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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Sharing the Blessings

When talking about giving back, Debra Plousha-Moore ’89 points to the Gospel of Luke. Specifically, Luke 12:48: “Where much has been given, much is expected.”

Debra is the founder and principal of the Plousha Moore Group in her hometown of San Francisco and is a member of the University of Dayton Board of Trustees. She formerly served as system chief of staff and executive vice president at Carolinas HealthCare System (now Atrium Health) and held senior leadership positions with OhioHealth, Genesys Health System and Franciscan Health System of the Ohio Valley. She earned a master's degree in education from the University in 1989, and spent 10 years as associate dean of students and adjunct faculty in the Department of Counselor Education and Human Services.

“I have this sense you can never walk away with your gifts and contributions without sharing and giving back. I am a big believer in philanthropy. It is not only transactional but transformational,” said Plousha-Moore. It’s a lesson she learned, in part, from Brother Raymond Fitz during her time at the University.

“Brother Fitz invested in me from a business operations vantage point. What I learned here served as the foundation of my career.” One of Plousha-Moore’s responsibilities during her time at UD was working with diverse student populations. She brought children from elementary to high school to campus because she saw that, if they had exposure to the University, it could be an intervention in their lives.” 

“When I was invited to join the board of trustees, President Spina was the first person to tell me about Flyer Promise,” said Plousha-Moore. Flyer Promise was launched in 2016 to remove financial barriers for high-achieving, lower-income students at select partner high schools. “It showed me over time how people can become more familiar with and have more confidence in their environment.”

She was inspired by Spina's vision for a new path of access for a diverse population. Flyer Promise reminded her of her days at UD when Brother Fitz placed her in positions to lead and make a true difference for the future of the University. These actions led her to establish the Plousha-Moore Family Scholarship as well as a bequest. Both gifts could be used to support current and future Flyer Promise students and continue the Marianist mission of UD.

Plousha-Moore is quick to note that, if someone had told her 45 years ago that she would be in a position to give back, she would not have believed them. Maybe in giving back through time and service, but not at the financial level she is able to contribute today. As a member of the board of trustees, she is also able to give back through her leadership.

“I had a very successful career I count as a blessing. If you’re doing good work, it’s about the sustainability of the good work and the legacy it creates to add value to the future,” said Plousha-Moore. “For me, it’s not about the legacy of an individual but about the legacy of the work and the work being so valuable it continues into the future.”

Plousha-Moore is thankful for the University and the philosophies of community, responsibility, strategy and autonomy that were reinforced in her during her time at UD. They instilled in her the passion of the University’s Marianist mission which remained with her after she returned to San Francisco from Dayton.

“When I had been disconnected from the University for about 20 years, my assistant came into my office and asked me if I had a brother. I told her I did not. She told me someone had just called and said he’s Brother Victor and he wanted to talk to me. I knew immediately it was UD.” 

True to so many Flyers leading and serving in the world, she says there’s not a day that goes by that she does not use the word “community” and think of the University of Dayton.

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