(from left) Colleen Brown and Kathy Sales of UD’s Campus Ministry department fasten fresh evergreen Christmas wreaths to the main doors of the chapel as they make preparations for Christmas on Campus which is tomorrow. The wreaths will remain on the chapel doors until Sunday, January 12, 2014, The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
12-5-13 by Larry Burgess
More seasoned Santas would be aghast to hear of the innocent mistake Bob Jones ’63 made while filling in for the legendary figure at Operation Joy, the 1962 precursor to today’s Christmas on Campus celebration.
“When I came back to the event after changing out of my Santa suit,” Jones said, “a little kid came up to me and said, ‘Santa Claus had a ring on just like that.’”
Sitting beside him as he told this tale, longtime friend — and Operation Joy chair — Judy Stonebarger Cerar ’63 laughed and said, “You’ve never told me that!”
Dayton locals Jones and Cerar (who have worked together on several Reunion Weekend committees over the years) made sure to catch up at their 50th class reunion in 2013. Flashing a cell phone picture of the two of them from that party, Jones said, “I made sure to get a picture with Judy. It’s pretty amazing, because we still talk about that first Christmas on Campus a lot.”
In 1963, Ellie Kurtz, director of UD’s student union for 30 years, recognized a good idea and built upon it, institutionalizing the night known as Operation Joy as Christmas on Campus. The event began as a way for students to celebrate the holiday with friends and their campus family before heading home for break.
Cerar says the initial idea for Operation Joy came from UD’s student council: “We wanted to do something for underprivileged children in the Dayton community for Christmas.” On that first Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m., 60 children and 15 students attended the free celebration. Highlights included singing Christmas carols, decorating a Christmas tree and presenting a gift to each child.
“It was powerful for everyone on the committee to see the kids’ genuine happiness upon receiving their gifts. Beforehand, we’d always been the recipients and, at that moment, we were
truly in a giving situation.”
The event has evolved into what is believed to be one of the nation’s largest single-day, on-campus community service events. In 2012, nearly three-quarters of the undergraduate student body took part, with many of them “adopting” approximately 1,000 local school children for the evening.
Christmas on Campus now features: a live Nativity; tree lighting; Santa’s Workshop with arts and crafts, cookie and gingerbread house decorating, and pictures; a children’s carnival; and live entertainment like dancers, bands, an improv comedy group and several character mascots. The Vigil Mass, generally that of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, closes out the night.
From dressing up as Santa Claus to emulating Mr. Claus through his actions, it’s a lesson that has stayed with Jones. He hopes to one day be chosen by the Christmas on Campus student committee to donate a large tree from his own yard as the celebration’s centerpiece.No Comments
Facilities workers (from left) Ben Haws and Randy Allison carry a bigger than life number five made of PVC pipe and Christmas lights to the Humanities Center from KU. The number five and a zero of similar construction will be displayed atop the main entrance of Humanities to indicate the 50th anniversary of Christmas on Campus.
12-3-13 by Larry Burgess
Men’s basketball coach Archie Miller teamed up with Maui middle schooler Ashley Peralta to win a charity free throw contest Nov. 24 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The eight college basketball coaches were matched with local students, and Miller and Peralta were the only pair to make both of their shots to go 4-for-4.
Peralta earned $300 for her school, and Miller led the Flyers to a third-place finish in the three-day tournament, including a first-round upset of No. 11 Gonzaga.
UD lost a heartbreaker to No. 18 Baylor in the second round, falling 67-66 after leading most of the game, but rebounded to beat Cal, 82-64, in the consolation finals.
On Dec. 2, the Flyers (6-1) earned a No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press poll, their first AP top 25 appearance since Nov. 22, 2009.
On this clear cool December day with lots of sunshine but no snow in sight except for the paper snowflakes in the window, Fawaz Alqatami, sophomore civil engineering student from Kuwait, studies in the Science Center overlooking KU Plaza.
