In 1850, St. Mary’s School for Boys opened with 14 students, one building — and most likely, a stack of books constituting a modest library. Here’s how the University’s 165-year-old academic center has transformed itself for the 21st century. (Hint: It involves hashtags.)
In the lobby, a delivery driver — summoned by a famished student study group — balances a stack of pepperoni pizzas. In the next room, history faculty consult with local historians to put the finishing touches on an exhibit commemorating Dayton’s 1913 flood. Upstairs, staff eye their computer screens as someone in Romania — and then someone in South America, and then someone in New Zealand — downloads the latest article from the Marian Library Studies journal.
In other words, it’s a typical afternoon in the University of Dayton Roesch Library.
Once viewed as an austere collection of books and bricks serving an exclusive group of equally solemn faculty and students, today’s academic library is a vibrant knowledge hub offering information and entertainment for people on campus, in the community — and even halfway around the world.
This isn’t your grandfather’s — or even your father’s — library.
In the beginning … there were books.
One of the oldest — but hardiest — institutions in civilization, the concept of a library was invented soon after we began chipping away at clay tablets and marking on papyrus scrolls. As History Magazine wrote in 2001, “Whether private or public, the library has been founded, built, destroyed and rebuilt. The library, often championed, has been a survivor throughout its long history and serves as a testament to the thirst for knowledge.”
The first record of a library on the University’s campus came in 1866, when a circulation record was referenced in St. Mary’s School paperwork. By 1876, a Brothers’ Library is mentioned in house council minutes. A decade later, the school catalog notes students must pay a $1 fee for use of the college library (a circulating library existed in the study room of each division). Chaminade Hall housed two libraries — one each for faculty and students — and a “special library” of spiritual reading books, later called Zehler Library and housed in St. Mary’s Hall.
In meeting minutes from Jan. 17, 1897, the need for a new library was discussed. Answering that call in the early 20th century was Chicago financier and St. Mary’s alumnus Victor Emanuel ’15, who gave $200,000 to build a stand-alone university library in honor of his father, Albert Emanuel. When the building opened in 1928, the school’s total enrollment was just shy of 900.
Less than 50 years later, UD’s enrollment had soared to 10,000, and the seven-floor, 176,220-square-foot mammoth of 1960s architecture now known as Roesch Library was built. It included the Marian Library, founded in 1943, and, with the blessing of the academic council, admitted professional librarians to faculty rank.
So, how does an institution with a 5,000-year history — and more than 150 years’ worth of campus presence — stay relevant in an era of 8-second attention spans?
It offers timely resources, with a side of Bill’s Donuts. (And then tweets about it.)
CHANGE OF SCENERY
“The library is one of the largest non-classroom buildings on campus, but a lot of learning still happens here,” said Kathy Webb, dean of University Libraries. “Our mission is to help facilitate the
learning in a variety of different formats.”
Like enticing students to come inside and learn more about the building’s offerings by passing out warm donuts on a fall morning, or organizing a multi-floor scavenger hunt for new student orientation — activities that, 25 years ago, were rare, said Maureen Schlangen, e-scholarship and communications manager for Roesch Library.
“More than 250 students participated in last year’s scavenger hunt, way more than we anticipated,” Schlangen said. “The prize was a free Popsicle, and we had to send someone to pick up more because we ran out. It’s unlikely a fun activity like that would have occurred to anyone, let alone happened, three decades ago. The library was a serious place for serious study and serious research.”
It still is, she noted, but the perception of what a library can do, and should do, has changed.
Said Katy Kelly, Roesch Library’s communications and outreach librarian, “The library is for everyone, and it can be serious, but it can also be a bit fun; it is what you
make of it.”
Ethan Frey ’16 has used the library all four of his UD years but is still impressed with its offerings.
“The front desk is a great resource. Not only can they tell you where to find certain books, but they can lend headphones and provide campus directory assistance,” he said. Perhaps more importantly: “It is also the only library I have been in that features a coffee shop,” he added, referring to The Blend, a student-run business in the Learning Teaching Center on Roesch Library’s ground floor.
Classmate Peter Hansen ’18 agreed, noting, “My library back home was nothing like Roesch; it was a one-room hall filled with dusty books and broken computers.”
Such shifts may be simple, but they’re important — and reflect changes happening not just at UD but in our culture at large.
“Our society has changed — we’re more casual now, and the library needs to evolve with that,” Webb said, noting that a policy update several years ago to allow bottled water first had to be put to a library staff and faculty vote. “It was a big deal. Now, students are welcome to have pizza delivered. We added a microwave on the second floor so they can heat their lunch from home. During final exams, students have been known to plug in coffee makers, set up sleeping bags and string Christmas lights.”
