On a humid day in March, Rich May wandered into an antique store in Houston. He was seeking literature to help him write a paper for The Immaculata, a Marian magazine. Instead he found, sitting on the worn shelves, a small, copper-colored hymnal dating back to 1841.
He thought of his friend Father Tom Thompson, S.M. ’58, from the University of Dayton whom he would be seeing in May at the conference of the Mariological Society of America, which furthers scholarship and understanding of Mary, the Mother of Christ. May thought Thompson might enjoy receiving as a donation to the University’s Marian Library the book titled Songs of Mary for the Month of May and the Feast of the Blessed Virgin.
“God wanted me to get it for him, not my paper,” May said.
May knew the significance of the hymnal when he saw it. The hymnal originally came from Paris and was approved by the archbishop of Paris in 1841. At that time, Father William Joseph Chaminade was in Bordeaux, France, where he had founded in 1817 the Society of Mary, which in turn would found UD in 1850. Given proximity and the theme of the hymnal, the title would have likely been known to the Marianists in France, Thompson said.
Thompson said he was happy to receive the gift and began flipping through the roughly bound pages and translating the French texts.
“The lyrics are very warm and affective,” Thompson said. “There are hymns to the Virgin Mary reminding us that she was the mother of Christ. While we worship only God, we are devoted to Mary, as she was close to God.”
The songs are traditional to 19th-century France. While songs sung in church at that time were all in Latin, the hymns in French were sung at evening devotionals and in the home. The music includes two-handed full-chord notation for piano.
“Families likely held this hymnal and sang together around the piano,” Thompson said.
The book resides in the Marian Library at Roesch Library. Thompson said the hymnal is surprisingly well-kept for its age. There are no loose pages, and it is still able to be sung out of, though there are no plans to do so any time soon.
“It can be used, but it is more so a part of the history of the hymnody,” Thompson said.
Call it a challenge to all fellow UD alumni.
After a visit to campus for the first time since graduating in 1969, the women of 1614 Alberta St. crafted a plan to ensure other alumni reconnect, reunite and give back.
Scattered around the country after graduation, the former roommates once sent a round-robin letter, each adding a letter to the envelope before sending it on. “Sometimes it took a full year to get to everyone. But I was proud of us for keeping it up for several years,” said Karen Dreidame Weber.
After that, it was Christmas cards and occasional reunions with a few of the roommates. But in July 2014, everyone was able to make it to the Cincinnati area for the first-ever full reunion of 1614 Alberta. “We just picked up right where we left off. It was like no time had passed,” Weber said.
The group — including Carol Mattingly Hallett, Ellen Dickinson Byrnes, Kim Costin Carmichael, Kathy Fortman Hutter, Patty Cunerty Rees and Weber — arranged to take a tour of campus. The one place they weren’t able to see on the tour, however, was 1614 Alberta. In its place is ArtStreet, an arts-based learning-living facility that opened in fall 2004. “It was sad to see that our house was no longer there, but we were really impressed to see the rest of campus,” Rees said. “It’s amazing to see the changes, the growth that has occurred.” James Brothers from the Division of Advancement acted as their tour guide.
In honor of their experience at UD, the roommates created the 1614 Fund. They have pledged an annual gift, allocating the yearly amount to an area of their choosing. “We were really impressed with the new physician assistant practice program while on our tour, so our first gift will be toward that,” Weber said.
They have issued a challenge to other alumni who are former roommates, teammates or groups of friends to do the same.
“This has been a great thing to bring us together again and to feel like we continue to be a part of the University,” Rees said. “We’d love to see it be contagious for other alumni to celebrate their time here and continue to enrich the lives of future UD graduates. We are grateful for the time we had at UD, as we know so many others are.”
University of Dayton mail is being delivered at the speed of light now that two electric vehicles have arrived on campus. The fleet, which also will be used by University parking services, is a gift from Cenntro Motors, a Nevada-based company that develops all-electric commercial vehicles. The donation supports the University’s Hanley Sustainability Institute initiatives. The vehicles are valued at $25,000 each.
Through the Hanley Sustainability Institute, the University’s current sustainability programs are being extended campuswide through an integrated approach to prepare students for the growing demand for sustainability skills in the workplace as well as for civic leadership on sustainability issues.
Phil Warth ’69 believes that if you know your neighbor, you will want to be friends. “To not know them is to misunderstand them,” he said.
Warth is the founder of Facilitated Growth, a New York-based private equity firm, and chairs the board of First Nonprofit Foundation. Warth has succeeded professionally in terrain where nonprofits meet entrepreneurship. Now he wants future UD students to succeed where their education meets public issues — and the world. He and his wife, Cynthia, have established a $1 million charitable trust at UD. It will fund critical thinking for evaluating public problems and policies and the expansion of geopolitical studies.
