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Coming together

2:41 PM  Sep 28th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

Three couples got together to have a party and watch some Flyer basketball.

But their UD bond also comprises gratitude for the past and a commitment to the future.

Sue and Mike McCall ’68 have been following the Flyers, living in Dayton and staying connected to campus since he graduated in 1968 and they were married in 1969. As for most newlyweds, times were lean: Sue remembers Mike saying, “If we didn’t have to pay Woodman Park Apartments $137.50 a month, we’d be doing all right.

“But we have to buy basketball tickets.”

They may have needed a car more, but the Arena was just opening and, well, they are Flyers.

That they stayed in Dayton after graduation was partly a matter of luck. McCall, who had redshirted on the football team because of injury, was a fifth-year senior with most of his courses done when a couple of his Phi Beta Alpha brothers suggested he try a course or two in an emerging field — computer science.

“I fell in love with Fortran,” he said. That helped him land a job at NCR Corp. And, when he had the insight that supermarkets could more easily change prices with the use of what then passed for hand-held collection devices — that could be connected by radio — he was on the way to forming his own company. BASS Inc. was the early leader in the radio-frequency hand-held devices used widely today.

Beth Madison Pasternak ’76 and Gary Pasternak ’76 met on a basketball court at UD. Gary was a Flyer walk-on for a year before his electrical engineering studies took precedence. Athletics played a major role in Beth’s transition to UD. “My high school field hockey team,” she said, “just gathered up its sticks and balls and moved to UD.”

And they, too, were grateful for a UD education, realizing that their parents had to sacrifice to give them a private, Catholic education. But, she said, “if they hadn’t sacrificed, we wouldn’t be who we are today.”

Who they are and what they do took them away from Dayton to Ocean City, N.J. Gary’s engineering career has taken him to the position of manager of corporate facilities for the Campbell Soup Co. Beth has had a career in teaching and coaching.

The McCalls have been connected to UD for years; the Pasternaks had been away. But when both couples and others among the Flyer Faithful were invited — in conjunction with the A-10 basketball tournament in Atlantic City — to a party at the house of Claire and Stan Duzy ’70, they came.

Stan Duzy, looking back at a career that included being chief administrative officer at Kennametal in Pittsburgh, said he was reminded of a motto not yet coined when he started — Learn. Lead. Serve. In his career’s early stages, he said, “I was in a learning mode. Then I became involved in leadership roles, running companies. When I retired, I became more involved in service.

“My wife and I did work hard. We also realize we had a lot of luck. We were blessed. There are other people who work hard but aren’t that lucky.”

Stan and Claire have established a scholarship for student-athletes who are first-generation college students. The McCalls and the Pasternaks also support the University with their money and their time.

Mike McCall has served on the athletic advisory board and now serves on the Crotty Center Advisory Council for UD’s entrepreneurship programs.

The Pasternaks are following the example of Stan and Claire Duzy by opening their home for gatherings so UD people can get together, maybe talk a little about sports and about what the University of Dayton meant to them and will mean to others.

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