“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, not for the over 600 alumni who migrated south after graduation to this fourth-largest and second-fastest growing U.S. city. Not only does Houston attract visitors to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, but it is also where Texas Medical Center — the world’s largest hospital — is located, along with 23 Fortune 500 companies.
For Christmas off Campus 2015, the Houston Alumni Community gathered to help pack 6,500 “backpacks,” providing children with six meals for the weekend. And, the loyal community enjoys having a strong following for basketball game watches throughout the season.
What out-of-this-world experience do you remember having while at UD?
“My senior year the men’s basketball team made it to the [NCAA Tournament] and the whole campus was agog. I don’t remember which game it was, but I stepped out on the porch for a moment. It was eerily quiet. I saw no one walking home, no one sitting out, nothing. And at that moment something happened in the game and I could hear the roars coming from every direction. College sports is about a shared experience, an ownership of our community. And at that moment I was definitely one with my community.” —Mary DeBauche ’90
“The student community at UD is extraordinary. I attribute that to the fact that it’s a Marianist school and students go there for
the faith as much as the classes offered. I was proud to be part of that community.”
—Jason Gavula ’94
“My senior year we had second row tickets in the student section for the Xavier game — that was the most alive that I have ever seen the Arena. We beat Xavier when they were ranked. That same year the team won the first NCAA Tournament game for UD since 1990. I remember watching with all of my friends and being so happy to be a Flyer. Watching the Flyers at UD Arena is really special because the entire community comes together united in support of our team.” —Brad Evans ’09
By the Numbers
Total Alumni 633
Flyer fusions 84
Most 1970s with 158
Arts & Sciences 199
Education & Health Sciences 90
The city of Philadelphia is the birthplace of the nation, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, debated and signed at Independence Hall. All the major U.S. professional sports are represented, including their own Flyers. “You can’t just say ‘I went to UD,’ or people might be confused with the other UD in the area, University of Delaware,” said alumni community leader Kris McCarthy McNicholas ’86.
Having schools in the area that are part of the A-10 conference brings fellow UD Flyers to the region often, with gamewatches being the most well-attended events this chapter holds. There are more than 25 universities in the geographic region, but clearly this chapter has its favorite.
How do you show your UD love in the city of brotherly love?
“I love UD, and I show my love by watching the UD games and wearing my Dayton Flyer attire to work on game days. I also attend events for prospective students and tell them my experiences and give them advice on what to expect.” —Aidan Curran ’13
“Not many people in the Philly area are familiar with UD, so I show my love for the Flyers by spreading the word. I do this in little ways like having a UD license plate border on my car, bringing a UD water bottle to work, and having UD stickers on my computer. Sometimes, these little things make great conversation starters. Even if they don’t, I find myself referencing my experiences at UD quite often in conversation.” —Christine Cirillo ’14
By the Numbers
Total Alumni: 1,692
Flyer fusions: 259
Most: 1980s with 528
Arts & Sciences 726
Education & Health Sciences 244
These Flyer alumni have moved out of the UD bubble and into the sprawling Dallas/Fort Worth area. “Our community is friendly, active and incredibly welcoming,” said community leader Julia Prior ’10.
It’s not all cowboys and barbeque — North Texas is a bustling metropolis with Fortune 500 companies and a diverse population from all over the world, she said. But location still matters. Much like the loyalty of residents to Stonemill Road or Woodland Avenue, these Texans are loyal to their municipality. “You won’t find someone with a Plano address telling people they live in Carrollton, even if the two are right next door,” Prior said.
DayMag asked: What’s your favorite Texas-sized Flyer moment?
