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Why Begins With W: A Lesson in Murder

12:46 PM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

Author unknown

Leo Schulte ’78, who may or may not be the author, called our attention to this mystery for young adults, the first of a projected trilogy. The title page claims it is presented by Hamish De’Lamet and Chandral Ramon, who may or may not exist and who claim to live in Lynchburg, which may or may not be in one of several states. And who knows about the anonymous author of the journals those two found? One very real Edgar Award-winning writer describes the book as “Sam Spade (with overtones of Holden Caulfield) … a can’t-put-it-down-once-you’ve-started-novel.”

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Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936-1943

12:39 PM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

A book by David J. Ulbrich ’93

During World War I, the size of the U.S. Marine Corps reached 75,000. Following the “war to end all wars,” Americans had little interest in preparing for war, let alone victory. By 1936, the size of the Corps had shrunk to barely over 17,000, less than a quarter of its 1918 strength. During Holcomb’s tenure as commandant of the Marine Corps, the service grew 22-fold to 385,000 in 1943. Ulbrich’s book is the first to document the role of Holcomb — a man with vision, managerial ability and the art of persuasion.

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Around Troy Hill, Spring Hill, and Reserve Township

11:45 AM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

A book by James W. Yanosko ’89 and Edward W. Yanosko

For James Yanosko and his father, Edward, it started simply with some old photographs of their family and its roots generations-deep in the neighborhood lying across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh’s tourist-filled downtown Strip District. Then they gathered more and more photos from the area until James Yanosko said to himself, “I think I have a book.” So, too, did Arcadia Publishing, publisher of the Images of America series, which celebrates the histories of cities and neighborhoods.

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Dancing in Heaven: A Sister's Memoir

Dancing in Heaven: A Sister’s Memoir

11:39 AM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

A book by Christine M. Grote ’79

Grote’s sister Annie never walked or talked. She lived to the age of 51. And she deeply touched those around her. Grote tells the story of  her sister’s death interspersed with the story of her life, her smiles and what she meant to others. Grote is now beginning work on another story — the Depression-era childhood of her father who, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, himself no longer talks. In the words of one reviewer, Grote writes of  “inescapable pain, unpredictable joy.”

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Law school

In Trust

8:26 AM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

Michael Doman this summer is taking his first classes at the University of Dayton School of Law. He might not be there if not for a man dead for more than a third of a century.

“The program in law and technology,” Doman said, “is one of the main reasons I chose to attend UDSL.”

He points to the qualifications of the faculty and to an annual event — The Scholarly Symposia Series: Current Issues in Intellectual Property Law. “The program provides great opportunities to connect with alumni through the intellectual property symposiums. These events are not only great for networking but also provide an opportunity to hear perspectives from attorneys who are currently practicing.”

Jason Williams, who received a UD juris doctorate in 2010 and a master of laws in 2011, saw the same benefits of the symposium as did Doman. “A number of us in the IP track attended the symposia regularly,” he said. “It’s a great networking event. We go to meet attorneys in the area. We got to know them; they got to know us.”

It didn’t hurt that the people they met at the symposia were people they also met when interviewing for summer jobs. And, said Williams, now an associate in the intellectual property department of Dinsmore’s Dayton office, that networking “helped me in landing this job.”

Williams and Doman both see significance in hearing the perspectives of practicing attorneys. The topics are often current and of a kind not found in class. Bringing that perspective back to class, Williams noted, added depth to the classroom experience.

And the symposium’s treatment of current, cutting-edge subjects draws practitioners to campus, noted Kelly Henrici ’94, director of the program in law and technology.

The symposium is able to exist because of a man dead for more than a third of a century. That man, Hubert Estabrook, before he died in 1975, made a decision that continues to affect the profession that he served.

In 1920, Estabrook was one of the founders of the firm Estabrook, Finn & McKee, the predecessor by merger of the Dayton office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur. At his death, he and his wife, Gladys, left their estate to be used to fund legal education in Ohio. The fund distributes its funds to Ohio’s nine law schools and other institutions that advance the study of law in the state.

