Wednesday September 3, 2014

Community

It's a word we use so often to define the University of Dayton experience.

And as the class of 2018 — the largest in the University's 164-year history — officially joined the proud University of Dayton family during a sometimes rainy, often hot, move-in weekend, "community" was on full display.

In words:

"You are all now community builders. It's a commitment: You're part of something bigger. It's easy to love being a member of the University of Dayton community, but the only way this great community will become better — and address its challenges — is that we all contribute." — President Daniel J. Curran, at Convocation, Aug. 26.

"We believe in building community across diversity. In a world that experiences violence and hatred, we need people who can build community and bridge differences. If we are at our best, you will learn to be a community builder, and you will be stretched to identify and use gifts you never knew you had." — Father Jim Fitz, S.M., rector, at New Student Orientation, Aug. 22.

In events:

As the marching band's upbeat music reverberated throughout University of Dayton Arena at the Aug. 22 new student orientation, cheerleaders led the first-year class through the cheer they'll chant the next four years and beyond: "Go Dayton Flyers!"

Whether students come from near or far the UD community welcomes them. Commuter students — who comprise about 28 percent of this year's first-year class — had their own welcome party Sunday, Aug. 24. "We encourage commuter students to seek on-campus jobs and clubs. We want them to know that conversations with their on-campus peers don’t have to stop at the topic of housing," said Joe Milton '17, a student leader for the NSO Commuter Student Welcome.

Dressed up — and a bit sleepy — the class of 2018 pledged their honor to UD and pinned each with emblems of their newfound Marianist pride at an inspiring Convocation ceremony Aug. 26 in RecPlex.

And in action:

The Dayton alumni chapter was one of many groups on campus assisting during move-in weekend. They distributed cold drinks and offered directions — to the recreation complex, or popular local eatery Milano's, or the nearest grocery story, or to an alumnus in their same field of study.

"We get a lot of questions from parents, usually with 'deer in the headlights' looks," said Gloria Marano '88. "We want them to know we've been there, and they'll be OK. They're part of the Flyer family now."

"It's good for parents to see alumni involvement," said Sally Payne Martino '55, who has volunteered for the past 12 years. "It speaks well of the University that so many of us are still very involved even after so many years."

It was certainly a warm, community welcome for the class of 2018, which in addition to being the largest in University history with an estimated 2,200 students is also among the most academically prepared and diverse first-year classes with the highest average test scores in school history and significant increases in the number of African-American and Hispanic students.

And total undergraduate enrollment for the fall semester is also expected to be record-breaking.

"With increased competition nationally and in Ohio, it's significant that demand for a University of Dayton education is continuing," said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing.

"It's a resounding endorsement of the academic quality and value of a Catholic, Marianist education."

An education that finds its roots — and its success — in community.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.

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