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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

The Spark that Unites

On April 14, 2021, the UD community joined together during One Day, One Dayton for a record-setting day of giving back to the University that has given so much to so many. Part of this success was inspired by the late Brother Don Geiger, S.M. ’55, a man whose legacy was made even more enduring by the gift of Fred ’76 and Lisa Tenover, who established the Brother Don Geiger, S.M., Memorial Fund for Graduate Students in Biology.

Brother Don was a beloved professor at UD for 44 years — a true spiritual and intellectual leader. His guidance helped Fred, and countless other students, understand how to meld science and faith into their lives. In making their gift during One Day, One Dayton, the Tenovers hoped their decision to establish the scholarship on UD’s giving day would be a spark to encourage other Flyers to join them — and they certainly did.

When UD reached its goal of 3,700 donations around 4 p.m., the University announced that the Tenovers would generously establish the scholarship if 800 more people made a gift of any size before the end of the day. More than 2,300 people answered the call!

It was truly a day of unity in action as more than 700 volunteers reached out to fellow alumni and friends, garnering gifts from seven countries, all 50 states and 6,024 individual donors. In total, One Day, One Dayton raised $2,837,725 to support current and future UD students — and that’s something Brother Don would have enjoyed seeing.

“Brother Don was my first mentor, and he was a consummate biologist,” said Fred. “He made wine out of honey. He was always humble yet incredibly insightful. He focused on how you make the world a better place.” 

The scholarship is designed to provide more opportunities for UD’s biology graduate students, whether they need the funding for tuition, equipment or attending a conference to present a paper and network.

The Tenovers hope future recipients of the scholarship also come to understand Brother Don’s contributions to the UD campus culture as well as his dedication to science and faith.

“I hope they appreciate his intellectual contributions as well as the way in which he approached the world — thinking globally and acting locally,” said Fred. “His model of science to serve humanity is critically important.”

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