According to R. Bruce Snyder, current trustee for the trust, the first trustee was John Henry, an adjunct professor at UD. Upon Henry’s death in 1989, Snyder succeeded him.

“From then until now,” Snyder said, “the trust has distributed about $150,000 a year to try to jump-start programs at the nine Ohio law schools, programs that were perhaps risky and might not be tried.”

On campus in May during Alumni Weekend to accept the Honorable Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award, Snyder remarked that the school’s “professors and students have made a career of making me look good as a trustee; we give seed money and often these things fail; at UD, they don’t.”

Snyder indicated that during his trusteeship, donations to the School of Law from the trust and Porter Wright have supported a number of programs at the school besides the program in law and technology. One of those in tune with the University’s mission as a Catholic and Marianist institution is the Symposium on Law, Religion & Ethics.

“Most recently,” Snyder said, “the trust pledged $100,000 to renovate the student lounge [the Jury Box]. The trust’s first grant to the law school was to create a student lounge.”

As Henrici said in speaking of the format of the intellectual property symposium: “We feed the mind, the heart, the soul and the belly.”

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Awe-filled stories

4:02 PM  Jun 27th, 2012
by Michelle Tedford

I’m not a fan of boxing  — watching hits that barely dent muscled flesh threatens to shatter my eye sockets — but I am a fan of the boxer. Michael Gaffney’s story of his year with Muhammad Ali [“Muhammad and Me,” Page 28] intrigued me because of the intimate lens the photographer had into Ali’s life; I also must admit I glow each time a Flyer does something of wonder and worth. But the photographs completely overwhelmed me. In Gaffney’s book, I can see the physical transformation Ali undertook to rid his body of any softness that contributed to his title loss against Leon Spinks. I see calves famous for conveying deft footwork, arms triggered for the assault. Gaffney captured Ali’s mischievous smile, behind which I see cheek muscles that could crush a can.

By those images, I am both awed and envious.

It’s the same feeling I get when I watch the Dayton Contemporary Dance Co., which begins another year as UD’s community artist in residence. That bodies can be so graceful and powerful seems implausible. In the darkened theater, I squeeze my husband’s arm as a man who seems twice my size leaps in interpretation of an ostrich or airman or pusher or preacher, each muscle moving precisely thanks to training and talent.

I do not look like a boxer. I do not move like a dancer. I occasionally run because I know I should (and because my dog is bored). I poke at my soft spots and order the Peanut Buster Parfait. And I love to watch others move.

This summer will be a cornucopia for spectators who believe bodies are finely engineered temples. Among my favorites at the Olympics will be Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. I will refuse to breathe for the five minutes before — and the 9-point-wow seconds during — Bolt’s race to again prove he’s the fastest human alive. I will devour everything from shot put to sailing, and my dog will be bored.

Before Gaffney met Ali — and before Cassius Clay took the name Muhammad — Ali won the light heavyweight boxing gold in Rome in 1960. In 1996, the former boxer, ravaged by Parkinson’s, set the Olympic torch afire in Atlanta. As I watched through my living room TV, I could see that his loss of strength had not diminished his spark. I said I am envious of exhibitions of strength. But I am equally amazed by what that strength — or lack thereof — says about obstacles overcome, goals attained and limitations accepted. The muscles are not the story; the man is.

What I crave more than anything is a good story, to feel close to people tough as nails or mushy as soft-serve. When they are made real — through words, images or interactions — a sliver of that enigma called humanity is revealed. And I am once again awed.

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Paul Azzi '12

How to make it up as you go along

2:21 PM  Jun 27th, 2012
by Meredith Hirt '13

If laughter is the best medicine, the members of the University’s improv team On The Fly are the best doctors around. Founded in 2006, this student-run comedy troupe performs improvisational theater based on audience suggestions and sketch comedy written by the cast. As any member will tell you, there’s a lot of truth in comedy. Here are some tips on living life on the lighter side.

1. Stop trying  “Life is improv,” says Paul Azzi ’12. “I have no idea what is going to come. … I just roll with the punches.” Adds Michael Winn ’12, “Wait for something to happen. Just react.”

