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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Passing on the Passion: Flyer Champion Program Takes Flight in 2021

For alumni like Wendy Macaluso ’95, their memories of the University of Dayton are sweet and always worth sharing.

“I loved everything about being in Dayton,” says Macaluso. “I met most of my best friends in Dayton.”

She’s not alone. So, in 2021 as part of the Flyer Recruitment Program, the University launched a new volunteer role — Flyer Champion — to help alumni share their amazing memories with potential Flyers.

“You really have the opportunity through this role to get a student to go to Dayton and give them that Marianist tradition and Marianist experience,” says Macaluso. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give a student, I think.”

Macaluso was introduced to Dayton by a recruiter during a college fair in her New York hometown. She says without that chance encounter, she may have never heard of the University of Dayton. After graduating with her law degree in 1995, she made it her mission to help others find their way to Dayton. When she spotted a call-to-action looking for those willing to be a Flyer Champion, Macaluso knew immediately it was a way to continue that mission.

“I think it was the one-on-one conversation that really caught my eye,” says Macaluso. “That I could really make a difference and recruit people.”

In this inaugural year for Flyer Champions, more than 80 Flyer alumni volunteers connected with over 750 students through a series of calls and texts from February through April. These are students who have been admitted to UD and have until August to decide whether or not they will attend.

The idea is to give these prospective students a chance to ask questions, learn about UD and discover the benefits of a Marianist education from someone with first-hand experience.

Flyer Champion volunteers must be a graduate of the University of Dayton and attend a digital training session. Interested alums can sign up to volunteer by visiting

“For those [alumni] that want to share their experience and try to help the younger generation come to UD … this is a great opportunity for them and I would definitely do it again,” says Macaluso.

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