Taking a more active, rather than passive, approach to customer service is relatively new. Through email, website and social media, the library has regularly surveyed students on everything from carpet and paint colors (after hearing that the 1990s-era jewel tones were “too dark and gloomy”) to how late the library should stay open (the magic number: 5 a.m.). When Webb asked the University’s facilities crew to deliver three different chair styles — then set them out for students to test — it was the first time library staff had consulted students about the furniture where they routinely camp out. Two students also sit on the libraries’ advisory committee.
Said Webb, “I don’t think your father’s library listened to students. To have an opportunity to give feedback is very new. In an old-fashioned library, we wouldn’t have seen the need to provide both noisy and silent study spaces, but students asked for both, so we worked with them to identify and publicize the noise levels on each floor.”
IN WITH THE NEW
Unlike some entities that have experienced massive transformations over the past few decades — like mass media, for instance — libraries haven’t replaced their offerings; they’ve simply added to them. It’s an either/and, not an either/or, situation.
“Our physical circulation of print books has gone down, but our downloads of e-books and e-journals is skyrocketing. We’ve had many more visits to and requests for special exhibits and lectures, and those are things we didn’t spend a lot of time doing when I first arrived at the library in 1993,” Webb said. “We were busy showing people how to use print indexes. Now, it’s easier for people to handle online keyword searches on their own, so we can devote time to new projects.”
That change isn’t unique to Roesch. Krista Veerkamp ’12, a library services assistant at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, notes that “the library has changed so much from its traditional sense of simply providing books and information; it’s now a center for learning and discovery.”
One example: Forgot your phone charger or need a flip camera and video editing software to make your class presentation stand out? Roesch Library can loan you a device for that. The library now also teaches two credit-bearing classes for the philosophy and international studies departments, offers one-on-one librarian mentoring for honors students working on theses, and assists UD’s information technology office by administering software for faculty to track their scholarship, teaching and service.
In fact, very few of the library’s exhibits don’t have a curricular tie-in, Webb said. Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress featured highlights from the Rose Rare Book Collection hand-selected by faculty to support the University’s emphasis on liberal arts. Lectures and panel discussions on themes found in the collection — including religion, typography, science and banned books — encouraged conversation.
University Archives and Special Collections — part of University Libraries, along with Roesch Library and the Marian Library — is also preserving the University’s past in real time with eCommons, a free online repository. UD’s version features everything from current scholarly research by faculty to The University of Dayton Alumnus from 1929.
“Our alumni, even though they aren’t on campus, can read what our faculty are doing in human rights research or see the student posters presented at the Stander Symposium,” Webb said. “It’s a one-stop-shop to experience the breadth of scholarly activity happening on our campus.”
It’s not only Flyers who benefit, Schlangen added. “There’s also a perception of academic libraries as being closed to the public. Now, we have exhibits where we actively encourage people off-campus to engage with our library, not just to view the exhibit but to look at all the other resources we have.”
Library services and exhibits are available to alumni and community members, not just students. In fall 2014, for instance, 8,000 people visited the library to view highlights from the Rose Rare Book Collection; the year prior, 5,400 came to see Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible and its accompanying presentations. Each Thanksgiving, about 800 people flock to the opening day of the University’s festival of crèches.
“With our exhibits and events, the University invites the public to come and experience something that is integral to our mission as a Catholic, Marianist university, in a way that is different than attending an athletic event, arts performance or lecture series,” Webb said.
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT
On a daily basis, Roesch Library sees approximately 1,800 students come through its doors each day — about 200 more visitors than the University’s RecPlex sees during the same time. During the 12 days of final exams each year, that library number jumps to 2,600, which is higher than the average student attendance (1,050) for basketball games in UD Arena.
“It’s a neutral space,” Webb explains. “Some of the academic buildings are limited to certain majors, or you need your student ID to access them after business hours. But everyone can get into the library.”
Like dining halls, the library is very much part of the campus experience these days, she said. “It used to be strictly functional, and a little bit stressful — it was tough going through the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, and you were doing it on your own. Now, there’s a social element and a teamwork function that reflects not just how people learn in the classroom but how they work in the professional world. It’s not just about new technology; it’s about how people are interacting differently.”
Based in part on the feedback the library solicits from students, its physical space sports several changes from when it opened in 1971. Built primarily to be storage from the second floor up, Roesch Library has now been reconfigured to make it more comfortable and user-friendly.
“We’ve been intentional about putting in moveable, comfortable furniture so students feel a sense of ownership; we want them to feel like this is a space they want to be in, where they have what they need to hang out and get their work done,” Webb said.
