Among a dozen sleeping bodies, I awake to cold and rain. Peter, our leader, will soon say, “Let’s get some breakfast going and row to shore for the marathon run.”
Tea, granola and honey on a 20-foot open boat will be followed by a 7-mile run on a rocky trail around our island base camp. We are nearing the end of a monthlong sailing experience in 1975 at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine.
A young teacher on my high school staff told me about Outward Bound schools and their theories about learning from the experience of overcoming obstacles in natural settings such as sailing and backpacking.
At age 42, I had a doctorate and a career as the principal of a 2,000-boy high school. But now I was in a competitive situation full of 20-somethings. Many were experienced sailors; I did not know the difference between port and starboard.
I was learning — about adjusting to wind and weather and 20-somethings and about encountering myself.
Water — fog, rain and waves — was the constant that month. We daily moved from one island to another, sometimes sleeping on the boat. It was never hard to fall asleep.
Outward Bound was about learning from experience. There were no books or lectures. The instructor said as little as possible. The experience took place in a group setting because the theory is that the truth is in the group, in the community — and all are responsible for finding it.
Years later, while biking, I stopped at a meadow to admire a mare and a colt. I noticed that, although the mare followed the colt everywhere, she just let it wander around finding its own path except when it ventured near to me. Then the mare chased it off in another direction away from the danger of my presence.
I tried to convince students that this was a symbol of my teaching style; I am afraid they did not understand my method. When I would later ask them about my style of teaching, all they could say was it had something to do with a horse.
My Outward Bound experience convinced me that the greatest service a teacher can do for students is to let them find their own paths in their own ways, to intervene only when their wandering in one direction is not working.3 Comments
Kristi Gillespie ’93 spends her time creating worlds.
Picture a kingdom of 10,000 people. There are royals, peasants and people dressed in medieval armor, ready for combat. Tents line a giant field, glowing with string lights in the Pennsylvania night. People run rampant in giant wooden castles and reenact their own storylines.
This is the Pennsic War, a live action roleplay event held by the Society for Creative Anachronism. Gillespie was first introduced to the Society in college, and though her time served in the Navy drew her away from such activities, she was reintroduced to role playing when she met her wife and reentered the fantastical worlds of seven different groups.
One thing Gillespie finds most appealing is the inclusivity it provides. As a disabled veteran, Gillespie isn’t able to participate in the combative events but said there is so much else to do within these worlds, such as blacksmithing, leatherworking and cooking.
“It’s an escape from reality,” Gillespie said. “You get to be somebody else. You don’t have the baggage of your daily life for the weekend.”
Gillespie has published one book, titled Gultar, the Gentle Giant, and is in the process of writing another. She uses her writing skills to craft weekend-long live-action events with 80 or 90 different storylines. She’s running an event this October and working to make it even more inclusive by designing characters for transgender and nonbinary people, an idea she picked up at a new Harry Potter-inspired event she attended last year.
While being a famous author and turning her books into movies are among Gillespie’s dreams, for now, she said she is content creating worlds for people to entertain and be entertained by.
“I’m happy just making other people happy at this point,” Gillespie said. “I’ve lived a really full life. I’ve done almost everything I’ve ever wanted to do in life.”
Toothpaste. Hockey. Dog. Boy. Banana.
Memorize those words. You’ll need to repeat them back to me at the end of this
I was asked to remember five such words — not these exact words; those I can’t remember, then or now — as part of a research study out of the Department of Physical Therapy. This is the second time I’ve volunteered, in part because my ordeals as a test subject have been minor. The first time, I wore oversized Fitbits on my wrists for a week to gather data on how I used my arms. This time, in addition to the memory test and some exercises, I laid on a table and tried not to fall asleep while students measured the girth of my arms.
Mary Kate Lewis sees volunteering differently. “It’s something anyone can do to impact the greater good,” she said.
Lewis, who graduated from UD with a pre-physical therapy degree in 2016, is one half of the physical therapy doctoral duo responsible for designing, conducting and evaluating research to gather typical measures of upper limb function in women. Lewis and her classmate, Molly Schaffer ’19, want to know how women without breast cancer use their arms in comparison to women with breast cancer.