“I think understanding one another makes people less likely to support the notion of war and makes governments less likely to explore that,” he said.
Warth has come to know others in a variety of ways. He has served as a city planner, as president of America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank Network (now Feeding America) and as president and CEO of First Nonprofit Insurance Co.
He said UD helped him develop critical thinking skills, which he calls a “necessary component of getting to the truth of things.”
He said he also values UD’s close-knit campus, so the trust also will assist with renovations of Kennedy Union. “It’s THE gathering place on campus,” he said, “and it’s important for it to be comfortable and desirable.”
When charged with pitching a big idea, what would a group of writers come up with? A small conference that brings laughter, tears, learning and friendship — and lasts for 15-plus years.
Developed in 2000, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop began as a challenge from the University’s Alumni Association, said Teri Rizvi ’91, executive director of strategic communications.
“Ours was not the huge idea they were envisioning, but it has lasted,” Rizvi said. “Originally, it was going to be a one-time workshop to coincide with the Bombeck family’s gift of Erma’s papers to the University. The second time we hosted it, we laughed for three days and knew we would do it again.”
Started in 2004 with a $100,000 gift from the cousin of Marianist Brother Tom Price — the English professor and 1911 alumnus who told Bombeck those three magic words, “You can write” — the workshop’s endowment has recently picked up steam, garnering $33,000 from a spring fundraiser featuring nationally known author and performer Mary Lou Quinlan and two anonymous gifts totaling $50,000.
“Until recently, we’ve hid the light under the bushel, so to speak, about the workshop, which is crazy because it’s national in scope,” Rizvi said. “More and more, I’m seeing the potential for its long-term sustainability and growth.”
The endowment serves a two-fold purpose. First, it helps keep the workshop affordable for writers, many of whom pay their own way and whose experience runs the gamut from weekly newspaper columns and blogs to traditionally published books. Second, it ensures the long-term sustainability of a conference that supports writers — and provides an invaluable learning opportunity for students. Over the years, the workshop has attracted such household names as Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor, Phil Donahue, Nancy Cartwright, Gail Collins, Alan Zweibel, Lisa Scottoline and others.
“The Alumni Association continues to be a terrific supporter of the workshop,” Rizvi said. “Each session, they underwrite scholarships for students, allowing about 30 of them to attend for free. It’s a phenomenal gift, and it emphasizes the belief they have in the message of the workshop.”
Vicki Edwards Giambrone ’81, who served as Alumni Association president when the workshop originated and continued as a workshop volunteer and donor, said Bombeck’s influence played a crucial role.
“This project has been a labor of love for me and the UD Alumni Association since the beginning because of what Erma means to all of us,” she explained. “Erma often told the story of finding her calling at UD, so when the National Alumni Association was given the opportunity to work with the Bombeck family and create the workshop, it was a perfect match and a unique opportunity to honor someone who brought us all so much pride, laughter and joy.”
Social studies teacher Justin Parker ’14 arrives in his classroom each morning. By the end of the day, he will have seen 107 students sitting in front of him; but he also has the spirit of former social studies teachers behind him.
For Parker, a first-year teacher at Dayton Early College Academy, such a career was a goal set during his own high school years after a charity ballgame gave him a new perspective — and a Flyer connection.
“I had a particular teacher in high school that I wanted to model myself after,” said Parker, who attended Solon High School near Cleveland. That teacher oversaw an annual dodgeball tournament in memory of Solon social studies teacher David Yates, a 1981 UD graduate who died in 2000 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
“Every year, my teacher shared memories of Yates and how those experiences impacted his life,” Parker said. “Without ever meeting Mr. Yates, I learned how selfless he was as an educator and as a person. I did my best during my own time at UD to emulate those character traits.”
A magna cum laude graduate and Dayton Civic Scholars participant, Parker was also a recipient of the University’s David Thomas Yates Scholarship. A history major, Yates was president of the honorary history society and received the Dean Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Award of Excellence, given to the outstanding senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. Established in 2000 by Yates’ family, the scholarship has since been awarded 14 times to service-minded students training for teaching careers — students like Corinne Smyth Gries ’04, the scholarship’s first recipient. Today, she teaches education at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
“UD challenged me to look beyond the classroom and use my education to give back to others,” Gries said. “It was helpful and comforting to know that through the Yates scholarship, someone else was giving back and supporting my education. Earning the scholarship showed me that UD is a community that cares about the future generations of Flyers.”