Kelly agreed. “We want the library to be for everyone, so everyone can find a place here,” she said. “What makes Roesch Library what it is, is the people: the people that work here and the people that use the library. The books you see on the shelf were selected by librarians. The paint colors on the study floors and the chairs you sit in were voted on by students. This makes the library unique to the UD experience, and truly a place made for people by people who care.”
The Knowledge Hub, an innovative new space on the first floor that opened in 2014 and is already averaging nearly 600 visitors per day, combined several student resources — like research assistance, peer writing support and tech-enabled team tables — into one central location. So far, the Knowledge Hub has provided 834 research consultations, 3,541 writing consultations and answered 6,057 questions.
It’s a model based on integrating, instead of simply co-locating, services that help students.
To be a librarian in ancient times was an esteemed profession, since it meant you were one of the elite few who could read. Today, those in the library field still provide valuable services, albeit with a job description that’s changed a bit.
Librarianship as a profession in the U.S. exploded after the Civil War, helped along in 1876 by the founding of the American Library Association (ALA) and the publication of the Dewey Decimal classification system. The first library school was founded by Melvil Dewey in 1887, and in 1928, the first doctorate in library science was awarded by the University of Chicago. By the 1960s, the library profession was becoming increasingly technical — what began as managing books under Dewey was quickly moving toward information science.
Today’s librarians are still the keepers of a wealth of information: where to find it, and what to do with it. In addition to the traditional roles of maintaining physical books and journals, audio and video recordings, and periodicals databases, today a librarian may also provide information services like computer instruction, coordination of community programming, literacy education, assistive technology for people with disabilities — even helping with music and video game downloads.
“Having information that is much easier to access has changed the way people look at research,” Webb said. “Before, you had to truly understand how each individual index worked to successfully find that information. Now, keywords and electronic journals make the hunt much easier. On the other hand, while it’s easier to search, you’re also introduced to a higher volume of information to sift through, which can be more difficult. It’s really changed the emphasis of the work of libraries and librarians.”
Roesch Library has hired staff to help with marketing, community relations, volunteer coordination and information technology, positions that weren’t on the radar 10 years ago. At Roesch, recent staff additions like Schlangen and Kelly represent this new frontier.
“Our profession has a reputation of actively picking new tools up and figuring out how to use them efficiently and effectively, and how to be relevant in students’ lives,” Webb said.
According to the ALA, there are more than 366,600 paid library staff in the U.S., with nearly a quarter (some 85,700) of those serving in academic libraries. What do these professionals do? Just ask a Flyer — about 200 University of Dayton alumni claim libraries — of which the ALA says there are 119,487 total in the country.
Cherie Hubbard Roeth ’85, director of the Bradford (Ohio) Public Library, describes the profession this way: “It’s a highly trained profession that encompasses skills that would boggle the minds of many. My staff are intensely creative and inspired to create activities and choose books and materials that entice the youngest to the oldest of our patrons, and we try to work closely with the community and be an integral part of our village.”
At UD, Barb Crone Feldmann ’71 helped with the library’s move from Albert Emanuel Hall to Roesch Library during winter break 1970. She has worked at the Washington-Centerville (Ohio) Library for 33 years.
“Libraries now are more than just places to get a book; they are places of all formats of materials and types of learning,” she said. “They are responding to changing community needs. They teach classes on computer literacy. They help people complete job applications, the majority of which are online now. They offer programming for children and families. They provide notary services and process passport applications.”
At Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library, where Allison Mikesell Knight ’09 serves as a children’s librarian at the Trotwood branch, patrons can sign up for crochet or self-defense classes, listen to author readings and take advantage of a free summer lunch program. “We even hatched chickens this spring — every day is different, and things are never boring,” she said.
As Linda Mares Pannuto ’69, children’s librarian at Orion Township Public Library in Rochester, Michigan, puts it, libraries aren’t “more than books;” they offer “books and more.”
Libraries may have changed over the years — no longer do scribes tote scrolls and heavy tablets — but the need for a repository of knowledge remains.
Thanks to #ClubRoesch (see above), that knowledge is now also at our fingertips.
Audrey Starr is managing editor of University of Dayton Magazine. She — and her Kindle — are looking forward to joining Roesch Library’s next faculty/staff book club.
UD Libraries: A Timeline
May 4, 1866 First mention of a circulation record.
1876 Brothers’ Library referenced in House Council Minutes.
1887 Catalog lists library usage fee at $1.
1888 Catalog references a circulating library in the study room of each division.
1901 Need for new library shelving, additional space noted.
1904 Chaminade Hall houses two libraries, one each for faculty and students.
1906 A “special library” of spiritual reading books is referenced.
1910 “Central/general library” moved from second floor to basement of Chaminade Hall; named Zehler Library after Brother Maximin Zehler, S.M.
