A book by Mark A. Kelly ’59
In the mid-1950s, credit hours cost $12, men significantly outnumbered women on campus, and war veterans were commonplace in first-year classes. That was the world 21-year-old
Kelly inhabited when he enrolled at the University after his Korean War service. A refurbished carriage house on Dayton’s north side served as his home base. Kelly packed plenty of fun into his first year while living at “The Mansion,” while somehow remaining on track toward graduation, and he writes about it all. Recent visits to the University remind him of how much has changed, but one quality remains constant — Kelly says students are just as friendly today as they were back then.
A book by Karen Hutzel ’99
An education career was not in Hutzel’s plans after she graduated from the University with a visual communication design degree, but her AmeriCorps year in a Florida high school shifted her perspective. Running a community arts program in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood as a University of Cincinnati graduate student further cemented her interest. “I really started thinking about the role schools play in urban environments, not just in the arts,” says Hutzel, a professor of art education at Ohio State University. In this anthology, Hutzel — also the book’s co-editor — and other contributors explore the influence of art on urban education reform and community engagement.No Comments
A book by J.F. Spieles ’98
In fall 1864, 12-year-old Georgia orphan Henry Akinson deserts his Confederate army post shortly before Union Gen. William T. Sherman marches to the sea. Akinson faces more danger while carrying out missions for a plantation owner in exchange for protection, but he later finds refuge with a slave family, forcing him to re-examine his beliefs about slavery and equality. “I’ve always looked at storytelling as a teaching methodology,” says Spieles, a fifth-grade teacher in Englewood, Ohio. Through his fictional Civil War tale and accompanying teacher’s manual, Spieles aims to engage middle-grade students as they study this crucial juncture in America’s history.No Comments
Walk on campus in May and the dogwoods burst with color, chasing the magnolia’s papery pink petals and foretelling the shock of crabapple red and white against a blue spring sky. Come back for Family Weekend, and everywhere summer flames out in brilliant reds and yellows against the bronze oak leaves that will rustle until early winter above the heads of students rushing to class.
Visit campus any season, and you’ll see the balance of nature and nurture, beauty in landscape complementing the growing of minds.
But stay away for 50 years, and what happens?
A forest sprouts. A campus expands to the river. And one man grows into an international authority on our relationship to the trees that define our space and feed our breath. Through his eyes, we gain perspective on a university more than 150 years old and watch familiar scenes change with the seasons and the years. In his journey, we discover our dot on the timeline of a campus we know as one of the nation’s most beautiful, and we glimpse what it will become.
James Kielbaso ’62, professor emeritus of urban forestry and arboriculture at Michigan State University, had been away too long. He had grown up tall and lithe in north Dayton but moved to Michigan for grad school and never again walked the academic pathways of his youth.
Until this past June.
His journey begins at the Fieldhouse, where he remembers its roaring basketball crowds. He talks of the old student union and of studying — and playing pingpong — while music plays. And on the library lawn, he looks for a black maple that taught him to be a careful observer.
The distinctions between it and a sugar maple are slight — waxy twigs, wider leaves. “I can remember as a student learning a black maple,” he says near the gazebo on the library lawn. “It was in this general area.”
Kielbaso, an education major at UD, has since taught tree identification to generations of students. He has also traveled the world to discuss the status of street trees, urban forestry, and remedies for disease and nutrient deficiencies. But he has also studied us — how we, as city dwellers, neighbors, park lovers — feel about our trees. He has discovered that when we compare photos with trees to those without, the tree images more often evoke the words “happy,” “harmony,” “pleasant,” “peaceful.”
Which brings us to the aptly named Serenity Pines.
Kielbaso reaches his hands to touch the gnarled bark. In Serenity Pines, only paces from Marycrest Residence Complex’s towering south wing, Austrian pines stretch five stories high. Decades of winters have broken many of their lower branches, leaving their tops gracefully twisted. But at eye level, Kielbaso is admiring the bark — textured and sensual and ringed by neat rows of pencil-sized holes punched by sapsuckers, woodpeckers that share Serenity Pines with rabbits, squirrels and other birds.
Serenity Pines surprises Kielbaso. He says the campus of his youth looked very different. The union was in a temporary structure set where Kennedy Union Plaza is now. Sherman Hall was state of the art, having been dedicated in 1960. And he likely never walked through the pine forest, which separated the campus’s largest construction site, Marycrest, from the Marianist cemetery on the gentle hill on the east edge of campus.
But the pines have been here for generations. In photos from 1900, the statue of Our Lady of the Pines stands taller than the new trees around her. The statue was dedicated in 1890 in thanksgiving for the chapel surviving a fire that burned the adjacent St. Mary’s Convent. Today, the land is dedicated in loving memory of former administrator Joe Belle ’73 and all other students, faculty and staff who die while at UD. While the pine trees we see today are not the original pines, they are a deliberate choice in landscaping that has endured through the University’s history. The Marianists chose pines and, in doing so, defined the spirit of the land.
It’s a quiet place to contemplate, but it’s also the perfect place to lounge. It became more park and less forest in 1997 when campus added grills and picnic tables. In 2001, UD dedicated Serenity Pines, transforming the park’s entrance with walkways, benches, a gurgling stone fountain and landscaping that envelops the visitor in a natural world.
