Global IT outage affecting campuswide systems. Read more here.

Skip to main content

Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Steve Clark walks into the UD Volunteer Summit meeting in 2023.

Peers With Purpose

There are lots of ways to measure success. For Steve Clark ’88, it’s about more than the job title or the amount of money you earn. When he defines success, he includes the ability to give back to the people and places you love.

“I love to volunteer,” said Steve, a peer-to-peer ambassador and Reunion Weekend volunteer for the University of Dayton. “Whether I’m volunteering with UD or one of the nonprofits in my town, that sense of giving back — or serving — has always been an important part of my life.”

He credits his parents and his time at UD for instilling the value of service in his life, and he’s passed that value down to his daughter, Erin Clark ’18. Erin has joined her father in volunteering with UD after graduation.

“Seeing students thrive. Seeing the diversity thrive at UD compared to when I was there. Those are goals of the University that I hold in my heart,” said Steve. “When the University succeeds in advancing these goals, it’s a success for me.”

As a peer-to-peer ambassador, he helps the University raise funds to advance all of its goals. And he says UD makes it easy, pointing out that he’s not making cold calls to people he doesn’t know. He receives a contact list and can modify it with friends and classmates he went to school with or has met post-graduation; the peer-to-peer program then provides him with an email template that can be easily personalized and sent.

“When a new template comes out, maybe quarterly, I add a few sentences like, ‘Hey, I was just down in Dayton for a basketball game,’ or ‘I was back on campus last week for Family Weekend, and you should see this’ … you just add something personal,” explained Steve. “It takes five, maybe 10 minutes tops. It’s not difficult, but it’s impactful.”

“It takes five, maybe 10 minutes tops. It’s not difficult, but it’s impactful.”

According to UD’s assistant director of annual giving, Alyssa Samborsky ’22, the emails sent by peer-to-peer ambassadors and other volunteers are opened by recipients nearly 63% of the time. National averages for email open rates from colleges and universities is between 17% and 24%.

Flyers respond to fellow Flyers. It’s a community thing, and it keeps everyone positive.

“I’ve never met another alum who doesn’t care about the University,” he said. “And I’ve never had someone ask to be removed from the mailing list. What happens is I’ll see people I’ve emailed at Reunion or a basketball game or something, and they’ll tell me they saw my update, and it starts a conversation.”

Everyone wants to make a difference, and when they see fellow alumni and friends participating, they join in the community. That’s how the University is working toward its $400 million comprehensive campaign goal during We Soar.

We Soar is bigger than a fundraising campaign. It also includes goals for engagement (the number of people who actively volunteer with the University) as well as a participation goal (the number of members in the University’s Front Porch Society — a giving society that recognizes people who make a gift of any amount to UD during three or more consecutive fiscal years).

Steve understands that these campaign goals are designed to help the University, its students, and the entire community thrive for generations, and he’s excited to be a part of it.

Previous Post

From UD Student to U.S. Ambassador

The 2023 University of Dayton Alumni Awards were presented Sept. 16. Five honorees returned to campus for the events this year, including Ambassador W. Robert Kohorst ’75. But as this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Ambassador Kohorst returned to Dayton a few days early and met with some of the current students.
Read More
Next Post

Accounting for Careers

Focusing on his clients served Curtis Farnsel well when he worked as an accountant. Now an assistant professor of accounting at UD, his focus on clients has turned into a passion for serving his students as they navigate critical career decisions.
Read More