1920 Zehler Library moved to St. Mary’s Hall, first floor. Brother Frank Ruhlman, S.M., serves as librarian.
1927 Groundbreaking for new Albert Emanuel Library, with funds given by Chicago financier and alumnus Victor Emanuel ’15 in honor of his father. Opens in 1928 and initially houses 25,000 books.
1937 Engineering library housed in Nazareth Hall adjacent to Zehler Hall.
1943 Marian Library founded in celebration of the upcoming Triple Centenary (founding of Society of Mary in America, founding of the University of Dayton and the death of founder Father Chaminade, all in 1849-50). First book was Devotion to Mary in the Twentieth Century by Father John Aloysius Elbert, S.M.; first director was Father Lawrence Moheim, S.M.
1954 Brother Walter Roesch, S.M., begins 8-year term as head librarian; Brother Ruhlman is assistant librarian.
1956 Separate libraries for physics (Grady), chemistry (Wohlleben), biology, engineering, science (Sherman) and curriculum materials (Chaminade) are found on campus.
1962 Academic Council admits professional librarians to faculty rank; Brother Raymond Nartker, S.M., begins 23-year tenure as director of University Libraries.
1964 Two wings added to Albert Emanuel Library.
1969 Groundbreaking for new University Library; cost $4.8 million to build, opens in 1971.
1979 University Library renamed Roesch Library after President Raymond A. Roesch, S.M.
1985 Edward Garten serves as director of University libraries for 18 years; will be followed by Kathleen Webb, current dean of libraries, in 2005.
UD students are eager to chat with Roesch Library staff; it just may not happen face-to-face. Since 2009, the library has met students where they are in the digital landscape, hashtags,
handles and all.
“Social media is not just another platform to share information about library resources and events,” said Katy Kelly, communications and outreach librarian. “If all you’re doing is posting
frequent updates, you’re essentially yelling at your audience, and there’s nothing social about that. You need to have a conversation.”
Student communications via Twitter have helped improve library spaces, technology and services. At UD, staff use notification tools and search functions to observe what students are saying about the library and engage with them daily. Monitoring chatter offers insight into what students are frustrated by (slow Wi-Fi or loud students on quiet floors) while also providing evidence that the library is a popular place on campus.
“The idea of the library as a club appealed to them, especially when students are in the library late at night or on the weekend,” Kelly said. “The discovery of #clubroesch was exciting because
it was not only being used often, but it was also the sole label used by student culture. Club Roesch highlights what students want their peers to see, not just what they want the library — or librarian — to see.”
The hashtag allows students to converse with each other, trade Club Roesch anecdotes and comment on their library experiences — which also paints a clearer picture for staff of how the library is used and viewed by students. Librarians are also using Twitter to respond to reference questions.
Other hashtag campaigns hosted by Kelly and her team include a #roeschselfie contest (snap a picture of yourself using the library, be entered to win a gift card) and the popular Club Roesch VIP contest, held before finals week each semester, which asks followers to retweet a @roeschlibrary post.
What prize awaits the lucky winner? A key to his or her own study room for all seven days of final exams.
Not too shabby for 140 characters.No Comments
UPDATE Jan. 7, 2016:
UD students’ passion for community is apparent when Red Scare is in full throat. CBS Sports Network highlighted these fierce and ferocious fans who see their support as just another expression of the UD community spirit. The video, left, aired prior to the Flyer men’s basketball team taking on UMass Jan. 6, 2016. Flyers won the A-10 home opener, 93-63.
The UD Arena was overwhelming the cold night of March 18, 2015. Dayton was trailing Boise State, but it was as if the students knew their cheers could make a difference. They began to scream louder and stand taller. The students of Red Scare didn’t want their chants to just go around the Arena; they wanted them to go around the nation.
The student section we’ve come to know, watch and love, whether from inside the Arena or on our TV at home, was not always burning red. Twenty years ago, students wanting to recapture the glory days of men’s basketball founded Red Scare. Today, Red Scare makes fans proud to be among the Flyer Faithful and rightly wins accolades of its own.
Red Scare’s creation story started in the fall of 1995 in 111 Evanston, a skinny two-story frame home where housemates Ashley Puglia Noronha ’96 and Katie Brown Konieczny ’96 hatched a plan to develop a student group to support the University’s athletics.
The seniors, you see, felt a little cheated. Noronha came to UD expecting the fan experience that birthed epic stories told by her alumni parents, Nora McNally Puglia ’70 and Fred Puglia ’65, who taught her UD’s fight song as soon as she could talk.
“When I came to UD as a student, I was shocked that no one else knew the song,” Noronha said.