“It’s very pleasant here — you’ve got hemlock, you’ve got spruce, you’ve got pines, old Austrian pines get this really neat gnarled look. … You’ve got a nice variety of trees here,” Kielbaso says to two UD groundskeepers who have joined his journey through time. “This is a lovely, pleasant place.”
Rob Eichenauer takes pride in such praise; it’s his favorite place on campus, and as assistant director of grounds, he is responsible for keeping it beautiful. He points to those same Austrian pines, along with hemlock, white pine and Norway spruce. “Pines like this you don’t see often at this age,” he says, a testament to how cared for and protected they are.
When planning a natural space, he and his co-workers consider what will last long term, what will be hearty and what is native to the area. They also consider a range of colors and textures that will beautify a spot year round. In Serenity Pines, the towering older trees complement ornamental silverbell trees and their lantern-style seedpods. It’s a delicate tree perfect for the serene atmosphere.
“A lot of times [students] sit, just get away,” Eichenauer says. “Even though there’s a dorm right next door, 50 feet away, it’s quiet.”
And on cue, a hummingbird flits by a Wentworth viburnum, buzzing past its oranging berries and looking for the last blooms of a dry summer. And then comes a student, spiral notebook in hand, taking his seat beside the fountain whose murmur masks our voices.
Kielbaso doesn’t look only for beauty on this campus. A pre-eminent troubleshooter, he gazes up to see diplodia — a fungus that kills new shoots and can eventually destroy mature trees — attacking the tips of the august Austrian pines. He looks toward Marycrest and sees a yellowing maple, which he surmises suffers from a manganese deficiency (and offers the UD grounds crew a simple test involving a 2-gallon pickle Mason jar). And he sees ash trees, that mast-straight American hardwood in danger of annihilation from a pernicious green insect that first landed from abroad in his state of Michigan.
The larvae of the emerald ash borer worm under the bark of ash trees and eat through the cambium layer. Cambium is like the heart of the tree, a single-cell layer that continually divides to form xylem (wood) inside and phloem (bark) to the outside. It may take three to five years, but larvae will girdle the tree, completing a circle of cambium destruction and killing its home.
Arborists differ in their prognosis for the species. Kielbaso has talked to many an urban planner who has decided to proactively remove ash trees from an urban environment before the insects turn trees into what Kielbaso describes as “widow-makers,” with dead wood in danger of crushing those standing
At UD, the tactic is different. Every year, ash trees on campus are treated with Tree-äge, which uses that same cambium-centered nutrient highway to poison the larvae. Trees are also regularly cleared of deadwood to prevent injuries. With 300 ash trees on campus, it’s a big job, but it’s part of protecting some of the most iconic autumn views of campus, including the golden row demarcating the south side of Baujan field that provides shade to fans during the last warm, afternoon games before the October chill drives us beneath stadium blankets.
Ashes also glow yellow on either side of Stewart Street along Garden Apartments. These trees are a particular test of UD’s arbor skills, as they were infested with the borer before pesticide treatments began.
There’s a larger question looming between the annual treatments. No matter the effort, will ash trees eventually go the way of the American chestnut? “Are we just prolonging the inevitable?” asks Brian Coulter, UD director of grounds.
Kielbaso is optimistic. For seven years, he’s walked out his back door, across two former fairways and down to the bank of the Red Cedar River to a stand of green ash trees. There he is testing an insecticide delivered through Acecaps — essentially horse pills he inserts into holes drilled into the tree.
“Emerald ash borer has killed all the trees upstream, downstream, across the river, in the whole area,” he says, “and I still have some ash that are surviving.”
He also has faith in entomologists, who have had some success breeding a parasitoid wasp whose larvae prey on the borer. “I’m not sure what my old prof here, Dr. Noland, would say about a parasitoid,” says Kielbaso, “but they’ve begun to release them, and some of them are surviving. And if they are finally able to handle emerald ash borer, then cutting down in advance looks foolish.”
He has a similar outlook as he walks around campus. He sees trees with damage or disease and, after foretelling a short life, suggests the plants have the resiliency to prove him wrong by sheltering students for decades more.
Trees are important; they make a place and they make a place better. But among his years of research, Kielbaso has also studied people and what trees mean to them.
In a study published in 1982 in the Journal of Arboriculture, Kielbaso and his co-authors identified inner-city attitudes toward urban forestry and tree programs. It is most important for governments to provide tree-lined streets, the survey concluded, with eight out of 10 respondents indicating that trees would influence the choice of a place to live, and nearly 90 percent of the respondents reporting that trees increased property values in excess of 10 percent.
In UD’s student neighborhood, Kielbaso walks through a pocket of trees that make the more park-like settings some study respondents reported preferring. At the corner of Kiefaber and Stonemill, back yards are shaded by silver maple and black walnut stretching skinny because low branches are trimmed to prevent injuries — to the students and the trees. Kielbaso says people used to talk primarily of trees for their beauty. Today, there’s also talk of pollution abatement and energy savings. “People appreciate trees for their cooling, pleasant appearance,” says Kielbaso, an inaugural member of the American Forests science advisory board. “This would be a sterile back yard if not for the trees.”