It’s among the studies students have conducted under the direction of associate professor Mary Fisher. Her work includes investigating the functional problems women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer experience after treatment. Lewis said if they can ascertain the range of “normal,” it could help practitioners better understand the early warning signs of conditions like lymphedema, or arm swelling from a buildup of lymphatic fluid.
While I agree with Lewis that research subjects help the greater good, volunteering is also a way that I, a member of the University staff, can connect to the essence of what happens on campus: faculty research, education, student experience, community outreach and a quest to create a better world.
As I talked with Lewis, I learned more about her motivation for becoming a physical therapist. It includes having a hands-on role in helping people live better lives. Lewis told me about her very first patient: the woman was 102. That day, Lewis helped the centenarian move and stretch.
Lewis said she sees research as an extension of that opportunity to help others. It’s also allowed her to learn a lot about herself.
“If I ever had to do research as a Ph.D. — which is a daunting thought — I know it’s something I could handle,” she said.
Back in the research room, the students administering the tests are encouraging me through the routine. I’m a stellar test subject for arm volume measuring (I just lay there), and I follow directions well for the range of motion, peak force and endurance tests. The cognitive test is a bit trickier, and I can’t recall the word I’m to repeat that begins with a “C.” (Cloak? Church? Caterpillar?)
Lewis tells me not to worry, everyone has trouble — an indication she’s also learned an empathetic bedside manner.
Me, not so much. Remember those five words? Go.
As a human resources executive at Ford Motor Co. and then Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Eric Mathews ’88 knows what it takes to be successful in business. As a former teammate of new UD men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant ’87, he also knows what it takes to work as a team to be competitive and reach goals.
Now Mathews uses his skills as a career-education teacher in the Akron (Ohio) Public Schools. He was drawn to teaching several years ago as the perfect balance between preparation and success and was recognized as the Association for Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year in 2015. He also received praise from President Barack Obama at the White House in 2016 during Teacher Appreciation Week.
“I have a passion to prepare students to be career- and post-secondary-ready. In the classroom, my students learn collaboration, problem solving and critical-thinking skills. They work as a group to develop new ideas and support each other with their roles and responsibilities,” he said.
Mathews sees his presence in the classroom as a role model for students on how persistence, hard work and preparation can help them achieve positive outcomes in life. “My students are involved in laboratory activities, internships, job shadowing and participation in DECA (Distribution Education Clubs of America) competitions. This will help them in college or the workforce.”
Mathews, an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member, advises those considering a career change to teaching to “follow your passion” and have a role in “developing the future leaders of our great country and have a lasting impact on lives.” He adds, “When I was at UD, I never thought that I would be a teacher. What I can say is that UD taught me a sense of community and of giving back to society. Guess what — I’m doing it. Many lives have been effected positively.”
Where most people saw trash, Beatrice Mady ’76 saw a blank canvas waiting for color.
Mady was a contributing artist for Landfillart, a project that repurposes old metal hubcaps into paintings, sculptures and more. Mady’s work, a black-and-white painted disk filled with curving shapes called swans, represents her family and was inspired by a trip to Japan.
“I’ve been very involved with recycling and reusing … so it was a great idea to take something that was going to be thrown away and make it into beautiful art,” she said.
When she’s not creating with found pieces, Mady draws from her travels — to places including Croatia, Egypt, the American Southwest and Germany — to craft photographs, oil paintings and digital work.
“The subject matter is abstract, not literal; I try to capture the flavor of the country I visited,” she said.
At any given time, she might have five paintings and a handful of digital pieces in progress. But when you’re passionate about something, Mady says, it doesn’t feel like work: “I don’t think there’s a separation between work and creating art. I make art for me, out of my need for creating something.”
An associate professor of graphic arts at St. Peter’s University in New Jersey, Mady shares her passion with students in much the same way her professors at UD once did as she majored in painting.
“I love teaching because it keeps me fresh in the field. It’s nice to share my love of the arts with others who are burgeoning artists,” she said.
