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President's Blog: From the Heart

Deb Tobias and Eric Spina

First We Soar Goal Met!

By Deborah Flanagan Tobias ’73

When President Spina asked me if I would write a guest blog before our sixth annual giving day, One Day, One Dayton, I told him I would be thrilled to borrow his pen and use his platform.

Why thrilled? Because, as the chair of the We Soar campaign cabinet, I get to share with you that we have achieved our first campaign goal — welcoming 19,250 new Front Porch Society members since the beginning of the We Soar campaign. That’s equivalent to a small city, Flyers!

The Front Porch Society, named in honor of the beloved porches in the student neighborhood that symbolize community-building in the Marianist tradition, is composed of donors who make a gift of any size to any area of the University for three or more consecutive fiscal years.

And hitting this goal now — less than one year after the public launch of the campaign! — highlights the importance and impact of our community’s collective efforts during One Day, One Dayton.

Last year 727 Flyer Faithful joined the Front Porch Society during One Day, One Dayton. Together, we are creating a culture of philanthropy for the University of Dayton that will carry us into the future with confidence.

As a rookie Golden Flyer this year, I’ve witnessed the landscape of higher education change radically in the 50 years since I received my degree in education and became a Flyer for life. Tuition has outpaced economic growth, but our needs haven’t changed. This world needs Flyers — people educated in this incredible Catholic, Marianist community.

And you agree! We have so many contributors. The Class of ’69 has the most Front Porch Society members, and current UD students helped us achieve a 38% increase in student donors, a 190% increase in student gifts, and a 350% increase in student members of the Front Porch Society in 2023. I am particularly proud of our students, many of whom have received scholarships. They know why giving back is so important now — and for future generations.

When you consider that more than 70% of people who have become Front Porch Society members since the beginning of We Soar continue to donate annually, you see how powerful participating in One Day, One Dayton is for our community.

So please, join me April 9 in making a gift during One Day, One Dayton this year. You can give any amount to any area of the University, and it will count toward our goals. Let’s create another record-breaking day of giving. Our goal is 5,500 donors, and I just know we will do it!

Go Flyers!

(Deborah Flanagan Tobias earned a degree in secondary education from UD in 1973. She is a current member of the UD board of trustees and the chair of UD’s We Soar campaign. After teaching, she spent the majority of her career at technology firms, last serving as UK sales operations director for Juniper Networks.

In 2023, Deb and her husband, Randall, committed $5 million to create the Deborah Flanagan Tobias Leaders, a program to provide Pell-eligible UD students the life-changing opportunity to study abroad. Read more about the program.)

Related Links: 

Make your gift now
We Soar
One Day, One Dayton
Learn about UD giving societies

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