Trees also make us happy, and there is something about medium and large trees that is more pleasing, he found in a 1979 study. But you can’t plant a 50-foot oak. So, says Kielbaso, we must choose between slow-growing and fast-growing trees. “The faster the tree grows, the faster it breaks apart and dies.” The slower the tree growth, the stronger the structure and the longer its life.
In new neighborhoods, this choice often results in lots of silver maples, since residents want instant shade. But on a campus 162 years old, groundskeepers can take a longer view. In the redesigned Central Mall between Kennedy Union and Marycrest, UD planted nearly 100 trees. It was a conscious decision to make a park-like place, much like the earlier decision to create what became Serenity Pines. In front of Marycrest, strong tulip poplars will grow the fastest, reaching maturity in 50 years. Along the edges, rows of maples and oaks will slowly spread over the next 100 years.
“This is very nice — they will offer a lot of shade along here,” Kielbaso says, naming the species. While he personally likes the formality of a row of all maples, he balances that with a need to prevent disease and loss. “I have students who have been city foresters at various cities, and they have a policy: never any of the two same trees adjacent to each other. I don’t go quite that far.
With 1,545 trees on the historic campus — not counting the recent acquisitions of Old River Park and 1700 South Patterson — he could spend all day, all week, getting reacquainted with campus. But it’s getting late. Gloria Hewitt Kielbaso ’63, who taught for two years in UD’s business school before making her career in higher education administration, has already been waiting hours for her husband to finish his tour so the couple can drive home.
She’s so patient, he says, especially when he gets talking of trees. Together, they have traveled the world, his work taking him from Brazil to China. And what does he always bring back as souvenirs? “Just ask Gloria,” he says. “Photos of trees.”
To UD he brought a souvenir of Michigan — seedlings from one of the largest living catalpa trees, planted on the state capitol lawn in 1873. They’re being cared for at Old River Park — UD’s largest expanse of trees — where the seedlings will be sheltered until they grow large enough to transplant to a more public spot.
It’s been 50 years since he last walked the academic pathways of his youth, and so much has changed, Kielbaso says. Individual trees may be more fleeting than brick and mortar, but their care and planning can produce deep roots on which a campus can grow. It happened with Serenity Pines, is happening in the Central Mall, and will continue to happen with every new tree, including his catalpas.
If Michelle Tedford swings high enough, she can touch with the tips of her toes the leaves of the century-old red oak tree in her backyard.
– – – – –
“The goal is for the University to remain beautiful and natural for the alumni to enjoy, new and old,” says Rob Eichenauer, assistant director of grounds.
To accomplish this, UD employs 18 groundskeepers. Some have horticulture degrees, and each is responsible for his or her corner of campus.
As UD has grown in acreage — from 120 in the historic campus core to 388 including the NCR and Frank Z land purchases — the staff has grown slowly, but is still far under the employees per acre average for colleges.
That’s why they look at plantings that will get the most bang — color, variety, texture — for the buck, and what requires the least water and care. Often, they are the native trees — oaks, maples and, until recently, ash.
For its work, the grounds crew has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Landscape Architects Centennial Medal for campus beauty in 1999.
“If we get the opportunity to improve the area — due to construction, disaster or natural loss — let’s take advantage of it,” says Eichenauer, who is looking forward to the fall burst of color from a new variety of sweetgums planted at the Caldwell Street Apartments.
“Planting is one of the easiest things to do right or wrong,” says James Kielbaso ’62. Whether you buy a tree balled or in a container, he recommends knocking off most of the dirt and planting it bareroot.
Chances are the tree started in a small container. The roots grow to the size of the container, hit the edge and turn the corner. The tree, moved to larger and larger containers, continues to grow, roots turning the corner and wrapping around itself. “You can strangle your tree in 20 years just because of the way it’s planted,” he says.
So, dig a big, wide hole. Gently knock off the dirt from the roots, preferably with water from a hose, and keep them moist throughout the planting process. Set the tree and spread the roots to radiate out straight from the trunk. Cover with good soil only up to the root collar — the point where roots begin. Then stake it for support while allowing for small movements, which help strengthen the trunk. And remember to water well, especially during dry periods.No Comments
On a steamy Sunday morning in August, I walked into Shanghai’s St. Ignatius Cathedral for Mass.
The church’s pews overflowed with 2,500 parishioners, so I stood quietly along the back wall, marveling at the sight of faith in action in China. I was surprised by the number of young people worshipping.
Earlier that day, I spent an unforgettable hour with one of the oldest Catholic bishops in the world in his apartment in the cathedral. Jesuit Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, 96, is an inspiring figure, the most influential Catholic in China. About two decades ago, he traveled to our campus to talk about his experiences in China, a Communist country with a checkered relationship with the Vatican. Even now, his stories hold so much power.
Bishop Jin, who’s still spry and energetic, spent nearly three decades under house arrest, in re-education camps and in prison in his native land. Yet, he never lost the faith.