And for those burgeoning artists, Mady had a few words of advice: “Practice your craft and then develop your work. Once it’s like breathing, you can create a work of art and then develop your own style. Your work is good, even if people are saying no. Eventually, someone will say yes.”
The traditional-foot tapping jazz, not the finger-snapping kind. Dixieland, Ragtime and New Orleans’ style. That’s the type of jazz Bob Ashman ’59 wants to hear, and it’s what he wants to share.
After graduation and a stint in the Army, Ashman worked for Procter & Gamble for 36 years. Part of his time was spent in
New Orleans, where Ashman would hear plenty of jazz, but it wasn’t where he fell in love with it.
“In the mid-’50s, I lived on Alberta Street across from the Fieldhouse,” Ashman said. “There was a bar downtown, and a bunch of us would go down there every time Carl Halen’s Gin Bottle Seven played.” Included in the bunch of friends was Ashman’s future wife, Connie Masten ’57.
The close-knit community of Flyers isn’t so different from what Ashman experienced when he started the Cape May Traditional Jazz Society nine years ago in New Jersey.
“I don’t play, and I thought the most difficult part about starting the society would be finding musicians. It was the easiest,” Ashman said. “They’re like a band of brothers.”
When word got out that Ashman was booking traditional jazz bands once a month, they reached out to him. Like the crowds that come to hear the music, the players do it for the love of the music.
“Sometimes we lose a few bucks. When we make money, we donate it to a local food bank,” Ashman said.
Like so many Flyers, Ashman is in it for the love, and he’s willing to give back to the community. It doesn’t come without effort.
“If you want something to happen, you’ve got to get off your ass and do it. We’re a small group,” said Ashman describing the Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Board. “We’re all retired, and we handle everything from booking the bands to setting up the chairs.”
The payment? Traditional jazz, and that’s music to his ears.
In early May, archaeologist Dorian Borbonus drove two visitors from central Rome out to the countryside and parked. A stray dog wandered the edge of an ancient wall as we got out and stretched our legs. Beneath our feet were dark, glass-smooth stones the size of manhole covers laid by Roman workers two millennia ago. We were at the bottom of a hill on the ancient Appian Way, one of the most important Roman roads. The incline we were about to climb, Borbonus explained, was formed by 260,000-year-old lava flow that originated in the Alban Hills and stopped at this very spot.
We began to make our way uphill on Via Appia Antica. Ahead of us, our destination peeked out over the tree tops against a blue sky. We were coming to see what was meant to be the last resting place of a woman named Caecilia Metella.
Caecilia Metella is today one of the most widely known women of ancient Rome. Yet, experts know almost nothing about her. Every trace of evidence about the life she lived is lost to history except one, which stood on the crest of the hill we were approaching. It is a funerary monument erected after her death, a cylindrical mausoleum about three stories high and 100 feet in diameter ringed with limestone slabs.
Caecilia Metella’s tomb is one of hundreds of Roman funerary sites that Borbonus, a UD associate professor of history, has visited during more than a decade of research. Few are as grand as hers, but then few Romans lived in the luxury she presumably did. Mausoleums such as this were for members of Rome’s elite families, which numbered several hundred families in the first century. But Rome’s population reached as high as a million in that period. The vast majority of people were buried more simply. As was the custom of the time, they were cremated, and their ashes were placed, by law, beyond the city walls.
While scholars have studied individual sites, none has so far done what Borbonus spent the 2016-17 academic year in Rome laying the groundwork to do. His vision and plan is to develop the first-ever study of life in ancient Rome over a 400-year period as it can be understood through its changing burial practices. If Borbonus is successful — and he openly admits he is not sure he will be — his history will slash across social class because it will have at its roots the one experience inescapable for everyone rich and poor, free and slave, high and low. Everyone dies.
Caecilia’s family must’ve thought she was very special, I speculated.
Maybe or maybe not, Borbonus replied. “This is just meant to be a super-public tomb. It’s hard to get the whole tomb in your point of view, and it really exploits its position on top of the hill.”
The real point of the monument was how it displayed the family’s importance, he said. They wanted everyone who passed by to see their wealth and power.