2. Make music  Even in improv, a little forethought is necessary. “When you rhyme a word you have to think ahead to the next couplet,” Wil Morris ’13 says. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. “Just put a word out there and babble until you rhyme it,” Paul Azzi says.

3. Have back-up  On The Fly is all about team cohesion. Foremost, they like to make one another laugh. And occasionally, they share their comedy with an audience. “We’re people before we’re performers,” Winn says. If someone flops on stage, another member comes to the rescue. “Everyone exerts their own expertise because no one is an expert.”

4. Figure out what you want  “We’re all attention hogs,” Morris says. “We want attention from the audience and we love getting it.”

5. Be yourself  “Everyone thinks I’m a dweeb,” Paul Azzi admits. The team members consider themselves more playful and weird than funny, but Winn says, “The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more free you are.”

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rudy golfing color


3:46 PM  Jun 26th, 2012
by Matthew Dewald

If you’re looking for three words that sum up the love Chad Larkin ’00 has for the Phoenix area, these will do as good as any: golf in December.

After graduation, the former varsity golfer and Dayton native packed a suitcase and his golf clubs, booked a flight and headed west.

“When I graduated, I thought, ‘I can go wherever I want,’” Larkin says. “I can always move home, but it’s hard to establish yourself somewhere new.”

Over the past decade, he’s watched the region emerge from its reputation as a retiree haven. Young people like him have flocked to the metro area — now the country’s fifth-largest — drawn by its robust economy and outdoor, active lifestyles. The area’s average age is now 34.

“It’s a very young city now,” he says. “We have Intel, Honeywell, Boeing. Google has an office at Arizona State.”

He sees the changing demographics in the UD alumni who attend Phoenix chapter events, which draw a wide range of ages. As alumni chapter president, it’s something he keeps an eye on.

His chapter does a very popular Christmas off Campus each year, most recently to benefit Maggie’s Place, which offers support for single mothers. In other years, they’ve assisted Foundation for Blind Children and St. Vincent de Paul. Changing partners each year “gives us exposure to different service opportunities,” he says. There is a quarterly networking event, and Larkin is looking at opportunities to offer more cultural activities, particularly ones that might draw young families such as a trip to the children’s museum.

But there’s one annual event that he says is “just for us”: golf in December. As students on UD’s campus are typically shivering on a walk to the library to study for fall semester finals, Phoenix alumni are trying not to get sunburned on Arizona State’s Karsten Golf Course. In the distance are hiking trails at Pinnacle Peak, Camelback Mountain and other geological showcases begging to be explored.

There are 653 UD alumni living in the Phoenix area. As Larkin says, it’s a good place to be.

“Even having lived here for 12 years, I still look around at all of the scenery,” Larkin says. “It never gets old.”

What’s the city’s high point?

“Tucked right in the city and known as ‘nature’s stair-climber,’ Piestewa Peak is a great place to go for a quick morning hike when you want a great workout and a great view of the city.” —Emily Miller ’07

“Located 10 minutes east of downtown is Sun Devil Stadium, situated between two buttes on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe. You get more than just the views of the game. From the top of the stadium you have fantastic views of downtown Phoenix to the west, Scottsdale and the McDowell Mountains to the northeast and downtown Tempe just to the south.” —Chad Larkin ’00

“Near my stomping grounds in Phoenix is South Mountain Park/Preserve. At over 16,000 acres, it is the largest municipal park in the country. This mountain range is not as high as Camelback Mountain but provides easy to difficult trails with beautiful scenic views.” —Andy Neal ’97

“My sister and her family live in Phoenix, so I visit as often as possible. Camelback Mountain is footsteps from their back door. I usually start each morning with a run/hike up the mountain, practice my yoga and watch the sunrise from the summit. Afterward, I reward myself with a breakfast from my favorite cafe, La Grande Orange, just on the other side of the mountain.” —Erika Patterson ‘06

“High point? No snow!” —Den Komaromi ’63

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President Daniel J. Curran

Dr. Dan

2:32 PM  Jun 26th, 2012
by President Daniel J. Curran

As I walk across campus, I’m often greeted by a friendly student voice, “Hey, Dr. Dan. What’s up?”

