And they're off
I was tired, very hungry and quite muddy from a misstep I took on the rocky, wet trail. After a three-hour hike to one of Ireland’s tallest peaks, I stood at the summit, looked around and saw nothing.
Literally. My hand, outstretched 2 feet from my face, was lost in the clouds. What should have been a cinematic view of the North Atlantic was instead only a ghostly outline of Saint Brendan’s cross, planted at the peak. Somewhere nearby, I could only assume, was my Flyer husband, also standing muddy in the mist.
I’d travel anywhere with a Flyer. With Flyers, I’ve camped in forests, walked through jungles and toured great cities.
Then there was that time feeding elephants in Thailand. And another walking alongside lava flows in Hawaii.
Those last two, I didn’t get to do in person. But as editor of this magazine, alumni take me — and you — on adventures through their words and photos. We love the stories they send with their Where Are You Reading pictures.
When we redesigned our quarterly tabloid into the University Dayton Magazine nine years ago, we figured it would take nearly a decade to profile every Flyer alumni community, one issue at a time and accompanied by a Rudy cartoon painted by our art director, Frank Pauer (his illustration for Tampa Bay, pictured here, is one of my favorites). With this issue’s trip to Southwest Florida, we have accomplished that goal.
Some communities have memorable events — bat-watching boat cruise in Austin, Texas, anyone? — but with most, there is much of the same: Game watches. Networking events. Christmas off Campus. Friendships old and new.
Our student journalists love it.
We don’t write the magazine with them in mind, these 18- to 22-year-olds immersed daily in the UD community. But it’s because they are immersed, they say, that they need these stories of Flyers flown afar.
“One day you’ll make us leave,” they say. And that’s scary.
In stories of alumni gathering in communities, students see their future selves, away from campus and doing just fine.
One of those was our own Michaela Eames ’15, who upon graduation worked as the University’s social media strategist. Early this year, she accepted a position with TED Talks in New York City. It was a tip from alumna CC Hutten ’15 that led her to the job posting. Jack Raisch ’15 offered his parents’ NYC home as a temporary abode. Katie Christoff ’15 is now her colleague and Parks and Rec bingo buddy.
Michaela left Dayton, but she didn’t leave UD.
Life has many steps, most of which you don’t see coming. Knowing there’s a Flyer to offer a hand when you slip sure helps. All you have to do is reach out.