University of Dayton Chapel

Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award

For volunteer service to students and early career achievement

Joe Belle made significant contributions to the University of Dayton's Catholic and Marianist character through his exceptional caring about people.

The Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award is designed to recognize young alumni who carry that same spirit and have shown great promise and accomplishment in their chosen profession and/or service to their community or to the University of Dayton and its mission. To be eligible, candidates must have graduated from the University of Dayton within the past 10 years.

John Gravier

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science '08

John Gravier '08

In John Gravier's three years with Teach for America, he improved the school's rating from an F to a C and won Teacher of the year at the age of 24. Upon the completion of his service with Teach for America, John began teaching at a Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) school in New Orleans, not long after the Katrina disaster. As Director of the Dolores T. Aaron Academy, John moved his school from an F+ rating to a C within three years. KIPP is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. The concept was begun by former Teach for America teachers. John left the University with the thought of becoming an attorney. With an open mind and a passion to be of service, he revised his career plans and has literally changed the lives of his students and their families. John graduated in 2008 from the University with a degree in Political Science.

Molly MacCready

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology '08

Molly MacCready '08

Molly MacCready established the non-profit organization, Child Restoration Outreach Support Organization (CROSO) which is dedicated to helping street children in Uganda by providing post-secondary scholarships and empowering them and their families to become productive individuals, households and communities. During Molly's junior year of college, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda. For the required paper at the end of the semester, she interviewed children and was struck by their need as well as the injustice of overcoming great obstacles to learn only to be denied an opportunity to further their education due to lack of funding. CROSO seeks support of both time and treasure to fund the mission Molly envisioned - to provide a strong alternative for the lives of these street children. Headquartered in Chicago where Molly lives, CROSO is comprised of a large group of volunteers who believe in this work and share Molly's passion. Molly earned a degree in Psychology from the University in 2008.

Past Recipients

Matt Maroon '06
Sean Young '12
Mandy Brogdon '04
Maura Carew '04
Thomas J. Dharte '05
Justin Forzano '08
Laura Schmitz Keefe '05
Michael L. Lofton '05
Adam G. Molina '00
James "Scott" Murphy '01
Jeffrey P. Rombach '02
Chris Schmidt '99
Michael Vehar '05, '09
Rashad M. Young '98


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