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Christian Service Award

Christian Service Award

For Living Out the Marianist Ideals in Today's Society

The Christian Service Award is presented to alumni of the University whose life’s work best reflects the unique quality of service and sacrifice to others, consistent with the Marianist’s identity of the University of Dayton.

It is given to alumni who have devoted their life in service to others, who affirms the fullness and complexity of human existence, who appreciates social justice and who brings about changes that make it more possible to live the Marianist ideal in contemporary society.

This award celebrates the rare alumnus whose life is devoted to extraordinary self sacrifice for the benefit of others. To be eligible a person must be a graduate of the University of Dayton with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. The Alumni Board anticipates that this award will only be given when, from the pool of nominations for alumni awards, an individual clearly meets the criteria for the award. Unless there is a compelling reason to warrant an exception, only one award will be presented in any given year.

Jim Place

Jim Place ’69, ’72

Bachelor Science, Secondary Education; Master of Science, Education

Jim Place

Jim Place ’69, ’72

Bachelor Science, Secondary Education; Master of Science, Education

“There is no doubt in my mind that I was put on this earth to teach character education and coach urban high school football,” Jim Place says.

And that is what he has done, for nearly 50 years.

From social studies teacher to head coach to assistant superintendent for character education, Place held many positions in Dayton and southwest Ohio high schools.

“Coaching football is my conduit to helping young men to a better life,” he says. “I don’t just coach football, I teach how to be the best man you can be.”

Place’s guidance has impacted the lives of thousands of students, over 100 of which have gone on to play Division I football on scholarship.

He also has won numerous awards, including Miami Valley Coach of the Year 14 times and the 2018 Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although no longer coaching, he continues to teach by offering 10 graduate-level courses on character education at UD.

His curriculum is in high demand — over 4,000 educators have come to UD from across Ohio to take his courses.

“I flunked retirement because I’m not going to let the old man in,” Place says. “I continue to work because I’m happiest when I’m trying to help others find their purpose.”

Past Recipients

Ruth Beckman ’57
Tony J. Brunswick '97
Sr. Constance J. Clark '66, '68
Blane Collison '84
Peter W. Daino, S.M. '81
Paul M. Engle '43
Daniel R. Fiehrer, D.D.S. '62
Theresa Flores '07
Barbara J. Fraser '78
The Rev. J.D. Grigsby Jr. '73
Timothy M. Harris '79
Christina Herold Hill '68
William J. Hoben '50
Philip C. Hoelle, S.M. '33
Laura Jean Libertore '83
William Lorenz '84
Richard McBride '57
Catherine Mary O'Brien '84
Claire Tierney Pfleger '78
Richard J. Pfleger '77
Timothy F. Phillips, S.M. '69
Toni Prasnikar Moore, PH.D. '68, '87, '99
Bill Ricco '58
Maria L. Scharfenberger '86
Michael Schulz '07
John M. Spellman '65
Sr. Rosemary Wach S.N.D. '58
Sr. Rose H. Wildenhaus, C.P.P.S. '65
Denise Zaccardi '70


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