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President's Blog: From the Heart

Flyer Love Is Boundless

By Eric F. Spina

Flyer Nation, it’s time to show an outpouring of love for University of Dayton students during our annual 24-hour One Day, One Dayton celebration!

When prospective students and families step on campus for the first time, they fall in love with the welcoming Marianist spirit, a vibe unlike any other college campus. We want to make sure that every young person who dreams of attending UD can do so and have a transformative experience while they are here.

We need to work together — UD and all of its supporters — to enable this possibility, so we’re asking at least 4,000 alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends to step forward with gifts on Giving Day on April 6. Remember, any gift of any size can make a difference in the lives of our students, and I know that we will surpass the 4,000-gift target because Flyer love knows no bounds!

The experiences of juniors Tina Sandhu and Caleb Cecil illustrate why your generosity is so important. Neither planned to attend UD, but the campus visit opened their eyes to the possibilities that awaited them. Financial support and special learning experiences have helped pave their road toward graduation, and both are paying it forward by helping fellow students feel the same sense of welcome and support.

“The Flyer Promise program saved me in so many ways. I came to Dayton and found my place here,” says Tina Sandhu, a junior psychology major from Mason, Ohio.

With the help of institutional aid and generous private support, we eliminate the financial barriers Flyer Promise Scholars face in attending UD and support them in fulfilling their dream of a college degree. It’s a signature initiative that is opening the door of opportunity for high-achieving, talented students, no matter their ZIP code.

Tina, one of the original members of Co-Pilots, a peer health coaching program, says increased financial support can not only support scholarships but also help fund peer educator training and self-care baskets for students who are dealing with anxiety and depression.

“When I came to college, I noticed students struggling with mental health issues,” she says. “There needed to be more spaces on campus where people could feel comfortable talking. A co-pilot is a friend you can talk to privately, and we’re trained to direct students to resources on campus, such as counseling.”

Caleb, a computer engineering major from the Chicago area, had his eyes set on a larger university, but chose UD after visiting the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEC), where he now serves as a student engagement assistant.

“MEC sold me. I felt that I would be supported academically and socially, that I could always go there for help and guidance,” he says. “The underrepresented community is growing on campus and more funding is needed to meet the needs of students who are making our UD community a more inclusive one.”

I invite you on One Day, One Dayton to support our students through gifts for scholarships, an excellence fund in one of the academic or student development areas, or the UD Fund that gives us the greatest flexibility to help students with financial need attend and stay at UD.

One Day, One Dayton is much more than a 24-hour feel-good marathon of Flyer love. For our students, it’s a transformative education that lasts a lifetime.

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