We bought our tickets and went inside. Her crypt was empty, likely looted centuries ago.
Mausoleums, crypts, remains.
Why study funerary culture? Borbonus admits it can be a macabre and sometimes creepy experience. Descending into the underground tombs so common in Rome can feel “otherwordly,” he once wrote.
One reason is that studies of ancient Rome suffer from an understandable bias toward elites. Emperors, senators and families like Caecilia Metella’s are the people about whom Tacitus, Seneca and such wrote. Much less is known about the vast majority of Romans who were not elite. For many, a funerary inscription is the only writing about them that survives, if it exists at all. Even in their absence, funerary practices offer other clues. Are tombs hidden or monumental? Are people buried singly or with others? What do decorations suggest was important to them? The ways in which even anonymous people were buried offers a rare avenue for learning about their lives.
Borbonus finds himself empathizing with people whose inscriptions he reads while at the same time seeing how different their social experience was from ours. This recognition allows him to step out of our modern life and reflect on it from afar.
“One of the things I think about death and burial in antiquity is that it’s much more integrated with life,” he said. “I can recognize this only by studying it and reflecting on modern societies and being struck by how, you know, old people don’t live with their families anymore but are in a home, for example. We try to push old age, the process of dying, death and how to cope with it away. Or, at least it’s compartmentalized much more than in ancient society. I think I learn something about modern societies by studying the Romans.”
The chief difficulty with studying funerary culture in Rome is partly administrative — five bureaucracies manage the sites around the city — and partly historical. Roman ruins have been excavated and put on display for centuries. But excavation, Borbonus said, is an act of destruction. Once someone digs out a site, no one else can redig it.
The American Academy in Rome sits atop Gianicolo, a hill just west of the Tiber River that offers sweeping views of the city that often make the covers of tourist guidebooks. The academy traces its history to the late 19th century, when a group of American scholars sought a European base for studying classical art. Today, it hosts residents, fellows and, each year, up to 30 recipients of the prestigious Rome Prize, which provides a stipend, room and board and other benefits for 11 months to support innovative scholarly and creative projects.
Borbonus, a German citizen, snagged the only 2016-17 Rome Prize available to a non-U.S. citizen. Midway through his time in Rome, his spouse, Myrna Gabbe, a UD associate professor of ancient philosophy, and their two children joined him. The couple met in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where their first conversation was about her upcoming interview for a faculty position at UD. She landed the job, and he followed, eventually earning a full-time position in the history department, where he teaches courses on ancient Greek and Roman history.
In a courtyard in the American Academy’s main building, Borbonus stood in front of inscriptions on marble slabs on the wall, many just a little smaller than a standard diner booth tabletop. To my untrained eye, they were fascinating but inscrutable. With his arm outstretched from the sleeve of his black leather jacket, Borbonus pointed and began deciphering what many of them had in common. The giveaway was the writing at the
top of many of them, either “DM” or the words that these letters abbreviate: “Dis Manibus.”
“It means ‘to the spirits of the deceased,’” he said. These were all funerary inscriptions that once adorned burial sites. “This invocation probably honors both the deceased mentioned in the inscriptions and potentially all other deceased ancestors of the family.”
The inscriptions on the slabs hanging here have value, but for Borbonus it’s limited. He illustrated the point two days later in Villa Borghese, a rambling public park in central Rome. As we walked along a gravel path toward a playground, families pedaling four-seater carriages like bicycles rolled past. “There’s a monument just up ahead,” Borbonus said.
I looked, but all I saw was a small fountain.
“This is it,” he said as we came up to the fountain. At the top, springwater flowed from the mouth of a man flanked by two fish on his shoulders. The water fell into a rectangular marble box with reliefs carved on the side. It was the size of a small steamer trunk. “You see here. This is definitely a sarcophagus.” He was pointing at the marble box. “The top is a later addition, obviously.”
I’d heard that “obviously” before. He used it at Caecilia Metella’s tomb and another shaped like a pyramid. “Obviously” was his linguistic tool for dismissing a Renaissance or modern — and, hence, irrelevant to him — element of a structure. The additions were never obvious to me, but his adverb became an entry point into understanding how he reads evidence. Where I saw a single fountain, he saw an assemblage of historical phases that told him a story over time. But, as was the case here, not every story they told was much help to his research.
