careers in public service. The MPA program is hosted by the department of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty and students spoke at a reception about the program’s value to both students and the community. They also toured the main campus and attended a Flyers football game at Welcome Stadium.

“Tonight we gather to celebrate and commemorate our time together as students, alumni and faculty who have spent time and effort to learn, grow and think about how the common good can be served,” said Grant Neeley, department of political science chair, at the reception. “Today looking at our alumni, they are performing a variety of work that speaks to the breadth of opportunities available to our graduates, which speaks to the solid foundation that our degree provides for a vocation of service.”

The MPA program prepares students with the skills to work in public service, non-profit organizations and in some cases private sector work. Courses focus on ethics, human resources and the practical management principles needed to pursue a career in public service management. The program serves students seeking to start a career in public service and students who already hold careers in public service who are seeking further professional training in public administration.

“Public service is in my blood,” said Steve Agenbroad ‘18, Clearcreek Township, Ohio, fire chief. “The job of every day being able to go out and make a difference in the world, make a difference in people’s lives, that is what drew me to public service. In climbing the ranks from firefighter to a chief, your job changes when you become an administrator. As a firefighter you are in charge of people’s lives from a safety perspective. As a fire chief you are in charge of your firefighter’s lives from an income and benefits standpoint. The skills I developed in the program as far as resource management, ethics and the other classes that go along with administrative positions have been very beneficial to me in my position.”

The program began in 1967 with a focus on local government through the lens of public management, but in its 50 year history, it has diversified in curriculum, professor interest and student career paths. The MPA is one of nearly 20 graduate programs hosted by the College. The MPA reflects the University’s institutional commitment to community and service.

- Aaron Alford, communication assistant, College of Arts and Sciences

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