Parker agreed. “The Yates scholarship held a very special meaning in my life,” he said. “My hope is to make an impact on the students I teach in the same way past teachers impacted me.”
So, they held a joint celebration with Crivaro’s parents, who were celebrating 60 years of marriage. They hired the West Chester Swing Kings, a 19-piece big band, and enjoyed a hot-and-cold buffet from Carlino’s Specialty Foods. And they encouraged guests to send gifts — but not the kind wrapped in pretty paper.
Instead, the couple asked attendees to give to the David Thomas Yates Scholarship at the University of Dayton.
“David Yates ’81 was my roommate for three years at UD, my best friend for nearly 23 years, the brother I never had, and one of my groomsmen,” Connor wrote in his anniversary invitation. “At UD, Dave taught me — a clueless hick from upstate New York — how to study and, by example, showed me there was nothing wrong with having a work ethic and striving for perfection. Dave inspired me to become an A student. I owe Dave for not only my academic achievements but also for my subsequent professional success.”
The duo met in Founders Hall and roomed together as the first residents of 361 E. Stewart St. in the newly built Garden Apartments. Yates helped Connor learn to study, and Connor, a security guard for Marycrest Hall and Campus South,
introduced Yates to new faces. Senior year, they shared the Dean Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Award of Excellence, the first time the honor was ever split.
“For two years before his death, Dave attended an annual Yates 5K Run/Walk in Solon, Ohio, that raised funds for ALS patients and their families,” Connor said. “The theme was ‘Celebrate Life,’ and that’s what we wanted to do with our anniversary. I miss Dave, but I’m grateful our paths crossed when we were young men at our beloved UD.”
At the announcement, there was a gasp from the crowd followed by a long ovation — sustained clapping for the new Hanley Sustainability Institute.
The campus community gathered in the Central Mall Sept. 19 to hear of the $12.5 million gift from George Hanley, a 1977 business graduate and member of the University of Dayton board of trustees, and his wife, Amanda Hanley, to support the University’s goal to become a national leader in sustainability education. It is the largest single gift in University history.
President Daniel J. Curran said the gift is an investment in the future of our planet from a couple who is passionate about environmental protection and the common good.
“At many universities, sustainability education is focused solely on the environmental sciences,” Curran said. “This gift will extend sustainability education across multiple disciplines. We’re deeply grateful to the Hanleys for their generosity and vision.”
Initial plans for the institute include developing an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in sustainability; creating an urban agriculture demonstration project with community partners; establishing Hanley Research Fellows and Hanley Scholars-in-Residence to support student and faculty research; and inaugurating the Hanley Conference on Sustainability Education. The goal is for the University to become the top-rated Catholic university on the STARS (Sustainability
Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) list for sustainability in higher education.
Noted Curran, “Sustainability is really a philosophy that stems from our Catholic, Marianist mission. It’s about how we protect the poor and vulnerable in our world. It’s about respecting human dignity. It’s about promoting the common good. In this respect the new Hanley Sustainability Institute complements our commitments in human rights research and education.”
The Hanleys took the podium to express their support for good work already achieved by the University community.
“My time here has affected … my life in so many ways,” George Hanley said. “This gift is about providing students, faculty and staff with the resources to solve the problems our world faces but also to take advantage of the opportunities.”
Added Amanda Hanley: “We are thrilled with UD’s national leadership and hope one day interdisciplinary sustainability education will run deep at every university.”
Ryan Schuessler, senior mechanical engineering student and director of the University’s 2014 Sustainability Week, said he’s seen interest in sustainability take off.
“A record number of first-year students selected sustainability as their learning-living community this year,” Schuessler said. “The sustainability movement is growing so fast. Students are looking for ways to link academics with action.”
Senior Saehan Lenzen is a mechanical engineering major with both a minor in sustainability and a concentration in energy systems.
“There’s so much passion for sustainability, and now we have the support for what we need to do. This pushes me toward staying [at UD] longer,” for a graduate degree, she said.
With the Hanleys’ lead gift, the University will launch a comprehensive campaign to raise additional funds from foundations, corporations and other donors to bring total funding for the institute to $25 million.
About the Hanleys
The Chicago couple have long been generous donors to the University. In 2007, they established the Hanley Trading Center in the University’s School of Business Administration. A recent gift supported the University’s ETHOS program, which allows students to use their engineering skills to implement locally sustainable technologies for humanitarian purposes around the world.
George Hanley is best known for founding Chicago-based Hanley Group, which was acquired by INTLFCStone, and for his membership at the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now CME Group. He presently serves as a co-founder and principal of Level 5 Trading.