This sarcophagus, he said, had likely been unearthed centuries earlier, in medieval or even ancient times. Were it uncovered today, archaeologists would record significant data to establish its provenance. The sarcophagus was likely brought here to Villa Borghese sometime during the Renaissance, when this land was part of the estate of a wealthy cardinal and famed art collector. When this artifact was moved from its original location, it was separated from the context that gave it any archaeological meaning. Borbonus couldn’t even say whether the sarcophagus had probably come from somewhere near Rome.
Like the slabs hanging on the wall of the American Academy, this was a relic without a context. Despite the cost and care that went into creating it 20 or so centuries ago, it was now more useful as a fountain decoration than as an object for archaeological study.
Archaeologists, treasure hunters and thieves have been excavating Rome for centuries, but there remain places that are little-touched. Borbonus became interested in one narrow category of them when, working on a collaborative research project with his adviser, he was studying maps of the land along the Via Appia. The maps recorded a number of ancient, underground vaults recessed into walls for the burial of ashes — called columbaria — where nonelite Romans, often slaves and freed slaves attached to an aristocratic household, were buried. One intriguing aspect of this style of columbaria was how suddenly it appeared during the reign of Emperor Augustus and then, a generation or two later,
almost as suddenly disappeared.
In a book-length study of them, Borbonus described a typical one: “High interior walls are covered with an unbroken grid of little arched niches that give access to terra-cotta urns, usually two, immured in the wall, and their occupants are identified by little plaques with brief funerary inscriptions below the niche.” These columbaria, he further wrote, “may be less spectacular than the monuments of Rome’s political elite, but they are no less original.” Unlike the sarcophagus at Villa Borghese, this was evidence he could work with.
When Borbonus looked into them more, he found very little information. “There was not a ton published, and everybody said the same thing. The same three or four pieces of information were repeated over and over again.”
Finding them to study firsthand can be difficult. They’re often recognizable from above ground only by tell-tale undulations in a grassy field. Once found, they’re not easy to access. “None of them is open to the public, so you have to get a special permit. They’re all on private property, sometimes in the most exclusive suburbs of Rome, so it can be difficult to get in. Once I got in, I would have maybe 20 minutes to an hour to look at one of them,” he said.
In the first columbarium he climbed down into, he looked around as quickly as he could, reading inscriptions and looking for changes in the architecture over time.
“But then I ran out of time,” he said, so he simplified his tactics in his next visits. “I just reverted to taking pictures. Digital cameras were new. I only had a film camera. I developed so much film. I would survey the entire tomb just taking pictures I could look at later on. That was the best way to study them. It’s not ideal.”
In his photos from multiple columbaria, he examined the architecture, the size and composition of inscriptions, the drawings and any other decorative elements. The earliest columbaria show great architectural simplicity and regularity, epitaphs are brief, and decoration is minimal. Furthermore, they are underground. All of this data, he wrote, “squarely inverts the keen demand for attention” demanded by sites like Caecilia Metella’s monument. In the columbaria’s collective burial, Borbonus saw egalitarianism that signaled a moment of collective identity and social cohesion among Rome’s non-elite.
But it didn’t last long, just a few decades.
“At some point, people start to change the architecture,” Borbonus said. “You actually see that the columbaria style became outdated very quickly, and another style of burial became popular, namely, a marble object with nice decorations sculpted and an inscription right on it. A marble object is
always costly, right? So it becomes sort of more flashy. So you see that they introduce a hierarchy later on.”
With time, members of this social class of Romans began retrofitting existing columbaria to match emerging styles, making alterations to accommodate larger urns and building new types of funerary sites.
“They want a tomb with a large niche in the center where somebody who thinks they’re more important for whatever reason can be buried, whether it’s the owner of the tomb who has his slaves and freedmen buried on the sides or whether it’s somebody whose loss was particularly heartfelt.”
One possible explanation for the change, he suggests, is that these occupants “never solidified into a coherent social class,” perhaps because of the diversity of their circumstances.