“I would say a collection of moments — basically every UD basketball game-watching party. There are not a lot of UD alumni in Texas, much less in Dallas/Fort Worth. We turn out in force to support our team, however, whether it be a blow-out victory, a squeaker or a shocking defeat. My most recent memory is the Feb. 27 game against Rhode Island. The restaurant thought it could get away with one server at 11 a.m. on a Saturday. It thought wrong. Go UD.” —Shaun Hassett ’09
“As of two weeks ago, I have a new favorite Texas-sized memory: My son has decided to join the Flyer family and is officially a Dayton Flyer, Class of 2020.” —Erin Reilly ’97
“My favorite ‘Texas-sized’ Flyer moment was when I attended the Dallas Mavericks game with the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter. It was an incredible event, and I was so shocked to see as many Flyer alums as I did. It was fun to meet new people from this area and attend an exciting game. Being
so far from UD has been hard, but attending events like these and making connections with fellow Flyers has made it better.” —Katie Giacomini ’15
For about 300 Flyers, the yellow brick road — from UD to the rest of their lives — led to the Emerald City. From hot jobs to hot java, they’ll tell you there’s no place like a Seattle home.
DayMag asked: How did you wind up in Seattle, and how soon after graduation did that happen?
“I relocated to Seattle from Chicago three years ago for my position with Amazon.com, where I led a worldwide team of data scientists and business intelligence engineers that implemented data science solutions. I have since left Amazon to form a startup, Lumidatum, that provides a cloud data science platform to make data prediction easy.”
—Patrick Rice ’04
“Inspired by the intense beauty of the Olympics, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and Mount Baker circling a very green city, I moved to Seattle in July 2010. I walk to work and ride my bike to the
beach. In Ohio, I drove 20,000 miles annually; in Seattle, I average 500. The Pacific Northwest was also much more inclusive of LGBT residents than the Midwest at the time. Seattle has provided an excellent quality of life that matches my interests and values.”
—Bill O’Connell ’86
“Toward the end of my senior year, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and was placed in Seattle. I left for JVC orientation thinking my great Pacific Northwest adventure would last one year, and then I’d return to Ohio. I’m still in Seattle more than 33 years later!”
—Celia Thomas ’82
Alumni By the Numbers
Total Alumni 342
Arts & Sciences 147
*15 alumni hold both types of degrees
Less than 75 miles east of Dayton, alumni in Columbus, Ohio, often feel just a few steps away from UD’s back porch. With nearly 10,000 Flyers roaming the capital’s streets, intentional reunions are easy — and random sightings aren’t uncommon.
We often hear of random run-ins between Flyers out and about. What’s the most recent encounter you’ve had with a fellow Flyer, and where were you?
“We have five lawyers in our suite of offices [at Cline Mann Law], and four are UD law grads. The fifth is an Ohio State law grad — but his son went to UD for undergraduate school. UD is taking over the universe! At least my universe.”
—William Mann ’79
“I run into Rob Ryan ’93 about every other week at a random restaurant in Grandview, Ohio. It’s never planned; just random bumping into.”
—Jeff Mattingly ’92
“I meet Flyer folks in airports, the grocery store, waiting for a train, sitting in a watering hole — pretty much somewhere, anywhere in the world.”
—John H. Heller ’78
Columbus Alumni By the Numbers
Total Alumni: 9,116
Arts & Sciences: 1,992
Frankly, my dear, they’ll always be Flyers
Yes, Atlanta is the Georgia state capital. But it also boasts another significant — albeit unofficial — title, according to its residents.
“A lot of people here refer to Atlanta as the ‘Capital of the South,’ and I think that rings true and attracts people to move here,” says Kevin Miskewicz ’09, current leader of the Atlanta Alumni Community.
Home to nearly 1,300 UD alumni, it’s not just the warm weather and Southern charm that attract these former Flyers to migrate south.
“The weather here is great — you still see all four seasons, but the winter is a lot milder,” Miskewicz says. “I think the tremendous growth that the city has experienced in the past decade is really what draws alumni here. There are a ton of opportunities.”
According to Miskewicz, there are a few striking similarities between Atlanta residents and its UD alumni community.
“The Southern hospitality that you experience here is very similar to the community feel on UD’s campus,” Miskewicz says. “People are very friendly and open. You find yourself talking to the grocery store cashier like you’d talk to your grandma.