When he was released from prison in 1982, he discovered that St. Ignatius Cathedral, the church where he had been ordained, had been turned into a state-owned grain warehouse during the cultural revolution. The once-stately church had been vandalized, stripped of its magnificent Gothic spires and stained glass. Today, the cathedral’s grandeur has been restored after China began allowing the practice of religion again. Estimates put the number of Catholics in China at 12 million to 15 million, and that figure is growing.
Bishop Jin is not part of the so-called underground church in China. He lives openly as a Catholic priest under the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and promotes dialogue with both the government and the Vatican. The Vatican recognizes his ordination, and he’s made a number of important reforms, including receiving permission to celebrate the Mass in Mandarin instead of Latin.
We talked about faith, what it means to be a Catholic in China, and the role the University of Dayton can play in the future. It was such a positive, uplifting conversation and, for me, reaffirmed why we’re establishing a physical presence in China through the University of Dayton China Institute in Suzhou Industrial Park (P. 26). As a Catholic, Marianist university, we’re here, ultimately, to spread knowledge and live our faith. In the spirit of our Marianist founders, we are builders of community — whether we’re celebrating Christmas on Campus or working with engineers around the globe to solve problems.
We don’t shy away from our identity. Our logo is featured prominently on the outside wall of the China Institute, which will include a center for showcasing our Catholic, Marianist heritage. Suzhou Industrial Park officials plan to build a Catholic church within the ultra-modern, sprawling park, and I believe we can play an important role in
helping the church realize its social justice mission in China.
I left China inspired by a bishop who’s living the faith.No Comments
“It was a trip of a lifetime. I have been in flight simulators, but you cannot simulate the forces your body feels on these trips. It made me appreciate even more the sacrifices of our armed forces.”
—Engineering Dean Tony Saliba ’81 on his July 4 flight in a F/A-18 Hornet with the Blue Angels, in town for the Dayton Air Show.
(Photos courtesy of the Blue Angels)No Comments
Readers had more questions for Carol Ramey ’68, director of the North American Center for Marianist Studies, than we had space in the Big Questions section of the Autumn 2012 issue of University of Dayton Magazine. Here are additional questions with her answers:
What do you understand by your commitment as a member of a Marianist lay community? What difference does it make in your life? Is there anything special about your way of being Catholic as a lay Marianist? —David Fleming, S.M., Dayton, Ohio
My Catholic faith is the foundation of my Marianist commitment, and my Marianist commitment deepens my Catholic faith. Parish life is one component of my quest for God and meaning. Marianist spirituality fulfills a longing in me for an experience where the Word of God is broken open through conversation among peers; where prayer is creative and varied; where trust for deep faith sharing builds among members; where we read the Scripture and the newspaper together, where we ponder and plan activity against the injustices of the world and the church.
The Marianist style of community is prophetic, I think, to the larger church — offering the Marian dimensions of church as complement to the Petrine and the Pauline traditions. Had I not met the Marianists, I wouldn’t have the hope I have for the church because I’ve wouldn’t have witnessed what it could be.
How/when did the Marianist charism capture your imagination? What aspect of Marianist charism do you feel is most needed in the world today and why? What have been the benefits and challenges of lay people being more integral in Marianist leadership around the world? —Crystal Sullivan, Kettering, Ohio
I was drawn to the Marianists at UD in the early ‘60s. I was captivated by the congruence between the Marianist lay community on campus and the documents coming out of Vatican II. The opportunity to change the church and world was electricity for we who were on the threshold of being in the world as contributing adults. I was intrigued by how Marianists spoke of Mary — she was admired as much for her courage and risk taking as she was for her humility and receptivity.
For me, the elements of the charism are a package deal. Each of the five pillars — faith, community, inclusivity, Mary, and mission — is critical for our times. But, community is probably at the center right now — both church and culture struggle with bringing people to a sense of deep purpose and belonging, handling complexities and limits, and living in peace and justice within local and global diversity. Community is both a destination from which to draw strength for the mission and a vehicle by which contemporary approaches to ministry and concepts for social structures for equality can be created.
Lay leadership is at the roots of Marianist life. Blessed Chaminade trusted the capacities of lay to promote zeal, education and practical resources for the early communities, which operated quite well for 16 years before the Marianist religious were founded. The purpose of the orders was to support the growth of the communities, not lead them.
Today, frankly, the most evident benefit is that most of the ministries are continuing despite the fewer numbers of professed Marianists available for leading the apostolic works — dedicated and professionally prepared lay individuals are insuring this for the future.
The challenges are around integrating Marianist spirit into all aspects of institutions’ operations — for example, most Marianist board by-laws require the participation of vowed religious on the boards — this taxes leadership right now. Ongoing educational and formational efforts to support leaders in mission integration need funding and qualified resource people.
How has your position at NACMS evolved over the years? What is the most important function that NACMS serves? —Celine O’Neill, Kettering, Ohio
The reason we exist has stayed the same — we continue to see our core mission as education in Marianist history, spirituality and apostolic approaches.