In the Puglia household, NCAA and NIT wins made for “glory-days” basketball stories from a time when the UD fight song was sung constantly.
Noronha’s parents told of UD’s trip to the NCAA Tournament final in 1967 when UD played against UCLA and its 7-foot-2 center Lew Alcindor, later known as NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“UD lost, but my parents told me many stories of the dedicated fans and the camaraderie amongst them as they crowded into the UD student union to watch the games on screens that were specially set up for the occasion,” Noronha said. “My mom remembers that a student — in honor of the UD player Glinder Torain — painted on his car, ‘Who needs Alcindor, we’ve got Glinder!’”
Noronha wanted to resurrect the deafening cheers of the Arena and the pride that once filled the community, and she knew it was going to take a lot of energy and commitment.
The women took their idea of founding a student spirit club to Patricia “Trish” Kroeger ’66, UD’s spirit and special events coordinator for athletics. And she offered them her son, Joe, as one of the club’s first members.
Joe Kroeger ’97 had grown up with UD basketball, from selling programs before games at age 8 to running the coat check at age 14. He recalled the ’80s, when giants like Roosevelt Chapman and Damon Goodwin roamed the court and the Arena was electric. And he wanted to help bring some of that electricity back.
“The timing of it is really important,” Joe Kroeger explained. “Dayton was not winning basketball, maybe four games a year, so the [student] tickets were not selling. Our motivation was to fill the student section.”
The average attendance for men’s basketball in 1995 was barely 11,000 during the 7-20 season — still great by most universities’ standards, but more than 2,000 shy of the sellout the students thought their school deserved.
First, they needed to get students excited about filling the seats. Noronha said the enthusiasm was there — it just needed to be organized.
“Up to that point, students were scattered throughout the arena, so the fan power wasn’t cohesive,” Noronha said. “By bringing students together, Red Scare gave us an opportunity to support our fellow students in their athletic pursuits, for students to grow together in friendship, and to develop an appreciation for the distinguished athletic legacy of the University.”
Next, they needed to secure the seats. Trish Kroeger helped the student organization get a block of seats at football and men’s and women’s basketball games.
Finally, they needed a name. “Red Menace” and “Oliver’s Army,” for 1994-2003 men’s head coach Oliver Purnell, were thrown around, but the organization knew it had a winner with the name “Red Scare.”
“It was clever,” Joe Kroeger said. “It had a connotation that wouldn’t be associated with a group like ours. I rallied for it.”
A phrase once associated with communism and political radicalism was an unusual choice for a private university’s athletic support group. But it was unique and intellectual and had ways of making everyone start asking, “What is Red Scare?”
The organization started off small, Noronha said, debuting at the last football home game of the season, a 55-0 win over West Virginia State. Then Red Scare started filling five to 10 rows for the men’s basketball games, wearing shirts reading “Red Scare” on the front and “Go crazy or go home” on the back, painting their faces with red and blue paint, and bellowing the words to the UD fight song.
Soon students stopped asking what Red Scare was and started asking how they could join.
“There was a new and exciting energy around the program after a very challenging stretch of years,” said Michael Joyce ’96, one of the founding members of Red Scare.
Student participation rose, and men’s basketball home attendance rose — to above 12,000 by the 2001-02 season. And everyone had something to cheer about, including a 21-11 season in 2001-02 and a 22-14 season in 2002-03.
Red Scare — the honorary sixth man on the court — has gained appreciation from men’s head coach Archie Miller himself. Miller has repeatedly thanked Red Scare for its contribution through social media.
Miller tweeted after Dayton beat Saint Joseph’s, 68-64, “@red_scare you were fantastic tonight and we thank everyone who was at the arena helping us pull through! We have the best fans in COUNTRY.”
Players add to the praise.
After the Flyers’ 56-55 win over Boise State in UD Arena in the NCAA First Four March 18, 2015, then-senior Jordan Sibert told ESPN that UD’s crowd was a component for their success. “They were electrifying. … I don’t think we would have won that game without them,” Sibert said.
Red Scare also has found success beyond core sports as its spirit model evolved.
“I think we’re unique in the sense of putting a big effort in the non-mainstream [sports],” senior Ryan Phillips said. Phillips, the current Red Scare president, puts emphasis on appreciating all UD athletic programs. The crowds, victory chants and outrageous signs can be heard and seen at women’s basketball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer games.
“We give them the home-field advantage,” he said.
In Red Scare’s recent past, students received coveted men’s basketball seats as groups by accumulating points for attending other athletics events. While it helped the other sports, it hurt basketball. Red Scare could look sparse or scattered when the student group could not fill its assigned seats because of class or other commitments, Phillips said.