12-2-13 by Larry Burgess
As we return to campus today from Thanksgiving break, the UD Faculty Brass Quintet performed Christmas tunes in KU Food Court’s dining area. Research shows music has a calming influence on us, slows down the heart rate, and increases happiness levels. Helping give us that good feeling with the sounds of the season is Yukitada Onitsuka as he plays with the quintet. Also present were: Michael Keener, Aaron Brant, Dave Zeng, and Dan Grantham.
12-2-13 by Larry Burgess
The residents of 226 L St. love the location of their house — but they love decorating the inside of it even more.No Comments
The 2013 UD Christmas on Campus tree was installed in Humanities Plaza this morning. It was donated by Bill and Cherie Colopy of Dayton. Felled this morning at 7:00 a.m. and set into place about 9:30 a.m., the tree will be the centerpiece of the 50th Christmas on Campus celebration.
11-30-13 by Larry Burgess
If not for that pesky 4,000 mile-plane ride over the Pacific Ocean and a tiny 2,400-seat gym that would only seat a small percentage of Flyer faithful, the men’s basketball team might seriously consider selecting Maui’s Lahaina Civic Center as its second home arena.
In 2003, the last time UD played in the Maui Invitational, the Flyers won the tournament. On Monday night, Dayton turned in another memorable performance in Hawaii, defeating No. 11 Gonzaga, 84-79. With the win, the Flyers (5-0) advance to the tournament semifinals to play No. 18 Baylor (5-0) tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 9:30 p.m. ESPN will televise the game.
The Flyers are 6-1 overall in three Maui appearances. In addition to its 2003 championship, Dayton placed third in 2000, beating No. 12 UConn and No. 6 Maryland.
The Gonzaga win was the first victory over a ranked team for third-year coach Archie Miller. Jordan Sibert led the Flyers with 23 points. Dyshawn Pierre had 15 points and nine rebounds, Devin Oliver added 12 points and Khari Price had 11.
The Flyer Faithful are thrilled to be moving to the winners’ bracket to face Baylor, but if Baylor had lost, the Flyers would have participated in a collaboration seen frequently among the University’s academic and religious units, but rarely, if ever, in athletics. Division II Chaminade, one of the three Marianist universities along with UD and St. Mary’s in San Antonio, is the host school for the Maui Invitational each year, and was in the same bracket with UD this year.
Although Chaminade lost, 93-77, Christophe Varidel scored 42 points, one point shy of the 43-point record. Varidel’s 10 3-pointers for Chaminade tied a tournament record. A Chaminade win would have led to a semifinal game with UD (as would losses by both UD and Chaminade), matching the Marianist schools against each other for the first time in their respective men’s basketball histories.
How did the tiny Hawaiian university become a host of a major college basketball event? As any good college basketball fan knows, in 1982, Chaminade, then an 800-student NAIA school, defeated No. 1 Virginia, featuring 7-foot-4 All-American center Ralph Sampson, in a game that was supposed to be little more than a scrimmage on Virginia’s trip home from playing two games in Japan.
Word of the 77-72 victory spread, and many still consider it the biggest upset in college basketball history. The idea of having an annual tournament in Hawaii also emerged from the attention, and, in 1984, the Maui Invitational was born, with Chaminade as its gracious host.
The event quickly became one of the premier early season college basketball tournaments, and always features some of the top teams in the nation. The games are usually pretty good, too, with matchups between top-ranked squads frequently coming down to buzzer-beaters or last-minute heroics.
Maybe the Marianist magic of 1982 has something to do with Dayton’s frequent success in Maui. And although they don’t play this year, perhaps sometime down the road, Chaminade and UD will both win their first-round games (unless Dayton is the top-seeded team, guaranteeing a first-round game with Chaminade), and face each other in an all-Marianist semifinal.No Comments
Here’s a message from a Flyer fan happy about UD’s win over Gonzaga last night 84-79 at the Maui Invitational. The note reads: “UD I’m proud of you”. We certainly are. Go Flyers.
11-26-13 by Larry Burgess