Dayton President Eric Spina and his wife Karen meeting people.

One University. One Home.

By Eric F. Spina

What’s a year? 

Yes, it is easily defined as 365 days, or perhaps you’d rather think of it as 525,600 minutes or, going the other way, just four seasons.  But those are numbers, not lived experiences.

As I reflect on my first year, I think of the remarkable people Karen and I have met, the invaluable conversations we have had in which the Marianist charism — the “soul” of the University — was revealed, and the many compelling events that we have attended, whether liturgies, athletic contests, concerts, theater or public lectures.

I appreciate beyond measure the times I have observed the selflessness of our faculty, staff and vowed religious — and their deep devotion to our University. I’m grateful for the balance of faith and reason on campus.  Above all else, I think about the stories of our students — how they found UD, how they contribute to the campus community, and the difference they want to make in the world — as well as the lives well lived by our generous alumni and friends from coast to coast. 

So, yes, I could try to quantify these experiences: thousands of students, hundreds of faculty and staff, 200-some events, countless Instagram photos and much more.

But let me try this number instead: One. 

This is one university. One extraordinary university with a proud history and an incredible diversity of people and programs. One university with a compelling mission. One university that is well positioned to make a difference in our region and our world in a time that calls us to step forward for the common good. It is one university that Karen and I quickly came to love dearly and to whose people and mission we dedicate ourselves. The University of Dayton. Home.

Thank you all for a year unlike any other. Thank you for welcoming us. Thank you for being who you are.

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