I appreciate that students casually seek me out for a chat between classes. That kind of comfortable rapport keeps the lines of communication open and helps us learn from one another. During a recent “Dialogue with the President” town hall meeting in Sears Recital Hall, I chatted with students for more than two hours on issues as wide ranging as housing and curriculum to academic reputation and the faith life of campus.

How will campus change in the next five years?  Are you going to tear down our houses? What are the plans for Brown Street? These were just a few of the questions they peppered over a lively and candid exchange.

Students promoted the informal gathering in a way that made me laugh. It’s certainly an odd feeling walking across Kennedy Union Plaza and coming face to face with a nearly life-size cardboard cutout photo of yourself.

It’s even more startling to glance over at the rowdy Red Scare student section in UD Arena and spot your giant face bobbing up and down with the likes of the Wright brothers and Flyers basketball coach Archie Miller.

I realize it’s all in good fun.

Like most college presidents, I spend much of my day moving the strategic plan forward, participating in alumni gatherings and fundraising. The job is energizing, but the moments I interact with our students are very special to me.

In my presidency, we’ve built more houses than we’ve torn down. And while we’re committed to modernizing Founders Hall, the oldest residence hall on campus, I assured students at the town hall meeting that we’re also turning our attention to academic buildings. The places where they learn and study — the Science Center, Roesch Library and Chaminade Hall — are all due for upgrades. We’ll be introducing new majors, such as a proposed master of physician assistant practice, and opening an academic and research center in China. The renaissance of Brown Street will continue with bike lanes connecting the campus to downtown.

Claire and I love having students over to our house for meals. I attend Flyer basketball games, but I’m just as likely to cheer students at a volleyball match or a soccer game.  I feel such a sense of pride when I listen to students share their research projects at the annual Stander Symposium on campus that celebrates undergraduate research and creativity.

I’ve driven into the heart of Appalachia to visit students running a summer day camp for children in Salyersville, Ky., a campus ministry service project now extending into its 49th year. Another time, I found our students camped outside a Biloxi, Miss., church held together by wooden beams, its walls blown out by a hurricane. They had traveled there over their fall midterm break to aid the relief effort.

Our students help me see life through their eyes, remind me of the power of life’s possibilities. Their curiosity, intellect and compassion never cease to amaze me.

Not to mention their ability to make me laugh when I least expect it.

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49 Woodland Ave.

My (just) Old House: 49 Woodland

10:28 AM  Jun 22nd, 2012
by Seetha Sankaranarayan ’12

I lived in a batcave during my senior year at the University of Dayton.

After several snags with the housing lottery, Carrie Clements, Liz Martens, Lauren Simcic and I scored 49 Woodland Ave. The single-floored structure was the last real house available during our two-minute housing registration slot.

We fumbled with the lock from the first day until cold fall weather finally let the front door contract to fit its frame. Across the threshold was a living room, then another, and a kitchen beyond. While we waited for facilities management to bring a breakfast table big enough to seat all of us, I nicknamed the second living room “purgatory.”

Expansive, cold white walls shot up to exceptionally high ceilings. We covered every surface with framed artwork, tapestries, photographs and collages. It didn’t feel so cold anymore.

I was the first to move in and had the luxury of choosing the bedroom I would share with Liz.

The middle room was perfect for one, perfect for Lauren with her enviable wardrobe. The frontmost room, intended for two, had large windows facing Woodland Avenue — sunny, but not spacious enough. Liz and I instead hauled our furniture to the back bedroom, which had a closet-like space. This was my batcave.

The bathroom was even smaller, but weekend nights typically brought us all into the cramped space, two huddled over the sink while another showered. As we finished getting ready, Liz dragged the futon onto the porch and Carrie’s speakers, placed in her window, led us outside.

There, we took in Woodland. Cyclists and families passed by from Woodland Cemetery, to our left, and adjacent Brown Street abounded with after-class snackers.

Our front door was always open, our fridge was always full, and for one year, it was home.

Take a tour here.

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