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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

One Day to Impact UD in So Many Ways

The late dean of the School of Business Administration, John Mittelstaedt, was a true advocate for University of Dayton students. He led the call for One Day, One Dayton donations to the SBA Dean’s Fund for Excellence because the SBA was in great need of expanding its student advising center.

Growth had outpaced both staffing and space, and One Day, One Dayton funds helped the center move to a much larger room and prepare for increased staff, including career advisers. Mittelstaedt said that the space could assist an SBA student from their very first course to their first career, which is emblematic of UD’s efforts to help Flyers through every stage of their education — and growth beyond UD.

Mittelstaedt’s family, friends and colleagues knew that he would also want to support students with financial need as well as improve the advising center. The Dean John Mittelstaedt Memorial Scholarship was created before giving day 2021, and donations flowed in to endow the scholarship.

When you’re making your donation to UD this year on April 6 for One Day, One Dayton, you can choose the area you want to assist most, like a general fund which allows the University to meet immediate needs. Examples include the UD Fund or one of the Dean’s or VP’s Funds for Excellence. Or, if you want to have an impact on an individual student, you can choose to donate to any scholarship fund of your choice. Both methods of giving make a big difference.

During One Day, One Dayton in 2021, more than $800,000 was raised for UD scholarships. For Ashley Waker, a junior who plans to be a Catholic school teacher and intervention specialist, this meant help for her to continue excelling in her studies and extending her family’s UD tradition — she’s a fourth-generation Flyer.

Waker was a recipient of the Ruffolo Family Scholarship, and although she still works a job off campus and relies on student loans, she is thankful for how her scholarship is assisting with her education. “I’m so thankful for the Ruffolo Family Scholarship. Not only is the scholarship helping me now, but it’s keeping the balance of my student loans down, and I’m looking forward to being able to pay it forward sooner.”

Aaron Hendricks, a first-year mechanical engineering student whose career goals are to work for NASA or an automotive manufacturer, is the first person from his family to attend UD. In fact, he hadn’t even stepped on campus before he’d made his deposit and decided to attend thanks to the Blaser Family Scholarship.

“With my scholarship, UD became the most affordable option for me,” admitted Hendricks. “I didn’t know much about campus other than UD has an excellent engineering program.”

Since starting, he’s quickly come to call UD home. “As much as we like to joke about the word community at UD, it really is a collection of different people from different backgrounds and different cultures. And we all come together to form friendships and make connections … it is the definition of community.”

For these two students, scholarship giving has been life-changing, but it can be hard to visualize the impact you’re making with your gift.

Hendricks’ height, 6-foot-6-inch height prevents him from pursuing his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. But when you meet him, he definitely has all of the steely determination and poise of someone ready to head into space. Unshakable seems like an apt description. So, many who know him might be surprised by his reaction when he learned he had received the scholarship.

“I literally jumped up off the couch and started running around like a maniac. I called my mom and could barely say what happened,” said Hendricks. “Seeing that someone had decided to give me this scholarship has brought me and my mom so much joy. It hasn’t been easy, but this award has made my dream more attainable, and I can’t express in words how thankful I am.”

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