At the start of the 2014 season, men’s basketball tickets became first-come, first-serve. Instead of getting points at other athletics events, students cheering at these events now receive free food, T-shirts or other giveaways from Red Scare. It worked, with the student section hitting capacity during some basketball games during the 2014-15 season.
Last season, Red Scare saw continued attendance growth and support for non-basketball sports, Phillips said, and basketball hit heights that would make the Red Scare founders proud. Men’s basketball had an average attendance of 12,718 and a team record of 27-9, including advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Women’s basketball ranked 50th nationally in attendance — and first in the Atlantic 10 Conference — with 2,538, and the team advanced to the Elite Eight.
Although Red Scare puts the focus on cheering for all UD athletics, it also helps bring all Flyers, past and present, together, Phillips said.
“Everyone talks about community. Sports, in my mind, is one way you can experience true community,” Phillips said. “It’s not the University of Dayton Flyers. This is my University of Dayton Flyers.”
Red Scare has changed the game for athletics and all UD Flyers, say alumni.
“Over the years, the student section turnout and cheering has varied,” said Alan Hemler ’87, a men’s basketball season ticket holder. Hemler said he has loved watching students create a “high-energy environment” that supports UD athletics.
“The past four years of Red Scare have outperformed previous seasons,” Hemler said.
And the nation has noticed. In 2012, UD earned the title “Best Under-the-Radar College Basketball Atmosphere” from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Intersport. In 2013, Red Scare was nominated for a Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. And on March 25, 2014, NBC Nightly News highlighted the blue-faced, red-haired, flag-waving Red Scare in a feature on school spirit.
“The founding fathers are proud of the group — I certainly am,” Joe Kroeger said. That pride traverses the miles as he views the student section on TV from his home on the West Coast. “Keep it up for another 20 years.”
For a school that focuses on tradition and community, Red Scare is one embodiment. So here’s to 20 more years of Red Scare. May the chants always be loud, the seats be never empty, and the Flyer spirit soar.
DAYTON, FLYERS — GO UD!No Comments
The poncho underneath me crumpled. I found the most comfortable sitting position possible on the Capitol Building lawn and closed my eyes. Conversations in Spanish, French and English floated through the air, but I was most impressed that people had the ability to converse at 5 in the morning. Pope Francis’ Sept. 25 address to Congress wasn’t for another four and a half hours, yet I, and a crowd of around 50,000, were already gathered to hear him.
During the pope’s visit to D.C., I was one of the youngest members of the press corps, at the invitation of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. It was, at first, a professional opportunity — I’m a public relations major, and I tweeted the events for @daymag and gathered information to write this story. As a Catholic, it also became an opportunity of faith. You see, ever since I came to college I have been questioning what I believe. And I am not alone. According to a Pew Research Center survey of Catholics, only 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they attend Mass once a week, compared to 49 percent of those 65 and older. For the first time, I am being exposed to different religions and people making faith decisions based on something other than how our parents raised us.
I knew that, in the crowds gathered to see the pope, there were more like me who came to hear in his message not just words but a place for us in this worldwide faith. Maybe that is why, as college students, we are so drawn to Pope Francis. He talks, and we listen to him calling and challenging millennials as members of the Church that we didn’t know was ours all along.
The previous day, Sept. 24, I attended the Canonization Mass of Junípero Serra to live tweet what I experienced and to talk to students. I wanted to learn why so many of them were willing to wait in lines starting at 5 a.m. to attend Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The first students I talked with were four broadcast journalism majors from Duquesne University who were filming a documentary about Pope Francis’ visit. Why did they think it was important for college-age students like us to report at these events?
Junior Emily Stock said that, for the first time, she feels like students have a public figure we can all look up to, one who is finally doing what millennials try to do — accept each other.
“The pope is open-minded — he is a people-person,” she said. “He reaches out to undeveloped communities and appeals to both political parties.”
This was the first of many similar responses. The editor-in-chief of Catholic University of America’s student newspaper, Antoinette Cea, was next to me in line and joined in the conversation. “We [as Catholics] are comfortable being members of the Catholic Church again,” she said.
In the U.S., there are roughly 77.7 million Catholics, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, an increase of more than 20 million from 1965. But the number of Catholic millennials is decreasing. According to the Pew Research Center, only 16 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 identify as Catholic, compared to 20-23 percent of those older than 35. My personal conversations with young Catholics mirror some of the reasons for this national trend: the Church’s views on marriage equality, divorce, abortion and contraception.
But as I walked around the basilica among 25,000, there was little discussion of what divides us. Instead, students talked about what united them to the leader of the Catholic faith: acceptance, humbleness, modern ideals and a charismatic attitude — not to mention a fondness for Twitter [see @Pontifex].
