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President's Blog: From the Heart

Gifts of the Heart

(University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina's 2021 Christmas message to the campus community.)

Dear University of Dayton Family and Friends,

As I reflect on the story of Christ’s birth on this Christmas Eve, I’m filled with gratitude for the gifts that we share with one another.

Just as God the Father gave us the gift of the Son some 2,000 years ago, we give ourselves to others in ways that make our world a more loving, compassionate place. I’m so touched by the myriad ways our campus community, with its rich diversity of faith traditions, leads with the heart in service to our brothers and sisters.

And never does that Marianist sense of selflessness resonate more deeply than during Advent and Christmas.

The spirit of “Christmas on Campus” shone brightly as Dayton families brought their children to UD to experience a live Nativity, games, and festivities with our students. In Puerto Rico and cities dotting the nation, our alumni delivered Christmas cheer to their communities by serving meals to the homeless, laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of veterans, and “adopting” families in need, among numerous Christmas Off Campus initiatives. Without fanfare, faculty and staff daily help our students strive to be the best versions of themselves, and all work hard to contribute to the people and the community of greater Dayton.

From my heart, thank you for being a beacon of kindness and love during a time of so much need in our world. Karen, Kaitlyn, Emery, and I wish you and your loved ones a joyful Christmas.

May the miracle of Christmas touch your lives in lasting ways.

Wishing you God’s grace,

Eric F. Spina

Photo credit: Jan Oliver-Shultz, O Holy Night (2008). From the Marian Library Arts and Artifacts Collection.

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