Amanda Hanley is a strong advocate of environmental protection and innovative ideas for a healthier planet, people and economy. She has been working toward sustainable solutions for more than 25 years, serves on various environmental
boards, and frequently blogs about green issues.
George and Amanda Hanley created their family foundation in 1997. It has come to support organizations that are advancing environmental, educational and social empowerment solutions, both on a local and global scale. They are particularly drawn to innovative models in sustainability that can lead to wider systemic change and greater impact.
Sometimes, it’s OK to spend the summer indoors.
For the one to two undergraduate students chosen each year for a Lancaster-McDougall Award, devoting a summer to scholarship is a luxury. As one past recipient wrote, “It allowed me to devote my time to research without needing a part-time job.” A summer job pays the bills — but a summer of research paves the way to graduate programs and fruitful careers.
Like that of Wayne Lancaster ’69, a professor in Wayne State University’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. He and his wife, Lucy Grégoire, felt so strongly that student research is the key to future success that in 2010 they created a sustainable scholarship endowment to fund an undergraduate research award in biology. It is named after Lancaster and his mentor, the late Kenneth McDougall, who served as Lancaster’s master’s thesis adviser.
Such opportunities are what set the UD biology curriculum apart, says Mark Nielsen, department chair. “A unique strength of ours is our ability to get undergraduates involved in research. At larger institutions, they simply don’t have the room in their laboratories; at smaller schools, they don’t have the resources. Our faculty really depend on students to help further their research,” he said.
The emphasis on student-driven study starts with their Lancaster-McDougall application. The process is competitive, with students drafting their formal grant proposals in National Institutes of Health — the foremost funding agency for biomedical research — format. They identify a faculty mentor who will support them in the lab. And they tackle real problems that others need answers to.
“No one’s giving money away,” Nielsen explained. “It’s important that students learn how to earn money for their research and explain what it’s for. When you’re spending other’s money, you better have a hard, solid idea in mind, and be able to make it interesting.”
May 2014 biology graduate Georgios Tsissios’ solid idea involved softer surfaces. After attending a tissue regeneration seminar given by Panagiotis Tsonis, director of the University’s Center for Tissue Regeneration and Engineering, Tsissios became a molecular biology devotee. In summer 2013, a Lancaster-McDougall Award allowed him to experiment on the newt, an organism capable of regenerating an entire organ.
“Why do newts have this tremendous capability to regenerate part of their bodies, when other animals don’t? If we figure out the why, maybe one day we can apply this principle to other animals including humans,” Tsissios explained.
Tsissios, like many other Lancaster-McDougall graduates, says the summer research was just a beginning. He returned to UD this fall as a doctoral candidate in biology, where he will join Tsonis in his laboratory.
“At the very moment that I stepped in the laboratory, something changed inside me,” Tsissios said. “More than ever, I was sure that this is the discipline that best suits my ambitions. For the first time, I had to create my own experiment and hypothesis. I never felt more alive in all of my academic years than this time. Without this experience, I would probably have chosen a different career path.”
Michael Moran ’14 (at left, right), a 2012 Lancaster-McDougall recipient, is pursuing a master’s in immunology on his way to medical school, a plan spurred only after he worked on a project examining specific genes in eye development and their effect on Alzheimer’s disease.
Lauren Shewhart ’14 (at left, left) arrived at UD undecided on a major — and left as a mentor for other biology undergradutes. “The honor of winning this award gave me confidence that what I’m doing, other people care about,” she said.
Brittany Demmitt ’11 won a Lancaster-McDougall Award to study the impact of nanoparticles on the gut microbial community, a current hot topic in finding solutions to conditions that don’t have a clear genetic basis, such as diabetes, autism and multiple sclerosis. Today, she continues this research as a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder.
That’s the beauty of research, Nielsen says. Answering the question isn’t the the end; it’s a jumping off point to keep discovering.
Their favorite Flyers may be a team you’ve never heard of.
Ghetto Force, the University’s men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, has a fan base close to home in their families, whether created by blood or by common bond.
Joel Jira ’69 and his wife, Debbie, for example, are no strangers to UD or its athletics teams. Joel’s father, Joseph Jira ’31, played football for the Flyers for four years and was named to the Small College All-American Team in 1930. The couple’s son, Stephen Jira ’14, carried on the family tradition on a different field.
“Stephen loves Frisbee,” Debbie said, noting that they’ve donated funds to the team since 2009. “He loves the camaraderie with the other players. We often drive to watch him and his team, and team members have stayed at our house when they play nearby.”
