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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Education and Values

Both of Sandra Henry’s ’69 parents were smart and accomplished, but neither was able to complete their bachelor’s degree due to a lack of funds. In their honor, she has created two scholarships: the Kenneth Henry Scholarship and the Alice Henry Scholarship. As a lifelong educator, she directed the scholarships to help UD School of Education and Health Sciences students earn their degrees — and graduate without substantial debt.

For both scholarships, first priority is given to students in the University of Dayton Sinclair Academy. UDSA provides students with a flexible and affordable path toward a UD degree, which is a smart investment. And she is no stranger to savvy strategies.

One way she continues to build upon the principal investment in her two endowed scholarships is by making direct donations of the annual minimum required distribution from her retirement account. This allows her to put the money toward something she values without incurring the tax consequences of receiving retirement funds she doesn’t currently need.

When she was at UD, Henry had fun going to UD football and basketball games, and she appreciates that UDSA students can enjoy these activities, too. It’s a sign to her that UD is offering UDSA students a complete community experience during their first two years at Sinclair. Academy students can attend these games and use UD facilities like the RecPlex and The Hub at the Dayton Arcade. They can get involved in hundreds of clubs and student organizations and have committed academic advisers. There are also plenty of opportunities to serve and give back.

“UD provides students so many opportunities to give of their time and talent,” said Henry, who knows how intricately service and community life at UD are intertwined. Service is an important part of the learning process, not just a philanthropic outcome.

“Our society depends on having people with education and values. I would not make a donation to a school that didn’t have a value system like University of Dayton does.”

“Our society depends on having people with education and values. I would not make a donation to a school that didn’t have a value system like University of Dayton does,” said Henry.

As an educator for 32 years, she knows that teachers don’t choose their jobs based on the money they’ll earn: it’s a calling with service at its heart.

As she spoke about service and philanthropy, she remembered her parish priest discussing the widow’s offering (or widow’s mite) from Luke 21:1-4. In that passage, Jesus explains how the widow’s offering of two small coins (less valuable than a penny today) was extremely generous.

There are many interpretations of the text, but one aspect that resonated with Henry was the generosity of the gift based on ability. Not everyone has the ability to make a significant gift of money, but we can all give of our time and our talent.

“Part of being a good person is going beyond yourself,” she said. “Zeroing in on yourself is not the way to live. And it pales in comparison to the satisfaction you get out of doing something for someone else.”

Based on Henry’s service commitments in her local community and her support of the University of Dayton, she must be feeling very satisfied, indeed.

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