“Also, so many residents of Atlanta — like so many members of our alumni community — are transplants. It’s pretty rare to meet a resident who was born and raised in Atlanta. Which means you’re exposed to a wide variety of cultures and ethnicities, which offers a pretty cool living experience.”
Bringing people together is a hallmark of the Atlanta Alumni Community. Each year, the community plans an outing to an Atlanta Braves game and participates in Christmas off Campus, among other activities. In 2014, for the third straight year, the group participated in Holidays around the World at the Franklin Road Community Association, helping children decorate more than 250 Christmas cookies.
The community also recently teamed up with alumni associations from several other Ohio colleges — including Miami University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo — to host a networking event and minor league baseball gamewatch.
“Meeting up with other Ohio college alumni was a great success because it allowed us to pool our resources and bring more people together who have a lot in common,” Miskewicz says.
Through his involvement with the alumni community, Miskewicz is constantly reminded that there is no school like UD.
“Not every school tries as hard to stay connected with its alumni like UD,” he says. “We’re lucky that UD puts forth the effort to keep us
connected to campus and is constantly engaging us and reminding us of all the fun we had
while we were there.”
Nestled between the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers is a town that some call “America’s most livable city” or “the Steel City.” For 1,880 University of Dayton alumni, this hidden gem and gateway to the Midwest is simply called “home.”
The alumni presence in Pittsburgh has boomed in the last decade due to a resurgence in industry and a rise in job creation. Chris Webb ’95, leader of the city’s alumni community, moved his family there four years ago for a position with U.S. Steel.
“The people in Pittsburgh are great,” he said. “When we moved here, the first thing I did was reach out to the UD alumni community to connect with people, and we were welcomed with open arms.”
One of the unique aspects of the Pittsburgh area is an immeasurable and undefined quality that combines big-city resources with a small-town feel. Similar to the spirit on UD’s campus, community is a big part of the Pittsburgh way of life.
“There’s just something special about UD and the connection you feel with people from UD no matter what year they graduated,” Webb said. “Pittsburgh has a very similar community feel to it, and I think that is attractive to a lot of UD alumni.”
The other common thread that makes UD graduates feel right at home is Pittsburghers’ obsession with their sports teams. Each summer, Webb and the rest of the alumni community organize a trip to take in a Pirates baseball game at PNC Park, one of the nation’s premier ballparks. While cheering for the Black and Gold is fun, the alumni community makes sure to stay true to its Red and Blue roots.
During the basketball team’s Elite Eight run in 2014, Webb said, the alumni community had several watch parties to collectively cheer on the Flyers. It is Pittsburgh’s proximity to one of UD’s biggest rivals, however, that allowed Webb and the rest of the community to start a new annual tradition when the Flyers come to town.
“It started last year, when UD came to town to play Duquesne,” Webb said. “We rented out the Blue Line Grille across the street from the Consol Energy Center, where the game was played, to have a big party for all the alumni in the area and anyone else in town for the game. We had a huge turnout because we put our ‘UD Alumni Community’ sign in the front window of the restaurant — Flyer fans just started swarming in.”
As they say, birds of a feather flock together — and so do the Flyer Faithful.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT ROOTING FOR THE FLYERS AT UD ARENA, WHICH PITTSBURGH SPORTS STADIUM IS YOUR FAVORITE?
“PNC PARK, because you have a beautiful view of the Pittsburgh skyline, and every seat has a fantastic view of the game.” —Jennifer Huber Kirschler ’89
“For me, there is nothing better than taking my 6-year-old granddaughter to PNC PARK by the river on a sunny Sunday afternoon.” —Thomas Fox ’70
“PNC PARK is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the U.S., and I’m a season ticket holder at HEINZ FIELD. The CONSOL ENERGY CENTER is also a great venue (and I’m not a huge hockey fan).” —James Bernauer ’70
As holiday festivities rolled around, alumni in Milwaukee were laser-focused on the big event: Christmas (Off Campus, that is).
