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Puts Students First

rudy with 2 studentsThe results of our first annual One Day, One Dayton have been in for some time — and still astound us. 5,638 donors. $866,284 of support. It is amazing what we can achieve in one day when we all come together.

You supported funds important to you, and we appreciate your thoughtful designation of gifts — it makes a true difference to those scholarship funds and programs.

In addition, you provided a phenomenal amount of unrestricted support, granting us the flexibility to direct your donation to areas of greatest need. Your trust in us is noticed — and not taken for granted. We are careful stewards of your donations and want you to know exactly where these funds end up — namely, with our students.

On One Day, One Dayton, this general support accounted for 50.4% of donations, or $436,000. Of these funds, 80% has gone toward scholarships or hands-on learning experiences, directly impacting our current and future students. The remainder of the funds is enhancing the student experience through support of the Office of Student Development, faculty and innovative programs.

Whether granting high-achieving students the chance to attend UD or providing students with research, entrepreneurial, community engagement or immersion experiences, your One Day, One Dayton contributions are changing students’ lives. For example, thanks to almost $35,000 of unrestricted gifts to the Campus Ministry Fund for Excellence on One Day, One Dayton, more students will have the opportunity to embark on immersion experiences, like the one to Puerto Rico last year.

An immersion trip to Puerto Rico had been a long time coming, with a strong Marianist and alumni presence on the island. Last March it finally came to fruition. “Hurricane Maria was a catalyst for us to make that inaugural trip happen,” said Mary Niebler, coordinator of cross-cultural immersions in Campus Ministry.

During the weeklong cultural, learning-based immersion, 12 students saw firsthand the impact of the hurricane, and the resilience of local Puerto Rican communities. “I noticed how strong religion is in holding a community together,” said junior Dawson Vandervort.

Students also found opportunities to serve, including assisting a vital community member whose house had fallen to neglect while he helped neighbors with their crops and tended to his ailing wife. His positive attitude in the face of massive obstacles was inspirational to students — and they were able to ease his burden a bit, spending a day cleaning his home.

They ventured to several locations, including a Marianist retreat in the mountains and Old San Juan, experiencing various aspects of Puerto Rican culture and learning about the true history of the Puerto Rican people, while standing on the soil where the history played out.

“No one tiptoed around inequity or social injustices,” Vandervort said. “We learned about the injustices carried out on the indigenous people. We went to museums and historical sites where native curators or tour guides would tell us about the history of a certain group or a location of significance. It’s more than just cultural immersion; it’s historical analysis.”

Junior Morgan Cox summed up the trip aptly. “This was my first time experiencing another culture so deeply. I now understand why people say that true life lessons happen outside of the classroom.”

She’s right. That is where the most transformative learning takes place. And your One Day, One Dayton gifts are making it happen. Thank you.

Your gifts from One Day, One Dayton also support programs like the Minority Engineering Program and the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center. Josh Biris ’19, a recent mechanical engineering graduate, exemplifies the type of student these programs seek to assist.

Biris’ father passed away the first week of December 2014, right before Biris received his acceptance letter to UD. Going into his junior year at Dayton, Biris’ mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Biris returned home to Cleveland every weekend to take care of her until she passed away in December 2017.

“I could have given up after their passing, but that’s not what my parents wanted for me. They wanted me to finish college. They wanted me to succeed and become something. I did it for them, and I think they are proud.”

While at UD, Biris earned a Minority Engineering Program scholarship and benefited from several other support services the program offers students. He also secured a job in GE Aviation’s Operations Management Leadership Program following graduation.

“My scholarship lessened the financial burden and helped me focus more on my academics. I could buckle down on my schoolwork and not worry about how I’m going to pay for school,” he said. “The MEP program offers so much more than financial support. It offers resources, people to talk to, and a place to find people with similar experiences and backgrounds.”

At the University of Dayton, Biris said he found several “rocks” in the Minority Engineering Program and Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center who “supported me, were my safe space and also kept me pushing” along his journey to graduation.

“UD is an amazing place. I’ll tell everyone that. When you’re here, you don’t feel like you’re at college — except for all the homework. Here, everyone is willing to help you. ‘Community’ is a huge word on campus, but it means something. UD is truly a home away from home.”

While One Day, One Dayton brought forth a remarkable amount of scholarship support, donors provide generous scholarship contributions throughout the year. Thanks to this dedication, UD is continuing to impact socioeconomic diversity on campus.

For example, a $1 million commitment from Tsu-Teh (Larry) Soong ’55 and his wife Dorothy set up the Soong Family Endowed Scholarship, opening our doors to talented students from low- and moderate-income means, as well as international students. Like so many in our Flyer family, the couple view their gift as an opportunity to pay forward their good fortune. “I would never have been able to come to the University of Dayton without a scholarship. I’m very grateful,” said Larry.

We look forward to sharing the impact of the Soongs’ scholarship and the ones bolstered by One Day, One Dayton gifts. Our campus community is truly expanding — and it’s thanks to your support.

5,638 total donors

1,585 first-time donors

1,085 parent donors

1,173 faculty and staff donors

334 student donors

319 funds supported


Annual Giving

Daniel J. Curran Place
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7054