What have changed are the methods of delivery and our audience. Staff and I have had some steep learning curves — virtual learning, electronic publications, new technologies and avenues for networking, how to meet the interest in information and enrichment among an increasing diverse audience, providing scholarship in Marianist studies and current interpretations of the founders’ thoughts, and staying up-to-date on the Marianists around the world. Our audiences now are a mix of lay and religious, young and old, Catholic and those from other faith traditions.
Doing all this in a cost-containing manner has become more challenging. Serving a growing number of people is gratifying. And we know we need staff members who grew up with or have learned about the newest, latest, electronic devices and the “cloud.”
You have committed a great deal of your life to becoming an expert in Marianist history, traditions, and values. How has Marianist culture influenced your own life as a lay person. —Marge Cavanaugh ’67, Arlington, Va.
The learning and habits go back and forth between my life and work. The culture of the workplace reinforces how I pray, how I apply my talents, how I try to foster good relationships with friends and family and how I strive to put “first things first.” The experiences of lay community, family life and sense of mission and ministry as a lay person help me talk and write about the charism and its manifestations in terms that most people can understand and live out.
In many ways my work has enhanced my personal life choice to be a lay person. In short, my Marianist background assures me that doing ordinary things during ordinary days can be holy.
The people and resources to which I have access through my work help me understand and follow through on the responsibilities that accompany saying “yes” to the universal call to holiness. The Marianist silences and virtues really help keep me on track.
I often try to bring the joys and struggles of my lay life experiences to how I interpret things Marianist in my work. Being a woman, wife, mother and grandmother often provides me with stories and images that I use to relate Marianist history, traditions and values.
How did your time at UD lead you to your present role at the North American Center for Marianist Studies? Do you have interaction with present UD students that are as involved with the Marianist family as you were when you were a student? How is their involvement similar to yours when you were a student? How is it different? —Ed Brink ’82, S.M., St. Louis
My Marianist education at the UD took place in and outside the classroom. My history and political science majors prepared me in the timeframe of the Marianist founders and with an understanding of how change happens in a society. Theology and philosophy exposed me to the traditions of the church as well as the vast changes on the horizon. My extracurricular activities were primarily situated within the Sodality. Several SMs accompanied us and taught us about things Marianist. I left UD primed for the work ahead. I left UD committed to forming Sodality-like communities wherever life took me. I continued to learn from mentors. With SMs, I co-presented yearly seminars for S.M. and F.M.I. novices on Marianist lay life. In 1988, a Marianist brother asked me to consider working at NACMS as an editor. I said “yes!” Six years later, I became director.
I have some contact with involved students through programs for them on campus. I see great similarities between current UD students and my cohort. My formation was structured a bit differently than the present programs for students — in a large group, we heard talks and held discussions in a small building called “The Shack.” Small groupings around specific ministries met to plan good works, but we had the young Brother Ray Fitz nearby who was challenging us around systemic change to society!
The Marianist student communities are reminiscent of off-campus houses that many of us chose to live in together to support the faith journey. The cadre of faculty and staff who work with the students now in both formational and mission includes more lay folks, as most of our mentors where S.M. on the faculty and the F.M.I. who worked in the women’s dorm.
And like my experience of leaving UD behind, most graduates today must create communities in which to continue their Marianist interests. Of course, we didn’t have Skype; we had to make do with newsletters!
The following are the questions and answers — some in a longer form — that appeared in the Autumn 2012 issue of University of Dayton Magazine.
I’ve heard it said that the Marianist charism is a gift for both the church and the world. Can you explain what that means? —Tony Garascia, South Bend, Ind.
Scripture tells us “The gift you have received, give as gift.” (Mt 10: 8-19) Blessed Chaminade did just that — he shared the elements of the charism by providing a complex of methods designed to bring ordinary people together to sustain them in a deep faith life, to instill in them a hopeful disposition toward the world, and to inspire in them a determination to work with zeal for whatever would address the needs of the times.
As the church is for the world and operates within the world, the benefits of this gift extend into the culture.
The Marianist approach for transformation of church and culture continues to blend living within a faith-based community with a mission to serve the world, pursuing virtue in ways that equip us to interact with the world as catalysts for positive change, and a style of organization that brings diverse voices to important conversations. And, the gift gives us a woman, Mary, who prods the church and the world to scatter the proud, to give the hungry good things, and to raise up the lowly.
As in Chaminade’s situation, we need both laity and religious to bring his vision to life. Chaminade taught that through our common baptism, lay and religious have equal rights to and responsibilities around giving the gift we have been given.
Would you briefly compare and contrast the Marianist and Jesuit orders and what they offer to students and to the world? —Doug Davidoff, Arlington, Mass.
My study over the years has been focused almost exclusively on Marianist spirit and education. My knowledge of the Jesuit approach to life and education is very limited. However, the fact that both spring from Catholic tradition creates a common foundation from which the Holy Spirit offers the gifts of the Jesuit and Marianist charisms.
Both work to build the Reign of God through fidelity to the Word and responsiveness to those in need. The Gospel is proclaimed and strong faith is developed in ways central to all their ministerial works. Sodalities — what we call “lay communities” were part of both. The two orders sponsor educational institutions which integrate academic programs with living life as a whole person — one who is supported and challenged in the physical, intellectual, moral, social and creative aspects of life in a global reality. Students in Catholic schools usually thrive because all elements of the human experience are incorporated in a faith based environment. Each charism, though, offers the opportunity to learn about the Gospel and life by stressing particular elements of the Jesus’ teachings.