Although this was my first encounter with a pontiff, it wasn’t America’s. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the U.S. in New York City Oct. 4, 1965. Pope John Paul II made seven trips to the United States over two decades. The last time a pontiff visited America was Pope Benedict XVI, who stopped in New York and Washington in 2008 where crowds of roughly 83,000 gathered, according to The New York Times.
Pope Francis’ visit to D.C., Philadelphia and New York was monumental because his trip coincided with national and international political discussions, including on the environment and the poor. Within a week, he canonized a saint, spoke to the United Nations, ate lunch with the homeless, addressed Congress and attended the World Meeting of Families.
While I was in D.C. on the lawn, UD students were in the Kennedy Union Hangar. Among the comfy couches and bowling lanes was a standing-room-only crowd of nearly 200 watching the address to Congress on the big screen and engaging on social media.
Sophomore Alexandra Altomare, who tweets at @alibearie7, spent that morning in the Hangar playing pope bingo (she earned a space when the pope said “joy” or discussed the “economy of exclusion”). She tweeted, “Started my morning with donuts, bingo, politics, and Pope Francis. I love UD! Very proud to be a Catholic today! #UDPope #pope2congress.”
Some of those same students, days later, piled onto two buses to join the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26-27. Pope Saint John Paul II started the World Meeting of Families in 1994 in Rome and, every three years, it is the largest gathering of Catholic families in the world.
The UD family included 111 students, staff and faculty who traveled together to witness Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia, including senior Megan McAuliffe.
“I enjoyed celebrating and worshipping as one Catholic family,” she said. “Pope Francis called everyone to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family.”
Pope Francis also spoke to inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia. There, he said, “We know in faith that Jesus seeks us out. He wants to heal our wounds, to soothe our feet which hurt from traveling alone, to wash each of us clean of the dust from our journey. He doesn’t ask us where we have been, he doesn’t question us about what we have done.”
Back in Dayton, Dominic Sanfilippo, Jack Schlueter, Andrew Ekrich and I discussed Pope Francis’ visit around their duct-taped kitchen table at their Marianist Student Community house on Trinity Avenue. When asked specifically about Francis’ concern for our consumerist-dominated society, Sanfilippo said, “Pope Francis is calling us to be aware of how we walk around in the world. We have to take a step back from the world and question, ‘How am I acting today?’ We have set up the world where so many people profit at the expense of another and with our generation — it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Through Pope Francis’ various stops in the U.S. — and his willingness to talk about debated issues while remaining true to the idea of caring for the common good of all creation — he transformed for me the idea that Catholicism is just something practiced on Sundays into a ritual lived out in the way we accept others.
When Pope Francis finished his address to Congress, he emerged on the Capitol balcony and said, “And I ask you all, please, to pray for me. And if amongst you there are some who don’t believe, or can’t pray, I ask you please, to wish good things for me.”
The hair on my arms stood up and a chill raced up my spine. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. As I stood alone in the crowd, I knew I wasn’t the only one who was blinking back tears.
Through that simple statement, Pope Francis recognizes that while we all question our faith, we are accepted anyway. That one statement reaffirmed that there was and always will be a place for me in Catholicism.
Read more about what the pope says (and why we care).No Comments
A book by Shary Hauer ’79.
In her professional life, Shary Hauer was a confident, successful, high-caliber executive coach who advised big-time corporate leaders around the globe — but her personal life was in shambles. “I
was insecure, clingy, desperate and willing to do anything and everything to win and keep a man,” she admits. In Insatiable, Hauer chronicles her emotional journey from self-hate to self-love. “At my book signings and talks, there is always an engaging conversation about love, relationships, what worked, what didn’t and lessons learned. When I was writing this book, I had no idea that my story would resonate with every woman who reads it, but it has,” Hauer said.
A film by Matthew Arnold ’99.
Much of Matthew Arnold’s film career originated at UD. He programmed monthly movies that aired via the campus cable network as inaugural chair of Flyer Movie Channel and produced and directed live campus television broadcasts, which featured Student Government Association debates. Arnold’s first documentary feature, The Long Green Line, was released in 2014 and follows the record-setting career of Chicago cross-country coach Joe Newton. He’s followed it up with two Web series and several independent feature films he’s helped produce. “I love telling stories and working with actors to convey real people and real human emotions,” he said. View Arnold’s work at longgreenlinemovie.com.No Comments
An album by Libby Gill ’15
For singer/songwriter Libby Gill, music is therapy. So, she decided to study both. “Music has always been a big part of my life, and I also had a desire to help people,” said the recent music therapy graduate. As a teenager, Gill found her mother’s 1970s guitar in the basement, looked up some chords on the Internet and never looked back. With a sound that ranges from pop to blues to folk, Gill enjoys pushing her own genre boundaries, gets inspiration from artists like Sara Bareilles and Imagine Dragons, and is, she says, “a Swifty for life.” Gill’s threesong EP, Soldier, was released in February 2015 and is available on iTunes, Bandcamp and Spotify. Her first full-length album is nearing completion; follow along at libbygill.bandcamp.com.No Comments
This is no fish story.