Paul Kosmerl ’05 and Emily Puchala Kosmerl ’07 also frequently support the team’s efforts after experiencing firsthand the difficulties of keeping a sports club afloat.
Emily, a former member of the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, remembers how hard it was for the group to fundraise for the team’s many expenses, including travel to and from games. As a graduate looking to give back to UD, she knew where she wanted it directed.
“Traveling to Frisbee tournaments is so fun, and we wanted to make sure that continued,” Emily said. “Paul and I have been in the habit of donating, be it our time or funds, since before we left UD — we have to credit our parents, who taught us well. We feel really grateful for the things we’ve been given, and we know that
we should pay that back or forward when we have the chance.”
The Kosmerls aren’t the only ones; this year, nearly 100 UD alumni and parents have supported
the University through hobbies and interests that match their passions with student needs.
Groups like the student rescue squad, waterski team and math club have also benefitted, allowing
them to buy equipment, offer training and attend conferences. Often, these donors are as mysterious as they are generous.
Alexander Hunton ’14, a member of the University’s aero design team, can’t recall the amount of support
alumni have given his group, but he can tell you exactly how much it has helped.
“With the funds, we’ve purchased materials and aircraft components we wouldn’t have otherwise,”
Hunton said. “Donations have also helped us attend competitions, like the American Institute of Aeronautics
and Astronautics Design, Build, Fly competition, and the Oklahoma State University Speedfest competition, where we placed third last year in our first showing.”
Many people hope to leave a mark on the community through their professions, but few actually do. A new scholarship in the School of Law will thank a local attorney for leaving such an impression.
Public service became Lee Falke’s work when he took a job as assistant prosecuting attorney in Montgomery County, Ohio, nearly 60 years ago. Eight years later, he was elected county prosecutor, a position he held for 27 years. Falke earned respect from constituents, law enforcement and the legal community for his just, fair, diligent and principled leadership.
He served terms as president of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the National District Attorneys Association and, in 1975, established a victim assistance division, one of the first in the country, to help victims of violent crime. Falke has also served as a mentor to young professionals. Many have gone on to distinguished careers as judges, including Dayton Municipal Court Judges Bill Wolff and Carl Henderson, and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Kessler, who was the longest-serving judge on the court when he retired in 2007.
“Falke is known for his unique hiring practices,” said Larry Lasky ’77, a Dayton attorney who initiated the scholarship. “Many chief prosecutors require employees to be of the same political party. Falke hired someone of either party as long as they could try a case, tell the truth, be kind — and win.”
Lasky worked with Falke for more than 25 years and credits his success to their time spent together.
“Falke is not afraid to do what has to be done. He fired me twice and hired me three times. Altogether, I spent 26 years in his office and became a better lawyer because of it,” Lasky said.
A UD student for three years — long enough to become a two-time letterman in baseball — before transferring to Ohio State his senior year, Falke hired many UD School of Law students throughout his career.
“I tried to hire people who got good grades and seemed like they would be enjoyable to work with. At one time, I felt like I hired more students from UD than anywhere else around because so many of them posessed those traits,” he said.
Being in the spotlight is not something Falke enjoys, but he is honored and humbled to have a scholarship created in his name.
“I hope to use this as an occasion to show my appreciation to some of the people who got me here,” he said. “Also, when I worked as prosecutor, it seemed like many students did not fully appreciate the role of a prosecutor. I hope this scholarship will help students see prosecutors as the lawyers in the white hats, not the black hats.”
Falke’s career is a testament that prosecutors can do a great deal of good, something Lasky knows and others see, too.
“Falke made me a much better lawyer than I would have been on the street or on my own,” Lasky said. “His office had a very collegial atmosphere that taught people a lot and allowed them to do great things. I wanted him to see just how many lives he’s touched.”
Nearly half of the lawyers Falke employed who have held or currently hold public office also have a UD connection:
Hon. Sharon Ovington ’81 (LAW) – U.S. District Court
Hon. Barbara Pugliese Gorman ’74 (PSY) & ’77 (LAW) – Montgomery County Common Pleas Court
Hon. John Kessler – adjunct professor, UD School of Law
Hon. Dennis Langer – part-time faculty, UD School of Law
Hon. Judith Bene King ’69 (SOC) & ’77 (LAW) – Domestic Relations Court
Hon. Nick Kuntz Jr. ’65 (PMT) – Juvenile Court
The late Hon. James Cannon ’78 (LAW) – Dayton Municipal Court
Paul Roderer Sr. ’64 (HST) – Dayton City Commission
Mark Owens ’81 (LAW) – City of Dayton, Clerk of Courts