Marianists emphasize formation in faith and family spirit (community and equality within diversity). Additionally, they provide a culture in which one finds quality, integral learning; education for service, justice, and peace; and a facility to adapt and change as needed. All five characteristics — inspired by the Spirit — give witness through a focus and intensity throughout the school that will brings everyone more deeply into the Christ life. Marianists call all this “Mary’s Mission” — as she bore Christ into the world and taught him, she teaches us how to form Christ within ourselves and others and bear Christ into all times, places, and circumstances.
Do you think Chaminade was a good delegator of authority and, if so, what might we learn from him? —Joseph Stefanelli ’43, S.M., Cupertino, Calif.
Yes, I do. His design and implementation of the Three Offices from the first days of the Bordeaux Sodality and his inclusion of this method of organization into the Constitutions of the FMI and SM gives clear indication that he was a great delegator. As I understand delegation, it is meant to distribute the workload, to prepare people for more responsibility and leadership and to draw out the various gifts of all those involved in an enterprise. It allows for distinct perspectives to be honored and discussed. Through the deliberation, the best of the practical ideas and spiritual wisdom can surface and be weighed in light of a common good. Chaminade’s Offices do all of that and more.
He had confidence in persons who, like Adèle and many members of the sodalities, were much younger than he. He relied as persons such as Marie Thérèse, to whom he entrusted important work, even though she did not have the background he did. Chaminade was aware of most of what was going on, but he did not seem to micro manage the situations.
What can we learn? I hope that leaders learn that delegation is part and parcel of leading, but in ways that serve both the community or organization and the individual. Chaminade really tried to avoid throwing people into the deep end of the lake. From him, we can learn that mentoring and developmental experiences, good spiritual guidance, formation in virtue and provision of practical skills must always be available. And most importantly, we have to learn how to foster a common sense of the mission. Chaminade always reminded those to whom he delegated responsibilities that their work was the work of Mary.
The Marianist finds special inspiration in the actions of a frightened, young woman who chooses to say, “Yes.” Today’s young women and men are bombarded with a multitude of choices — career, personal, social, political and technological. How do Mary and the tradition of the Marianist speak to these young men and women today? How can the Marianist charism serve as a guiding source in the lives of all people, young and old? —Kevin Wisniewski ’94, Centerville, Ohio
I believe the guiding source for today’s young people in the midst of frightening uncertainty can still be found in inspirations from Mary. The story of the Annunciation deserves serious meditation and reflection. Here are a few principles I’ve been taught by Marianists.
First, get used to living with ambiguity. I don’t mean to sound flip — life just will often present multiple options and unexpected changes. I reflect on the very ambiguous situation Mary was in with the Angel’s visit, and I see her peacefulness at the conclusion of the encounter. So, I will myself not to panic. I will myself to avoid the option that offers immediate relief from the anxiety. It was hard when I was young; it is still hard
Secondly, learn the art of pondering. I would often fall into the routine of weighing risks and benefits, which gives good information, but pondering is more about listening for the voice of the Spirit. I say the phrase, “Mary pondered these things in her heart.” Her heart — not her mind. As Chaminade counseled, I try to listen “to the attitudes of the heart.”
Trust in God is the third aspect of letting Mary influence us. Mary, after asking a simple question — “How can this be?” and after listening to a pretty unbelievable answer from the Angel, says “Let it be done according to Thy Word.” At the start of the visit from the Angel she is troubled. At the end of the visit, her destiny is defined, without knowing what that really means. She just states an act of faith.
Mary’s trust in God had to be challenged by many episodes in her Son’s life, especially as she stood at the foot of the cross. Did the ambiguity go away? We don’t know except that the frequent reference to pondering infers it was still a factor in her faith life. Accepting ambiguity and learning to ponder as Mary did, I think, will bring us to the kind of trust she had.
In your best imagination, what do you see as the future of the Marianist Family and its strong growth over the last few years? —Michael O’Grady ’69, S.M., San Antonio
My vision of the future is sometimes grandiose — I imagine the church and its hierarchy taking charism more seriously and drawing upon the gifts of each to renew and refresh what some say is an institution in trouble. Imagine lay people, well steeped in theology and living in the light of the Gospel, working alongside clergy and religious from parishes up to the Vatican offices. Imagine if the church developed a network of small communities dedicated to strong internal dynamics where faith, hope and compassion radiated out as a light on the mountain top. Imagine the same communities with robust activity for the improvement of quality of life from local neighborhoods to the scope of the planet. Imagine people flocking to these communities to see how God has worked such miracles! Now that would be the “spectacle” that Chaminade often spoke about.
I do keep a smaller version of that vision in my heart. My imagination and my vision for the future are fueled by hope — the virtue that helps us trust in movement from what is “not yet” to “ what can be.” My hope stays alive from the experience of being with young adults who are on fire” with Marianist spirit and who are engaging in service projects for social change. My hope comes from the commitment of long-time members in lay communities, from the spirit alive and well in Marianist schools, retreat centers, and parishes, from the faithfulness of communities and affiliate groups whose members have lived to an old age and who are going to stop meeting only because of increasing health issues and transportation problems.
