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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Community and Philanthropy

By Katie Bardine ’23, philanthropy chair, Students for University Advancement

I have learned so much about what it means to be a Flyer through serving as the philanthropy chair for Students for University Advancement! I have witnessed what the Flyer community looks like after graduating, and how the love for UD grows. 

This love looks like the giving of time, talents, and monetary gifts that have enriched my time at UD. I am involved in so many amazing orgs on campus, have had the opportunity to study abroad, have been challenged in the classroom, and curated relationships with professors and classmates that will last a lifetime. If it was not for my position in Students for University Advancement, I would not have learned about the value of philanthropy, and how it has directly impacted my time here at UD. The buzzword on campus is “community,” but community isn’t possible without the love, support, and gifts from our amazing donors. So from my porch to yours, thank you and go Flyers! 

Students for University Advancement is a student organization that works to cultivate meaningful relationships between students and alumni, supports the philanthropic efforts of the University, and promotes student fundraising for their various organizations. My role in Students for University Advancement has taught me so much more about what it means to be a Flyer, and how I can maintain my relationship with my alma mater post-grad. I have the opportunity now to highlight one of my favorite aspects of this organization, our Donor Appreciation Week, which is put on every year in November. This week reminds students, faculty, staff, and alumni the value that our donors bring to our university! It is a week truly dedicated to those who make UD the amazing university it is. 

As I began my time here at UD, I was always hearing about the word “community.” I’ve felt that sense of community alive and well in the classroom and around the student neighborhood, but one thing that I discovered was that this feeling of community inspires a spirit of philanthropy. The University of Dayton would not be here if it wasn’t for the combination of community and philanthropy. 

I soon learned that these are two key values of our University that go hand in hand. It is through the community atmosphere at the basketball games that alumni are inspired to donate so that future students can experience it for themselves. It is through relationships with professors who inspire students like me to study abroad, which would not have been possible without philanthropic support. Additionally, the power of scholarships is evident on our campus, as so many students benefit from donor-funded scholarships. These scholarships have impacted all of our educational journeys and have prepared us to be lifelong learners even after our time at UD. It was through all of this that I was inspired to serve as the philanthropy chair of SUA. 

I have enjoyed serving as the philanthropy chair and learned so much about the importance of giving back to the University that made me the person I am today. It is through conversations with alumni, the University Advancement division, and students like myself that I found I want to further my education in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. I hope to continue my journey with philanthropy in graduate school and bring the spirit of community into every relationship I am a part of. 

Community is instilled in every student at the University of Dayton, and this would not be possible without our amazing donors. These donors support and allow us to feel this sense of community, and then we are left with the challenge to continue it after graduation. It is through the support that a week like Donor Appreciation Week is so important at UD! Our donors make our university the place it is today! Through my time as the philanthropy chair, I have learned more about this and enjoyed forming relationships with alumni and donors. I am excited to have a whole week of gratitude dedicated to them, and giving thanks for their generosity of time, resources and talents. 

I encourage all of you to “Take 5 and Give Thanks” this week by writing a donor a thank you note. Because without continued support, the spirit of community will not be here for future generations of students at UD.

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