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President's Blog: From the Heart

This is Our UD

By Eric F. Spina

I’m the kind of person who enjoys sitting in the second row applauding everyone else.

When the presidential inauguration committee asked my thoughts about the design of the April 2-5 celebration, I hesitated for a moment. Then I realized this moment in history is not solely about me. It’s about us — and all we’ve accomplished together over 167 years — one imaginative, faith-filled moment after another.

This is our UD.

The committee is filled with creative thinkers, who have choreographed a magnificent few days that will showcase the University of Dayton’s creativity, innovative spirit, collaborative nature — and the faith and power of our people. The events, including my installation address, are meant to be personal, reflective and forward-looking.

All are invited to join in the celebration, which starts fittingly with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and an afternoon of community-based service projects. It will end on a rousing note with hundreds of students performing on the Schuster Center stage and presenting their undergraduate research at the Stander Symposium. In between, we’ll showcase scholarship and research, convene a panel of experts on humanizing technology for the common good and, because stories have power, bring together 80 people in the ancient Native American art of “story circles” to share their hopes and vision for our future.

At my official installation on April 4, the University of Dayton Arena will be transformed from a rowdy basketball venue into a stylish amphitheater where a University’s dreams for the future can soar. Two dozen members of the diverse UD family — from students and professors to community leaders and alumni — will offer short, from-the-heart reflections on what makes our University extraordinary. I’ll touch on our emerging strategic vision for the future, which will have been informed through hundreds of conversations with alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends.

With my family, friends, community members and, most importantly of all, the University of Dayton community, we will celebrate our heritage and boldly and imaginatively embrace a future of greatness.

This is our UD.

(All inauguration events are free and open to the public. Click for a complete list and to register for the events.

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