How can the imagined scenario become real? Well, as you mentioned there is a spike in the growth of communities of young people. Young adults throughout the world are engaged in Marianist formation programs and starting to create new communities in our tradition.
I’ll admit to some gloom and doom moments. Too many of my fellow travelers in life have left the church over the scandals, rigidity of what is defined as moral truth, and its lack of inclusion of lay people in all the ministries of the church. My vision on some days includes all these folks coming home.
A final part of the my vision is related to vocations to religious life and the priesthood. I envision men and women who pursue this type of vocation because the world desperately needs their witness of unconditional love, simplicity in all things, and listening above all the chatter for the voice of God.
For our next issue, ask your question of Father Paul Vieson, S.M., ’62 director of the Marianist Archives. Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org Comment
These walls can talk.
“I am home.” “Be. Love.” “The best we can be is good for each other.” “So many roads to ease my soul.” “I awoke this morning, tired and dirty, I felt full!”
These are just a few of the seemingly random, yet deeply personal, thoughts University of Dayton students have scribbled on the walls of a dilapidated, $100-a-month 1930s farmhouse in the hills of Kentucky they call home for nine weeks each summer. The UD Summer Appalachia Program is the University’s longest-standing campus ministry service program. This year’s group of 15 students, now back on campus, departed UD May 29 with vanloads full of donated food and clothing in tow.
For nearly half a century — 47 years, to be exact — UD students have lived among the people of Salyersville, Ky. It’s a tiny, rich-in-spirit slice of Appalachia just 227 miles away from campus but worlds apart in way of life.
Of Salyersville’s 1,600 residents, about 18 percent are unemployed and more than 40 percent live below the poverty line. And that was before a March tornado devastated more than a dozen businesses, a Catholic church and a middle school in this close-knit community where family ties run deep.
Each summer, students run a free day camp and teen center and volunteer at a nursing home. They give up most of life’s material trappings — TVs, cell phones and computers — share a bathroom with one sink and sleep on the floor or in bunk beds in a house with no air conditioning.
In fact, they reside in more primitive conditions than many of the people in this largely isolated, rural community where some live in aging trailers in the hollers and others have taken up residence in comfortable middle-class homes on a main road.
“We have a great outhouse, and if you want to take a shower, it’s out back behind the barn or you can bathe in the lake,” says Brother Tom Pieper, S.M. ’67, who’s been traveling to Salyersville with the students for 13 years. The students affectionately call him “BT.”
“We don’t go down to save people. We go down to learn and reflect and live together in community,” he says.
That’s a message that resonates with the UDSAPers, as they call themselves. “I feel I was born to do this,” says Jann Knappage, a senior dietetics major from Medina, Ohio. “I felt called to do this. When you have a strong gut feeling, someone once told me it’s like the Holy Spirit pushing you in a direction.”
Taylor Beyerle, a senior special education major from Vandalia, Ohio, packed her summer’s belongings in a 12-inch Tupperware container. To her, the summer was about learning the difference between what she needs and what she wants.
It was “hotter than hell” the summer Donny Rambacher ’12 lived in Salyersville, but he looks back on the experience as one of the best moments of his life. Later, he returned for a weekend to photograph the people he met and record their stories in their own words for a major project in an upper-level visual design course.
The students Rambacher lived with became some of his closest friends, ones he says he will cherish forever.
“We played a lot of euchre, did everything together. I liked Sunday night prayer because it was a way to remind us why we were there. But I particularly loved waking up, opening my eyes and reading a new quote on the wall,” he says. “It’s a place full of memories.”
BT sums up best what a summer in Salyersville is all about: “If you don’t want to be changed, don’t apply.”
That’s worth writing on the wall.
Brother Tom Pieper, S.M., is planning a 50th reunion of UDSAPers. To reconnect, join the UDSAPers Connect! Facebook page or email tpieper1 (at) udayton.edu.No Comments
And another half-dozen players from Dayton also are seeing professional success
This was a magical Major League Baseball season for the Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals, both of which have treated their home fans to pulsating victories in the last at-bat of many games.
And those walk-off wins — so named since the winning team then heads to its dugout — normally means that a member of the bullpen for the A’s and Nats gets credited with a victory. That has been good news to Oakland’s Jerry Blevins ’05 and Washington’s Craig Stammen ’06, a pair of former Flyer hurlers who are quality big-league relievers.
“We have very similar teams in the sense we are led by good pitching, both in the bullpen and the starting rotation. We have a youthful team and it seems to be the same on both coasts, with us on the West Coast and the Nationals on the East Coast,” said Blevins, a teammate with Stammen at UD.
Blevins, a former Dayton walk-on, was drafted by the Cubs in 2004 and made his Major League debut with Oakland following a trade in 2007. Blevins has been a reliable lefty out of the pen with a solid ERA of 2.61 and a record of 4-1 in his first 43 outings.
