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Christmas on Campus magic, 56 years and counting

Christmas on Campus magic, 56 years and counting

Michelle Gregg ’21 December 10, 2019

For the 56th year in a row, children from the Dayton area stepped onto campus with rosy cheeks and bright smiles to experience a Flyer tradition, Christmas on Campus.

“Just seeing the kids coming off the bus and being paired with their UD student is the best part. They were so excited. They’re so happy and energetic,” said Rachel Yeager ’20, who let us in on some of the holiday magic she helped create.

Through the hard work of 26 students on the planning committee, a faculty adviser and thousands of volunteers, the University of Dayton once brought the community together for a Christmas celebration. Yeager and fellow senior Haylee Seeberger were this year’s co-coordinators for the festivities.

“It is a longstanding tradition,” Seeberger said. “This year, one of the things we talked about as a committee was this being a community event where all people are invited. It’s inclusive and it’s free. It’s a chance for UD to give back to the Dayton community but also for the Dayton community to come here and celebrate something that’s so important to our Marianist traditions and what we believe here at UD.”

Since 1963, Christmas on Campus has provided the opportunity to celebrate the season not only with Flyer families on campus but with the city of Dayton. While it was months of hard work in the making, Seeberger and Yeager have both been involved with the program for three years and would not have it any other way.

“It’s definitely shown me how much students care about giving back and just being able to take a few hours out of their day,” Yeager said. “It really means so much to the children. They do this for them and it’s such a fun night — I just love it.”

More than 1,000 first- and second-graders from Dayton Public Schools were paired with undergraduate student buddies to participate in games, crafts and holiday events. Thousands of students volunteered to run booths, paint faces, perform and do everything else necessary to make this annual event possible.

“It’s a good chance for our UD community to show this is really what our University stands for: service and giving back,” said Seeberger.

Photos by Meredith Robinson ’23, Kat Niekamp ’21 and Larry Burgess.

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