Friday June 10, 2011

Selfless Community Service

A former University of Dayton president and a retired professor are honored for their selfless community service in the Miami Valley.

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church of Dayton announced Bro. Ray Fitz, S.M., and Perry Yaney will receive the Cardinal Bernardin Community Service Award at a banquet Sunday, June 12. The award honors individuals who are models of giving to others and to the community without any expectation of recognition. Honorees step in when and where needed because it is part of their make-up and giving nature, according to the church's press release.

Fitz is currently the Ferree Professor of Social Justice at the University of Dayton, a role he filled after serving as the University's president from 1979-2002. He works closely with the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, which partners closely with local organizations to provide the University's resources and students to meet community needs. He has taught courses in leadership in building community; regional development, politics, and social justice; Christianity, citizenship and society; and he mentors the University's Graduate Community Fellows.

He remains very involved in the greater Dayton community. Some of the organizations he works with include the Dayton Public School Community Advisory Council, the Family and Children First Council, the Homeless Solutions Leadership Team, and the city's Neighborhood School Centers. He also remains active with the Marianist community and works closely with Catholic organizations, serving with the Catholic Education Collaborative, Chaminade Julienne and the Marianist Leadership Development Program.

Perry Yaney holds the title of professor emeritus at the University of Dayton, retiring in 2004. He joined the University of Dayton Research Institute in 1963 and transferred to the physics department as assistant professor in 1965. He is a co-founder of the School of Engineering's electro-optics graduate program in the School of Engineering. During his career, he was principal investigator on funded research that totaled more than $3 million and a principal scientist on projects that totaled more than $6 million.

Yaney is the vice chair and webmaster of the Affiliate Societies Council (ASC) of Dayton, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization of delegates from professional engineering, science and technology societies and clubs. As an ASC member, he helped create TechFest, an annual two-day program intended to excite young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Yaney is the exhibit coordinator of TechFest, organizing more than 70 exhibits each year. More than 20,000 students have participated in the even since 2003.

He and his wife, Mary, have been members of the St. Francis Parish of Assisi Parish in Centerville for about 20 years. There he has been a lector, choir member, small church community facilitator and member of the design committee for a new church building completed in 2004. He maintains the church's sound system, office computers and parish website.

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church will present the award to seventeen others this Sunday. They include: Barbara Saine, Bishop Alfred Lee Ringer, Don and Karen Chrystal, Rose Ebel, Frankye Herald, Guy B. Richardson, Knights and Ladies of St. Peter Claver Ct 353, The LEAD Organization, Marjorie Farris, Marilyn Grinstead, Mary Johnson, Michael and Mary Ann Monseur, Ray Roell, Sally Diane Johnson, Sister Annette Grisley, O.S.F., Sister Judy Kroeger, CPPS, The Jacob's Family.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or