UD has a fishing club, established four years ago by senior Robert Petrick.
And this year, it competed at the Fishing League Worldwide College Conference Finals on the Chesapeake Bay.
It may be a sport with a leisurely reputation, but in August Petrick and fishing partner junior Sam Tunnacliffe found themselves racing back to the shore to qualify for the finals.
The team had been on Chautauqua Lake, New York, for eight hours, casting lines under the dock — where they knew the bass would be hiding in the summer heat. With two minutes to the 2:45 p.m. weigh-in deadline of the FLW College Northern Conference qualifier tournament, they pulled their livewell filled with bass onto shore. Wearing blue and red Flyer jerseys, they stepped onto the stage and learned that their five heaviest catches for the day totaled 7 pounds, 13 ounces: enough to land them in the top 20 out of 75 teams and qualify them for the finals.
Although the September finals did not go well — bad weather contributed to 15 teams, including UD, not catching any qualifying bass — Petrick and Tunnacliffe said they were proud to represent UD for the first time at the finals.
The team members also say they are used to being the underdogs. They compete against a sea of teams that have school-funded boats and equipment, or even full-ride fishing scholarships. UD’s team has two boats — which its members have purchased themselves.
“It’s hard to find guys who are willing to put the time, energy and money into this, because it’s just a student-run club,” Tunnacliffe said. “But mostly, it’s just really fun, and rewarding when we do find those people.”
Since most tournaments take place during the summer, the club’s 12 members spend most of the academic year fishing for smallmouth bass on the Great Miami River, and strategizing and researching for the tournaments with the help of their advisers, Jeff Kavanaugh, biology department chair, and health and sport science associate professor Jon Linderman.
“The professionals can look at the temperature and the water clarity and say, ‘OK, you should be fishing in that kind of spot using that kind of bait and that color.’ So, we’re trying to get better at that sort of thing,” Tunnacliffe said.
If they can, the team visits the lake prior to the tournament, so that they can ask local fishers about the most reliable places to buy fish and bait and to discover the best spots to fish in the lake.
“Local knowledge is huge,” Petrick said. Even so, he admits that a lot of it is up to chance. You can spend days preparing, but because of factors like weather and water conditions, you still may not do well on the day of the tournament.
“It’s a guessing game. But that’s what we like about fishing: It keeps you on your toes. It forces you to adapt,” Petrick said.
Tunnacliffe will take over leadership of the club once Petrick graduates, but both say they will never stop bass fishing. “When I started this club, I was looking for a lifetime hobby,” Petrick said.
“And that’s exactly what this is.”No Comments
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.No Comments
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 degreesNo Comments
We are being called to be good stewards of the Earth.
As Pope Francis wrote in his groundbreaking encyclical on the environment, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”
The pope asked us to “care for our common home” — and, ultimately, to care for the world’s most vulnerable citizens who are being affected the most by environmental degradation. (See story, Page 38).
Before the pope called for global stewardship, we made sustainability a major initiative.
In 2013, I signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging that we will take steps to achieve carbon neutrality. We reduced our energy usage and mandated LEED guidelines for new construction and renovations.
We’re making strides. Even as we built substantially more new facilities and increased enrollment to a record high, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions 5 percent per student over our 2006 high.
In the School of Engineering, enrollment in the renewable and clean energy master’s degree program has tripled as we prepare students to design energy-efficient buildings and develop clean energy for the developing world.
In the University of Dayton Research Institute, we’re conducting high-impact research in renewable energy technologies.
In the School of Business Administration, students are learning socially responsible investing, and we don’t have to look too far to find teachable moments. Our board of trustees spent more than a year developing a philosophy called “Catholic, sustainable and responsible investing.” Over the last year, in a phased approach, we eliminated fossil fuel holdings from domestic equity accounts, invested in green and sustainable technologies, and divested from all mutual funds.
In November, the Hanley Sustainability Institute brought together faith-based organizations to advance the global conversation about divestment and the pope’s call for climate solutions.
This is a complex issue with no easy solutions. In times of social change, we draw upon the Marianist philosophy. We must stay at the table, listen to each other, harness the gifts of all and work
together toward a shared vision of the Earth.
As the pope wrote, “The notion of the common good also extends to future generations.”No Comments