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Gratitude

1:35 PM  Oct 10th, 2016
by Eric Spina

During times of transition, I think it’s important to step back and reflect.

We teach our students to change and adapt to meet the needs of the times, but let’s face it, change is rarely easy for anyone.

I have been so impressed by how the University of Dayton has handled the presidential transition — from honoring the legacy of outgoing president Dan Curran to welcoming me and my family with open arms and open minds.

I’m particularly grateful to President Curran, who worked selflessly to make the transition seamless. Before I became president, he supported my working with him and others to fill four important administrative roles with outstanding leaders who will put their mark on our curriculum, diversity, student profile, and fundraising and alumni engagement efforts well into the future. 

With a smile and with grace, Dan made room for a new president. Together, we appeared at alumni community gatherings and followed the NCAA-bound Flyers to St. Louis. We jumped on a plane headed to Washington, D.C., to promote regional economic development at the annual Dayton Development Coalition’s Community Leader Fly-In.

We drove to Cincinnati to meet Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and talk about faith and identity, the soul of any Catholic university.

I’ve discovered that continuity and change are not mutually exclusive at the University of Dayton. We embrace both.

Nothing illustrates that better than this photo showing three presidents — Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., Dan and me — in a lighthearted moment. Its composition speaks volumes: Three presidents, three eras, one university.

As I pause to reflect on this smooth presidential transition, I know I’ve landed at a university that’s a model for higher education. This is a strong campus community that supports one another and looks to the future with confidence and faith. I believe, working together in the Catholic, Marianist spirit, we can reach higher than what we have imagined possible.

As we start a new chapter in the University of Dayton’s history, I am committed to listening to a diversity of voices, and I will strive to communicate in an open, transparent fashion. For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of campus life, subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Twitter or take a look at my daily Instagram photos @DaytonPrezSpina.

I’m inspired by the power of this community — and blessed to be a part of it. For that, I’m filled with gratitude.

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