Just as Borbonus used close STUDY of these columbaria to make conclusions about a narrow class of Romans over a short time period, he is now working to expand his scope to 400 years of Roman funerary culture at the height of its power, roughly 200 B.C. to the second century after Christ’s birth.
During his Rome Prize fellowship year, he visited every funerary site in Rome to which he could get. As with his early, feverish attempts to photograph columbaria on 20-minute visits, analysis would come later. The fellowship year was all about data gathering. Some sites are well-known, but others required special permits or pleading with reluctant landowners. And, every once in a while, a just-right opportunity came along.
Nine months into his 11-month fellowship with the American Academy of Rome, Borbonus stood outside a fence in the shadow of San Paolo Fuori le Mura, the second-largest of Rome’s four papal basilicas. Underground somewhere near his feet ran the ancient Via Ostiensis, a Roman road that led to an ancient port through which centuries of grain and other goods flowed from the empire’s far reaches to its center.
Like the Via Appia, this road out of the city was once lined with cemeteries. One of them — called Necropoli San Paolo, excavated a century ago and largely left alone since — was just on the other side of the fence in front of Borbonus. He’d secured a permit and funding to spend two weeks of intense study here, which he’d begin in a few days. He was eager to get started.
The site had roughly the same footprint as Liberty Hall on UD’s campus. It sat sunken in the ground but would have been at street level in Roman times, before centuries of Tiber River flooding added silt and 10 or so feet of elevation. Inside was a wealth of arches, urns, decorations, inscriptions and walkways that Borbonus would piece together into a story about how Romans used this tomb.
Two weeks was not a lot of time, but it was comparatively luxurious for him, so he indulged in a form of super-notetaking. Using specialized equipment, he gathered thousands of photographs and minute measurements, data points sufficient for creating a three-dimensional digital version of the cemetery. With it, he could study the cemetery more intensely later or, he dreamed, make it available online to other scholars and students. He suspected he could even simulate what it would have been like during one of the infamous floods of the Tiber.
The data he gathered here became one star in a constellation of data points about Roman funerary culture that he hopes will coalesce into a previously unseen story. Its outlines are not yet apparent to Borbonus, who returned to Dayton in July to begin his analysis and resume his teaching. It may be another 10 years before he has another opportunity like this, he said.
“I’m not solving the world’s problems,” he said. “It’s not going to change the world dramatically, but [through it] I think we can learn something about the world’s past and something about ourselves today.”
“It’s something that everybody faces, no matter who it is, where they live, no matter which time period they come from. It’s something that people faced in antiquity. It’s something that people face today. It’s a human experience.”
Matthew Dewald is a writer and editor based in Richmond, Virginia. In 2009, he reported for this magazine from Barombi, a small village in Cameroon, West Africa, on six UD engineering students who worked with villagers to construct a pipeline to supply fresh water to the village. The pipeline is still operating today.No Comments
On a humid day in March, Rich May wandered into an antique store in Houston. He was seeking literature to help him write a paper for The Immaculata, a Marian magazine. Instead he found, sitting on the worn shelves, a small, copper-colored hymnal dating back to 1841.
He thought of his friend Father Tom Thompson, S.M. ’58, from the University of Dayton whom he would be seeing in May at the conference of the Mariological Society of America, which furthers scholarship and understanding of Mary, the Mother of Christ. May thought Thompson might enjoy receiving as a donation to the University’s Marian Library the book titled Songs of Mary for the Month of May and the Feast of the Blessed Virgin.
“God wanted me to get it for him, not my paper,” May said.
May knew the significance of the hymnal when he saw it. The hymnal originally came from Paris and was approved by the archbishop of Paris in 1841. At that time, Father William Joseph Chaminade was in Bordeaux, France, where he had founded in 1817 the Society of Mary, which in turn would found UD in 1850. Given proximity and the theme of the hymnal, the title would have likely been known to the Marianists in France, Thompson said.
Thompson said he was happy to receive the gift and began flipping through the roughly bound pages and translating the French texts.