This season, their community served dinner at the Guest House of Milwaukee, a men’s homeless shelter. It’s one of a series of yuletide projects alumni like Susan Timms Cantwell ’86 have looked forward to year after year.
“We’ve volunteered with the shelter for the last four years, and I love seeing residents engaged through cookie decorating and ornament making,” said Cantwell, who’s been active with the Milwaukee group for 15 years.
One year, there was a day spent sorting shelter donations; another year, the crew helped stage a performance of the Nativity with children at a local church, complete with costumes and set direction. Another time,
Flyers hosted a Christmas party at the Boys and Girls Club, dressing up in animal masks and diving into ornament decorating.
“My husband and I both went to UD,” Cantwell said. “I love to share the feeling I got while being at school. The memories, the emotional nostalgia and the love from growing up on campus is why I drag everyone I can over to Dayton.”
Community leader Jennifer Johnson ’07 made a beeline for the group as soon as she moved to Milwaukee in 2013.
“The opportunity to combine my passion for Milwaukee and UD was a no-brainer,” she said. “My goal as community leader is to make sure I’m easily available to area alumni and perpetuating a learn, lead and serve lifestyle.”
So what’s a Milwaukee community to do the other 364 days a year? Continue coming together with purpose. They frequent businesses unique to southern Wisconsin — like the Lakefront Brewery, where every tour ends with a round of the Laverne & Shirley TV show theme song — and those with Flyer connections, like Purple Door Ice Cream, owned by Lauren McCoy Schultz ’01.
From reindeer cookies to musical pints, Milwaukee alumni say the best part about getting together is seeing the Marianist values they learned on campus living outside Dayton.
Save us a seat.
There’s a lake, the northern climate and three horticultural domes. So, which season is your favorite for experiencing Milwaukee?
“The very beginning of summer. There is such an excitement then. There might still be crispness in the air from spring, but everyone is outside and ready to take on all things Milwaukee.”
—Lauren McCoy Schultz ’01
“I love our area. My favorite season is fall, but I can describe my favorite things about here, regardless of season, to anyone, anytime.”
—Carrie Ballard ’01
“While the recent display of beautiful fall color tried to sway me, in summer Milwaukee shines brightest. Residents get Summerfest’s selection of musical acts, cultural festivals and the opportunity to take full advantage of our Great Lake
by boat or beach. Summer is the best time to take in a play in the woods at Spring Green’s American Players Theatre after touring the grounds of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin estate.”
—Greg Calhoun ’08
It’s summertime, all the time, for California Flyers
When Steve Geise ’92 took the reins as leader of the San Diego alumni community, it was on the verge of being shuttered.
“We were barely kicking,” Geise said.
Despite the wildly popular Christmas off Campus event, led since 1999 by Phil Cenedella ’84, and the bi-annual Surf and Turf tailgating fete, Flyer alumni didn’t gather regularly in America’s Finest City. So Geise did what any self-respecting Flyer would do to draw Southern California area graduates together: he added a table.
Geise, a partner with Jones Day law firm, explained, “I organized a brewery tour and tasting and billed it as a lifelong learning event” to draw more alumni support. It worked. Afterward, with the spicy scent of hops still swirling in the air, Geise pledged to keep the momentum alive.
San Diego counts among its UD cohort some 400 members, mostly transplants from other states, but they’re scattered up and down the Pacific Coast and as far inland as El Cajon. Although the dispersion presented a geographical challenge, Geise, originally from New York, instead recognized it as an opportunity.
Drawing on the if-you-build-it-they-will-come mentality, he and his team began hosting a flurry of Flyer gamewatch parties, networking nights, beach cleanup service projects, brunches, Masses and dinners with alumni. Attendance swelled with a cross-section of graduates from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and Geise now proudly reports their once-fledgling community is blossoming.
“Despite being the farthest I’ve lived from campus, I really feel close to the school,” he reports.
Lest anyone think that the San Diego alumni community is kicking back and resting on its newly resurrected palm fronds, the members are learning more besides the science of craft brew. The community is learning valuable lessons about what draws SoCal folks halfway across the country to UD and how to stay engaged with those students while they’re enrolled and after they graduate.
