Wednesday September 22, 2010

Honoring Alumni

From community service to professional accomplishments, the 2010 University of Dayton Alumni Award winners are making a difference in their communities and the world.

Five University of Dayton alumni will be honored for their achievements and leadership and service to society and their alma mater.

The National Alumni Association will present the awards at an invitation-only reception and dinner Friday, Sept. 24, in the Kennedy Union ballroom.

"These alumni award honorees embody the qualities and values of the University of Dayton. They are leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others — and the world," said Deborah A.W. Read, vice president for University advancement. "We are proud of their achievements and appreciate their deep commitment to the University of Dayton."

Richard P. Davis '72, Dayton, Ohio
Distinguished Alumnus Award for national or international achievements

Since graduating with an economics degree, Richard P. Davis has excelled professionally and has given back to students. Davis began his career at the Mead Corp. in 1973 and progressed through the company to vice president of financial services in 1978. In 1984, he purchased a mutual fund group from Mead, renamed it Flagship Financial Inc.; by 1996, the company had grown to $5.3 billion in assets.

In the Richard P. and Susan P. Davis Center for Portfolio Management he helped launch, students are given real-world experiences and the opportunity to put their learning into action in a field that requires risk, innovation, creativity and thoughtfulness.

Davis, who also helped build the annual RISE student investment forum, spends time with students in the Davis Center. He is a member of the University's board of trustees and co-chairs the Campaign for the University of Dayton, a major fundraising initiative that is expected to be announced publicly in 2012.

"We want to be able to make a change in a person's life," Davis said about his support for the University. "It's a great thing to be able to share your knowledge, to share your passion for what you like and what you enjoy, and to be able to finance that as we have in the investment center."

Tony J. Brunswick '97, Washington, D.C.
Christian Service Award for living out the Marianist ideals in today¿s society

Tony J. Brunswick began living out Marianist ideals after graduating from the University with a religious studies degree in 1997. He served the homeless in Baltimore with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, worked with recovering addicts, provided psychiatric therapy for low-income individuals in crisis and now serves as vice president of LIFT, a nonprofit organization that connects college students to economically struggling families. As a volunteer, he established the "Family Photo Project" in Washington, DC, to provide the homeless with free portraits.

Michael J. Vehar '05, '09, Highland Heights, Ohio
Joe Belle Memorial Award for volunteer service to students and early career achievement

By the time Michael J. Vehar graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering technology, he had participated in three summer immersion programs through the Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service (ETHOS) program, helping to educate developing communities about indoor air pollution and alternative cooking methods. As a graduate student in engineering management and graduate assistant for ETHOS, he continued his service by recruiting students, coordinating trips and placements and fundraising. His work positively affected the students' lives as well as the people in the communities they assisted. As an alumnus, he continues to support the ETHOS program in many ways, including identifying potential placement sites.

Sharon D. Howard '78, Dayton, Ohio
Special Achievement Award for distinction in professional or civic activities

With a degree in communication from the University, Sharon Howard currently serves as marketing and communication director for the Dayton Development Coalition. Previously, as executive director of community and public relations for WDTN-TV for 28 years, she was deeply engaged in community service, in a variety of major community initiatives. She has given back by serving on a number of boards including: Sinclair Community College Foundation, Culture Works, Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Salvation Army and Kettering Medical Center. She has been honored for her community service with the Coretta Scott King Award and a Top-Ten African-American Women award and named to the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.

Ronald N. Thaman '71, Columbus, Ohio
Special Service Award for volunteer service to the National Alumni Association

Since 2002, Ron Thaman has been a photojournalist for Dayton Flyers basketball and football games. He also has contributed to the University of Dayton Columbus chapter in numerous ways. He is a regular attendee at chapter activities and, along with his wife, has hosted the Columbus New Student Picnic welcome event for the last five years. A senior industrial hygienist at S.E.A. Limited, Thaman's service to the University has been both generous and continuous.

For more information, contact Anita Brothers, director of alumni outreach, 937-229-2905 and