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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Just Two Golden Girls, Ready to Mingle

Becoming a Golden Flyer wasn’t exactly something Deb Tobias ’73 and Kathy Tamer ’73 had on their bucket lists. Now that it’s here, they’re embracing all that comes with the milestone.

“I think it will be fun to be inducted into the Golden Flyers,” said Tobias. And, with her quick wit and constant enthusiasm, added “I am grateful because I wouldn’t want to think of the alternative. So, I’m embracing it with reckless abandon.”

For Tobias and Tamer, this new chapter of their lives comes with excitement about the future and an appreciation for the twists and turns life brings.

After graduation, Tamer moved to Houston where she spent 35 years working in the aerospace industry. When she retired, she was vice president and chief information officer for United Space Alliance.

Tobias was an educator for a few years before being drawn into publishing, then Silicon Valley. By the time she retired, she was director of European sales operations for Juniper Networks.

Now, both women are focused on giving back.

“We're now working for free,” said Tobias.

“We’re volunteers!” added Tamer.

Both women are giving themselves to causes they believe in wholeheartedly. Among her activities, Tamer has been a volunteer with Girls Scouts of America, recently receiving a pin in honor of her 65 years of membership and 55 years of service. Tobias checks in on patients recovering from medical procedures at Indiana University Health and will drop everything and anything to maintain her “full-time grandmother” status.

In 2023, both women returned to campus for the Volunteer Summit and the launch of the We Soar campaign. Tamer is a sponsor of the UD women’s softball team and has funded a scholarship for female student-athletes. She is also a member of the We Soar campaign cabinet. Tobias too, is a member of the We Soar cabinet serving as its chair, as well as a member of the University of Dayton Board of Trustees. They will return to Dayton this summer for Reunion Weekend, ready to celebrate the Class of 1973 — and as previously mentioned — its induction into the Golden Flyers.

“One of the things we’re working on is getting folks in our class to reconnect with the University,” said Tamer. “We give them an opportunity to see folks they knew who they probably haven't seen since we graduated.”

Reconnecting with classmates worked out well for Tobias and Tamer. Growing up in Indiana, Tobias lived just feet from Tamer’s aunt and uncle but the women didn’t know each other back then. Even when they attended UD at the same time, the women weren’t close friends. It wasn’t until the two volunteered to serve as co-chairs of their 40th class reunion that they began to build a friendship that, looking back, seemed destined.

“It really is a small world, isn’t it?” said Tamer about the connection. “It’s wild.”

“We got along really well. We appreciate one another, and organizing that reunion weekend was fun to do,” said Tobias.

The women now lean on their friendship — and the call to learn, lead and serve — to stay connected with their alma mater.

“There's something about being in the reflective part of your life where you look back and think about all the things that contributed to your happy life,” said Tobias. “I think most of us who went to UD would say it was a very important part of our happy life.”

It’s that happy part of their lives that has them serving as co-chairs of their 50th reunion committee.

“Why are we gluttons for punishment? Because the University supports you so well,” said Tobias.

Reunion Weekend also allows the duo to check in with the young women they were 50 years ago.

“You know I still get a rush when I walk into Kennedy Union,” said Tobias. “I don't know if that's corny or not, but that's the quickest way to get that UD feeling.”

They continue to remind fellow alumni — no matter how long they’ve been gone — that UD is still alive, thriving and creating memories for new generations of graduates.

“We've all changed,” said Tamer. “Reunion is an opportunity to relive what was hopefully a very happy time of your life. Reconnect. Make new friends. I mean, look at the friendship Deb and I have built!”

Registration is now open for Reunion Weekend 2023, which will be held June 9-11 at the University of Dayton.

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