Whether it’s a dinner — similar to the one 1999 grads Chris Duncan and Kristin Blenk Duncan recently held in their San Diego home for a group of current students — or slinging fish tacos at a campus recruiting event, Geise has figured out keen ways to inject the Marianist values and the red-and-blue UD colors into the sun-kissed Southern California community.
“We’re so far away from campus, but when we get together, it’s like we’re on Brown Street,” Geise said. “Only we’ve got palm trees.”
IT’S ALWAYS SUMMER IN SAN DIEGO. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEACH READ?
“I enjoyed THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame).” —Carol Gibson Lewellen ’72
“BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel Joseph Brown. The story follows University of Washington rowing team members through college in the 1930s all the way to the Olympics. It’s soon to be released as a movie, and I think Flyers will like it.” —Mary Beth McCabe ’79
“BICYCLE MAGAZINE because San Diego is great for biking. All roads have bike lanes and you can ride year-round.” —Bob Raibert ’90
“I just finished Mariano Rivera’s THE CLOSER and Tony La Russa’s ONE LAST STRIKE. It’s the perfect combination for me, since the beach and baseball are my two favorite things.” —Maggie VanDura ’10
“If you do not like the Sunday comics, then it has to be JAWS by Peter Benchley. ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat.’” —Dan Shillito ’70
Reno can call itself whatever it wants; Louisville’s the biggest little city in the world, say Flyers there. In this city, the 700-person-strong alumni community is known as the “few but faithful.”
“Louisville’s a great town for a community like UD alumni because of the nature of the city,” explains John Gueltzow ’06, community leader. “It’s not particularly big, and given that most of our alumni went to one
of the same four or five Catholic high schools, a lot of us already know each other or are connected through mutual acquaintances.”
Former community president Traci Hall ’04 points to the impact the group has not just in Louisville but also back in Dayton. “Our community is unique because, while we’re not in Ohio, we’re close enough to host an on-campus event occasionally. We’re small but big enough to make a difference,” Hall said, noting that
the Louisville community boasts the largest percentage of alumni who give back to the University.
Gueltzow, who was born and raised in Louisville, now owns his own law practice in town. Louisville alumni are a core group of active members, and Gueltzow cites basketball gamewatches as his community’s favorite event — and 2014’s tournament run was no exception.
“This year was particularly fun. We met at Shenanigans, a friendly neighborhood place. We had nearly 100 people in attendance for the Sweet 16 game against Stanford. The management got really excited, serving
drinks in UD glasses and hanging a sheet sign outside to let passersby know it was where Flyer alumni
came together,” Gueltzow said.
One thing Dayton and Louisville have in common? Loyal fans.
“We’ve also had outings to Bats games, our minor league baseball team,” Hall said. “We don’t have major league sports in town, but we have minor league teams and our shared love of college athletics.”
In this Kentucky town, though, there’s another sporting event the community looks forward to each year.
“The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest annual events in Louisville, which means it’s also one of the busiest for our alumni,” Hall said. “But, we always try to join in the excitement, and it’s not unusual to find a red-and-blue crowd at Churchill Downs each May.”
In fact, the horses run so fast, they seem to fly — obviously, they’re UD fans.
IT’S GAME TIME: WHAT’S YOUR MUST-HAVE TAILGATING SNACK?
“You need RICE KRISPIE TREATS. Kids love them and adults who say they don’t are lying.”
—Tracie Doyle Stoll ’95
“PRETZEL RODS AND BEER CHEESE from Paul’s Market. We wouldn’t head to a game without it.”
—Lisa Thomas Hartung ’84
“A HOMEMADE SANDWICH: turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, red pepper mayonnaise, pepper
jack cheese, salt and pepper on sweet Italian bread. It is awesome.”
—Rob Nunnelley ’80
—Robert Kremer ’91, Aaron Miller ’94 and Kristi Jo Jedlicki ’90