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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Committing to UD's Future

For the past 12 years, Bill and Sue Trollinger have made regular financial contributions to the University of Dayton’s academic and athletic programs. It’s a practice they plan to continue even after they retire from their faculty positions — they vow to be donors for life.

“We have a very deep commitment to the University of Dayton,” said Sue Trollinger, professor of English. “We like to say that miracles come out of UD every day.”

The number of faculty and staff like the Trollingers donating to UD has increased in recent years. In 2019, the faculty and staff giving rate more than doubled, thanks to the first One Day, One Dayton — UD’s annual day of giving. The giving rate held strong in fiscal year 2022, with 34% of all faculty and staff (full- and part-time) making contributions — almost double the rate of several peer institutions according to fiscal year 2021 data from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The gifts this past year included support through Flyer Funder — UD’s official crowdfunding platform for projects proposed by members of the campus community. Compared to the previous fiscal year, the number of faculty and staff donors who supported Flyer Funder campaigns increased by 64% and dollars contributed went up by 74%. For one campaign, faculty and staff accounted for more than half of the donors and 62% of the dollars raised.

For the Trollingers, supporting UD is personal. Bill was on the faculty in the Department of History at UD for several years before leaving for an administrative position at a different university, where Sue was also on the faculty. They realized their futures as academics and partners would best be fulfilled back in Dayton.

Bill returned to a new position in history and religious studies, teaching everything from first-year undergraduate courses to doctoral seminars. Sue soon followed him to Dayton as a lecturer in the Department of English. They married a year later, creating a blended family with four children. In 2009, Sue became a tenure-line faculty member in the Department of English and was tenured in 2012.

“UD welcomed Bill back and embraced me as well,” Sue said.

Bill directs the Core Program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum in a learning-living community. Sue also teaches in Core, which offers a sequence of courses that fulfill many of the University’s Common Academic Program requirements, as well as opportunities to earn honors credits.

The Trollingers’ giving began with donations to the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Champions & Scholars Fund. They’ve steadily increased their giving each year, directing most of their funds to the Core Program.

“We’ve seen the Core Program transform so many students’ lives,” Sue said.

In recent years, they’ve enjoyed seeing UD from the perspective of their youngest children. Anna graduated in May and is heading to Indiana University Bloomington for graduate work in history; Jacob will be a junior, majoring in philosophy and music.

As they prepare for their family’s future after UD, the Trollingers are working toward solidifying a lasting gift by including UD in their will and estate planning.

“This is our commitment to the University of Dayton,” Sue said. Like the Trollingers, several other faculty and staff members have made a planned gift to support the University. The generosity of this group goes toward sustaining various areas on campus, including academics, libraries, Flyer Promise, Campus Ministry and scholarships.

“We’ve made amazing friends and colleagues through UD, and we’ve seen the transformation in our own children,” Sue said. “It’s been wonderful for our entire family. UD made miracles happen for us.”

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