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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Invested in Each Other

Bob Daley ’55 and Michelle Hwang, a UD senior set to graduate May 8, met during the 2022 Stander Symposium. Hwang was presenting a research project that could save the University money while it advances campus sustainability efforts, and Daley was attending a Golden Flyer event. After 20 minutes of talking together, Daley exclaimed: “I wish we could sell stock in your future career because I would be an investor!”

Actually, Daley already is. As a University of Dayton donor recently inducted into the John Stuart Society and longtime volunteer, Daley consistently gives back to his alma mater. And it’s gifts like his that helped open the doors of UD to Hwang.

A first-generation college student, Hwang grew up in the Dayton area and never thought she would be able to afford to attend UD. She was actively making plans to enlist in the Marines or Air Force and was speaking to recruiters when she learned that she was selected to receive a Flyer Promise Scholarship. She smiled through the tears that arose as she shared her story.

That’s how much UD means to current Flyers, just like it did for UD alumni. Certainly, there have been some major changes along the way — Daley spoke of the School of Business Administration when it was housed in a Quonset hut left over from World War II use, and the union was a much smaller wood structure. However, when they spoke about their individual UD experiences, they could have been talking about the exact same moment.

Daley compared his experience at UD to that of his daughter’s experience at a large, public university. He visited her a lot, and especially enjoyed the experience of attending football games and other sports, but he had “no feeling of the friendliness and helpfulness of UD. The personal concern that is clear across the UD community.”

A look of recognition shone in Hwang’s eyes, replacing the tears, and she shared how her experience has mirrored his.

“The genuine interest, care and kindness are still very present on campus,” she said. “Like the professors are concerned with more than what happens in the classroom. They care about your experience in the community, too.”

That care encouraged both Flyers to become leaders on campus, even if they weren’t looking for that title.

“I don’t really feel like I became a leader; I feel like I got the opportunity to do certain things that benefitted this community and benefitted me. In the process, I accidentally became this role model or leader,” said Hwang, president of the National Society of Leadership and Success and active in several student organizations.

And Daley was junior and senior class president during his time at UD, and he talked about how his class debated what they should do for their class gift. “One of the main things we talked about was putting up a statue of Blessed Chaminade behind the Chapel. The other thing was a scholarship program. We never did get that statue up,” Daley chuckled. “But we do have a scholarship program.”

Based on the conversation between these two wonderful Flyers, the Class of ’55 definitely made the smart investment.

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