Thursday June 18, 2009

Transformative Moment

The University of Dayton will continue to reinvent itself for the times, but it will never lose that strong sense of community that characterizes the school, President Daniel J. Curran told alumni at Reunion Weekend.

The University of Dayton has transformed itself "from a little schoolhouse to a top-tier national research university" without losing its strong sense of community that's apparent from the moment students set foot on campus, University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran told 135 alumni at the President's Club brunch at Reunion Weekend June 13.

"You can look at how we've improved, but I think the key is how we've stayed the same," he said. "The Marianist sense of family and community don't change."

Curran thanked alumni for their financial support during tough economic times. "A lot of universities have cut budgets, stopped construction and halted faculty searches," he said. "Your generosity separates us from many institutions. Right now, this is a transformative moment for this university."

The University attracted more than 12,000 applications for this fall's first-year class from "every state in the union," Curran said. "For the first time in the University's history, we've had more out-of-state applications than ones from Ohio. People are coming from the Mideast, China and India. People are willing to come halfway around the world to get a University of Dayton education."

Noting that the University of Dayton ranks first worldwide in international student satisfaction, Curran said that students from all over the world are drawn here because of UD's welcoming, supportive community.

He promised alumni that would never change: "When you come back, you'll say, 'It looks very different, but it feels the same.'"

Reunion Weekend drew a record 2,540 attendees, 5 percent ahead of last year's record mark. By the numbers:

They committed more than $5 million to their alma mater.

In another show of commitment, 316 people packed the chapel to renew their wedding vows in an annual ceremony presided over by Father Norbert Burns, S.M., who taught a popular Christian Marriage course on campus for decades.

The Flyer Fun Run/Walk attracted 150 healthy-conscious participants.

Alumni consumed 143,000 calories — or 650 cups of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (vanilla, cherry cordial, cookies and cream, fudge brownie, mint chocolate chip) at Saturday's all-class picnic.

30 alumni learned about healthy relationships, the work of the Rivers Institute, and Italian wine and culture — all part of the inaugural Alumni College.

The Golden Flyers now number more than 3,500 with the induction of 80 new members from the class of 1959.

1,750 people hung out on a mock front porch and ate Milano's subs at the Saturday night Porch Party.

250 campus rooms sold out in 10 minutes when registration opened on April 15.