“It has been awesome, to be honest. The more we win, the more (the fans) come out,” Blevins said. “It has been the most fun environment in the Coliseum that I have been a part of.” The A’s had 13 walk-off wins by mid-August to lead the majors, while Washington had 24 comeback wins and eight walk-offs heading into August.
Right-hander Stammen was drafted by the Nationals in 2005 and broke into The Show as a starting pitcher for Washington four years later. After mixed success as a starter, Stammen has used a devastating slider out of the pen for a Nats team that had the best record in the big leagues for much of the year. He was 5-1 with an ERA of 2.48 in his first 43 appearances.
“It is going to be exciting. Every player wants to be playing meaningful games in September. We will see how we handle the pressure,” Stammen said.
For Blevins, a reunion sounds good: “Hopefully we can meet in the World Series,” Blevins noted. “That would be cool,” Stammen added.
Besides the two, six former Flyers were with minor league affiliates or independent league teams. Pitcher Mike Hauschild was 1-2, 2.19 in his first 14 games with two saves with the Greenville (Tenn.) Astros in the short-season Appalachian League after he was drafted in the 33rd round by Houston in June.
“It is definitely a dream come true to play pro baseball,” Hauschild said. “I am just happy the Astros
Also with Greenville was infielder Brian Blasik, who signed with Houston as a non-drafted free agent. The former UD star hit .322 in his first 183 at-bats with the Astros after appearing in the NCAA Regionals last spring with Hauschild, now his roommate in the minors.
Pitcher Cameron Hobson was 7-3, 5.02 in his first 16 starts with High Desert in the high Class A California League in the Seattle farm system. Pitcher Burny Mitchem ’11 was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent and was 1-0 with an ERA of 2.45 in his first 11 outings in the Gulf Coast League.
Outfielder Bob Glover ’12 and infielder C.J. Gillman ’12 joined the independent Windy City Thunderbolts. Glover was hitting .255 in his first 191 at-bats and Gillman hit .267 in his first 135 at-bats.
David Driver is a freelance writer who has covered minor and major league baseball for 20 years. He also contributed to UD Magazine on former Flyers who played basketball and soccer.No Comments
You read us, and you like us. For that, we are appreciative.
And we also know what you’d like to see changed.
Respondents to the 2012 University of Dayton Magazine reader survey — emailed in May to a statistical sample of readers including alumni, students, parents, donors, faculty and staff — reported that they overwhelming rate the magazine’s content as excellent or good. Photography and cover received an excellent or good rating from 91 percent of respondents, writing from 89 percent. All results are plus or minus 4 percent.
Regarding the statement, “UD Magazine strengthens my personal connection to UD,” 32 percent strongly agreed, 58 percent agreed, and 10 percent disagreed or had no opinion. When asked how the magazine strengthens the personal connection, 71 percent reported that magazine content reminded them of their UD experience; 58 percent said the magazine is a source of continuing education; and 33 percent said the magazine encourages them to support UD.
You are most interested in the class notes section, with 46 percent responding “very interested” and another 31 percent “interested.” This statistic may reflect UD’s unique feeling of community; data collected from nearly 100,000 university magazine readers from across the country show that respondents from doctoral, private universities reported an interest in class notes that was 13 percentage points lower than UD’s findings.
UD Magazine readers are also very interested in reading stories about:
• athletics, 33 percent of respondents
• campus facilities and growth, 31 percent
• history and tradition, 30 percent
• alumni chapter activities, 23 percent
• campus controversies, 21 percent
• student achievement, 18 percent
• religion and faith-based issues, 15 percent
• student research and academic experience, 12 percent
• faculty research, 9 percent
Twenty-three percent of respondents spend an hour or more with each issue of UD Magazine, and 54 percent respondents say they read all or most of the magazine.
Most report that they prefer to read the print version of the magazine, and only 10 percent report they are likely to go online for additional content, an indication of the need to strengthen the quality and content of the magazine’s digital offerings to increase interest.
An area for improvement is the magazine’s credibility. Only 35 percent of readers indicated that the magazine consistently portrays the institution accurately and objectively; 39 percent said the magazine contains some spin; 13 percent said the magazine only portrays the university is a positive light; and 3 percent report UD Magazine is not a good source of objective information. (Ten percent had no opinion.)
And we hear that you want our staff — who live and breathe campus daily — to remember to include references for those far removed from campus. One respondent wrote, “When I see photos of a changed campus, I cannot make the comparison between then and now. From brief visits back, I love what has been done, but sometimes the pictures in the magazine are hard to recognize.”
UD Magazine remains the top way that our audience learns information about the University. Because of magazine content, 43 percent of readers have recommended UD to a potential student; 33 percent have contacted a classmate or friend; 34 percent have discussed or forwarded an article or issue; and 35 percent have made a donation to UD. One respondent wrote that the magazine “allows me to brag about UD to others and show them something tangible to back it up.”
Some readers still miss our old newsprint tabloid, while others note that they love the magazine format. “Keep experimenting, but gradually,” writes one reader. “Overall, I think it is a good product.”
Look for the 2013 survey in late winter. In the meantime, suggestions are always welcomed at email@example.com.No Comments