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President's Blog: From the Heart

Losing Two Generous Spirits

By Eric F. Spina

The University of Dayton community has suffered a profound loss after the recent passing of two former longtime trustees and major philanthropists who believed deeply in UD and helped to make it the special place that it is today. Bill Crotty ’52 will always be fondly remembered as an entertaining storyteller filled with Irish wit, while Dick Glennon ’50 called himself “a low-profile type of person.”

As I reflect on the lives of Bill and Dick, who recently died just two weeks apart at the age of 95, I see only the parallels between these two friends, both philanthropic giants in the Dayton community. They shared much more than altruistic hearts, fondness for each other, and a deep love for their alma mater.

Both were entrepreneurs extraordinaire.

Bill built Van Dyne Crotty, a family-owned and operated business, into one of the premier privately owned uniform companies in the country. His entrepreneurial spirit thrives in the School of Business Administration and the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Dayton Arcade, where UD students pick the brains of entrepreneurs and start micro-companies before graduation. Dick was a true serial entrepreneur. His companies revolved around new technology, such as flexible IV catheters and diagnostic software that aids radiologists in the early detection of disease. “Dick supported the inventive talents of people,” his family said, “and always had an open door to offer guidance.”

Both were faith-filled men who deeply loved their families.

Each met and courted the love of their lives — Marilyn “Bootsy” Hauer Crotty ’53 and Mary Stoermer Glennon — while students at the University of Dayton, where they learned the Catholic, Marianist values of servant-leadership that guided them throughout their lives. Their Catholic faith served as a compass for business and life, as they modeled for their children (a dozen between them!) what it means to live faith-filled lives of great purpose.

Both shared a lifelong love affair with the University of Dayton.

Each served for long stretches on the Board of Trustees and helped chart our future through their counsel, strategic vision, and philanthropy. Sitting in rocking chairs in a gazebo at Bill’s Hilton Head home, then-UD president Brother Ray Fitz, S.M., and Bill discussed the importance of entrepreneurial education, which led to an investment that continues to pay dividends today in the lives of our entrepreneurship graduates. Dick helped strengthen UD’s Catholic, Marianist mission through generous gifts to the “Forever Marianist” initiative, the Center for Integration of Faith and Work, and the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation scholarship fund — but he also supported scholarships for underrepresented students and athletics as well as numerous other programs across academic disciplines. He established the Glennon Symposium in the School of Business Administration that attracts nationally renowned speakers recognized for their business ethics.

Both leave a legacy as “good stewards.”

The list of organizations and people in Dayton who have benefited from the generosity of these two business leaders is lengthy, and the impact is wide — from the Victoria Theater Association to the Dayton Urban League. When Dick served on the Dayton Foundation’s governing board, he started a permanent unrestricted endowment “to respond to future challenges which cannot be predicted today.” That’s stewardship.

“Everyone needs to put something back in the pot,” said Dick, who received the Christian Service Award from the Alumni Association in 2020. “When a community creates opportunities for success, business people must search for ways to give back some of what they’ve taken out.” Bill echoed that philosophy: “Those to whom much has been given, much is expected,” he said when the received the School of Business Administration’s Vision Award in 1999. “God has been especially generous to this Irishman from Detroit.”

Bill Crotty and Dick Glennon lived full, rich lives, and the University of Dayton is a much stronger university because of their deep care for their alma mater.

Godspeed, Bill and Dick.

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