Driving along Rahn Road in Kettering a few years ago, I noticed a Christmas tree decorated in Flyer colors.
“Look, Claire, that tree has only red and blue lights,” I said to my wife after we passed it.
“No, it doesn’t,” she said in surprise. As we drove down the same road later, she pointed out the multicolored lights on the tree. “The problem with you is that you only see red and blue,” she said with a laugh.
After more than 10 years as president, I’ve discovered my love for the University of Dayton only grows deeper with time.
Last fall, The Princeton Review ranked the University 10th in the nation under the category, “Their Students Love These Colleges.” That’s no surprise to those who live and study here. A sheet draped from a Woodland Avenue porch at the end of August said it all: “6 Girls, 5 Majors, 4 States, 3rd Year, 2 Porches, 1 Home.”
In a hotel lobby in Xi’an, China, a person behind me in the registration line noticed that my traveling companion was wearing a Dayton Flyers shirt. He wanted to talk about the two degrees he earned here. We reminisced for an hour about a campus 7,000 miles away, about his time as a student and the resulting bond that stretches around the world.
Our students are the heart of this university, the hope for our world. Their passion energizes me.
Students in the Rivers Institute, with generous support from local donors, imagined and created the RiverMobile. Converted from a semi-trailer, it’s a traveling exhibit that showcases the Great Miami River watershed for local schoolchildren.
Other students lobbied to bring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof to campus this spring for an annual social justice event called Consciousness Rising, aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking.
And what can you say about the Red Scare? On game day, they paint their faces red and blue, dress up as the Wright brothers, wave oversized signs and never sit down. They are the reason why the University of Dayton Arena is arguably the best place in America to experience college basketball.
This February, we are celebrating the monthlong “I Love UD” campaign. We want you to tell the world how special this place is. For those who haven’t been involved recently, we invite you to reconnect. Share one of your vintage Lawnview porch photos. Make a donation to a UD scholarship fund. Spearhead a food drive, tutor students or engage in a random act of kindness on your own or with others in your local alumni chapter.
In 1850, Father Leo Meyer, S.M., had the foresight and faith to borrow money and buy a farm. We are all stewards of that legacy. We are all builders of a university that we love.
Let’s show that love.