Skip to main content

Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Forever Marianist

It’s one thing to say the University of Dayton is a Catholic, Marianist university, but how does the University continue to weave those values into the fabric of everyday campus life as the number of vowed religious continues to decrease?

In the past 50 years, the number of Marianist brothers and priests in the U.S. has fallen from close to 1,400 to fewer than 350. The Forever Marianist Initiative ensures that the Marianist values central to UD’s mission and identity will always live on as part of the UD experience for future Flyers.

The initiative will help students, faculty and staff create and support opportunities to learn, lead and serve in the Marianist spirit. The primary areas the initiative bolsters include the Office for Mission and Rector, the Marianist centers in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Marian Library, and the Center for Catholic Education in the School of Education and Health Sciences.

Learn — Faith Formation

The Forever Marianist Initiative supports several components of faith formation. Students learn about the Marianist charism through Campus Ministry experiences, the Callings program and opportunities for leadership in faith. From spiritual retreats and academic classes that explore different religious traditions, to Marianist student communities and social justice initiatives in which faith translates to action, there is abundant opportunity for students to learn and live in faith.

“The opportunity to attend Callings was one like no other! I was able to grow my knowledge of the UD community and the Marianist heritage and their inspiring values, and reflect upon my own vocation and where it may lead me,” said Kathleen Crump ’25.

The Forever Marianist Initiative also supports collections of the Marian Library, academic programs and the chapels that can be found across campus, giving students even more ways to learn about, and grow in, faith. 

Lead — Marianist Forever

True to one of the hallmarks of a Marianist education — to read the signs of the times and adapt accordingly — UD is growing the number of committed Marianist lay educators. Through mission-based staff retreats and a Marianist Educational Associates lay ministry program, UD faculty and staff participate in faith formation and make a commitment to sustain and enrich the Marianist tradition at UD. Ten years ago, UD was home to about 30 MEA members. Since then, nearly 100 more have completed the program.

“The Marianist charism pillars of faith, mission, community, inclusivity and Mary became real at the MEA retreat as we learned the history of the Marianists and focused on living Marianist principals in practical ways at work,” said Erla Burnside, a newly certified MEA and executive assistant in University Advancement.

Serve — Faith in Action

Linking scholarship and learning with leadership and service is another distinctive Marianist tradition at UD. Through the Center for the Integration of Faith and Work, the Center for Social Concern and the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, students learn how to be ethical leaders in their chosen fields. In addition, experiential learning opportunities like immersions through the Ethos Center allow students to use their knowledge to make a positive impact on the world through service.

Kelly Bohrer, executive director of the Ethos Center, notes that these experiences reflect the work of UD’s Marianist founders. “The immersion program is grounded in our Catholic and Marianist identity to educate for service and justice. Much like Father Chaminade, Adèle and Marie did in France after the French Revolution, our students build meaningful relationships with diverse others to address injustices and creatively meet the needs of the world.”

At UD, Marianist values aren’t just given lip service. They are actions, intentionally woven throughout the UD campus, culture and curriculum to ensure the Marianist tradition lives on for generations to come.

Previous Post

Honoring Their Mothers With Music

Church was essential in the lives of Larry and Carrie Kelley’s mothers. When their daughter, Caroline ’22, graduated this past spring, they honored all three women with a gift to Campus Ministry in support of liturgical music.

Read More
Next Post

Inclined to Give Back

While their initial motivations differ, young alumni K.C. Scudder ’17 and Tonica Johnson ’12 agree that their love for the University of Dayton, and their appreciation for the experiences they had as students, keep them engaged.

Read More