“The lyrics are very warm and affective,” Thompson said. “There are hymns to the Virgin Mary reminding us that she was the mother of Christ. While we worship only God, we are devoted to Mary, as she was close to God.”
The songs are traditional to 19th-century France. While songs sung in church at that time were all in Latin, the hymns in French were sung at evening devotionals and in the home. The music includes two-handed full-chord notation for piano.
“Families likely held this hymnal and sang together around the piano,” Thompson said.
The book resides in the Marian Library at Roesch Library. Thompson said the hymnal is surprisingly well-kept for its age. There are no loose pages, and it is still able to be sung out of, though there are no plans to do so any time soon.
“It can be used, but it is more so a part of the history of the hymnody,” Thompson said.
How does the Marianist charism affect your everyday life?
We asked that question of Maureen O’Rourke ’05, director of PULSE, a post-graduate service program of the Society of Mary.
Two courses taught by Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., really nudged me to live the charism in the urban core of Dayton.
Living in the Five Oaks neighborhood for the last 12 years, I have served on the neighborhood association board with many committed individuals. Joan Means, in particular, has a steadfast dedication, confidence and passion for inner-ring neighborhoods.
At our local Catholic church — while serving spaghetti, delivering care packages and engaging children while their caregivers enjoyed their meal — Joan and I shared stories.
Since 2015 I have worked with Marianist PULSE (Partners in Urban Leadership, Service and Education). Each of our volunteers serves 35 hours per week from August to June at nonprofits in Dayton meeting needs for education, justice, integrity of creation and food access.
I told Joan of our challenges in finding housing. One evening, while Joan and I were offering desserts to guests, she said she’d like to buy the PULSE program a house.
We now own a home in the heart of Five Oaks.
Joan’s gift honors her late husband, Michael Means, who served on UD’s faculty for 38 years. Mike had a passion for medieval literature, the circus, the Marianist charism and family spirit of UD, and the Five Oaks neighborhood. He and Joan served on countless city and neighborhood committees and boards.
Her passion has enlivened her work as a Dayton Public Schools teacher, her neighborhood leadership and her gardening. As we prepared to close on our new home, Joan was meeting neighbors, weeding the yard and dropping off pots of flower arrangements.
The home will be called the Michael Means Marianist PULSE Community. In the dining room volunteers will gather for meals and, for spiritual nourishment, in the second-floor chapel. On their porch, they will form relationships with neighbors, living in solidarity.No Comments
Rarely do we have a cover story so full of art options. But even with hundreds of photos to choose from, this one stood out.
The Autumn 2017 issue of University of Dayton Magazine features a scene viewed by students as they stood along the rails of a ship navigating up the Yangtze River toward China’s Three Gorges Dam. The golden light illuminates a scene both modern and timeless, illustrating the vastness of the students’ experience as River Stewards learning about the waterways of China.
Two photographers accompanied the students on their summer study abroad. Kong Nai is the marketing coordinator at the University of Dayton China Institute in Suzhou and has shared with us beautiful photos of events at the China Institute. Zhong Jianming is chair of the department of photography at the Media College, Nanjing University of the Arts, and his work has been exhibited in China, South Korea and the United States.
The yellow hues of the photo by Zhong jumped out from the options Frank Pauer, our art director, offered. It’s not often we get to produce a cover that feels totally fresh, different from what we’ve done in the past. I had the same reaction to the Rudy Flyer cover from more than a year ago: Rudy, arms wide, reaching out from a completely white background. (Spoiler: Pauer is posing in the costume.) In 2009, the staff was captivated by the originality of an illustration of a devolved Darwin perched in a tree.
Sometimes, art does not turn out as we expect, and then we scramble for a new option that is worthy of the time you invest in the magazine. We know you have lots of options of how to spend your time. We strive to always give you something intriguing and interesting, something you can connect to or wonder about long enough to pick it up and flip the pages to Class Notes (where 50 percent of you turn first).
This month, we’ll be sending out a magazine survey. We hope to hear from you about what you like and what you want us to make better. Because while we love the photo we chose for the cover, we didn’t pick it for us: We picked it for you.
Click here to read the digital autumn magazine.No Comments