An engaging group
These Flyers are using creativity to connect and engage — all to benefit future generations.
If the University of Dayton had an alumni cheer squad, these nine Flyers would be at the top of the pyramid.
As volunteers for the campaign cabinet, they are channeling their UD experience, gratitude and connections to benefit current and future students.
“Those who are so passionate about UD want to see the passion carry on to the next generation,” said Kristin Scheidt Dailey ’98, a cabinet member who also volunteered for UD as a member of the Parent Leadership Council. “We span generations that are really coming together.”
Those who are so passionate about UD want to see the passion carry on to the next generation.
Formed in 2020, the cabinet works to build engagement, participation and philanthropy in connection with the first major campaign in 20 years. The campaign will build a strong community for future Flyers with fundraising focused on scholarships, hands-on learning and academic excellence.
The cabinet is led by three alumni who are also co-chairing the campaign: Deborah Flanagan Tobias ’73, Bill Stankey ’80 and Rick Omlor ’79. The cabinet works in conjunction with University administration and the board of trustees, of which Tobias and Omlor are also members.
Creativity and passion drive the actions of the cabinet. In January, Dailey hosted for her network of alumni and friends a virtual happy hour featuring a student-led campus tour. Attendees submitted their former campus addresses, and Dailey included pictures of their houses. Her plans for a Cleveland-area Flyer drive-in theater night had to be postponed last fall, but she is tentatively scheduling it for later this year.
While the pandemic has created challenges — such as meetings and events all needing to be planned for the virtual — cabinet member Linda Arvin Skuns ’63 said it has also created an advantage for many Golden Flyers: “We all have a lot of extra time now, and I like these opportunities to connect and engage.”
Skuns said she accepted the invitation to join the cabinet because of the campaign’s focus on scholarships and experiential learning.
Courtney Beasley ’10 agrees. “We’re all so passionate about seeing the University succeed and expanding opportunities for future students,” she said.
We’re all so passionate about seeing the University succeed and expanding opportunities for future students.
Beasley is using her experience as chief marketing officer at the United Way of Greenville County, South Carolina, to help Flyers feel connected no matter their distance from campus. She’s especially interested in sharing with young alumni the pride she felt in making her first gift during the University’s first giving day in 2019.
She also is finding ways to share the energy of the campus academic environment with those no longer near Dayton. For example, Beasley and Lynton Scotland ’84, a fellow cabinet volunteer and a trustee emeritus, have hosted two panel discussions featuring members of the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
“So much of who I am as a person today is because of UD,” she said. “I am thankful that I have the ability to create a sense of community within the pockets that I am in today.”
So much of who I am as a person today is because of UD. I am thankful that I have the ability to create a sense of community within the pockets that I am in today.
For cabinet member Colleen O’Malia Stine ’06, UD’s faith-based education is important to support and preserve.
“Prayer is a huge part of my life,” she said. “It’s the most important part of my day. Our world just needs prayer more than ever.”
Among the events she has helped plan was the winter Flyer Family United in Prayer, a virtual prayer service held on the Feast of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, co-founder of the Society of Mary. The cabinet saw the potential of such an event and opened it to Flyers beyond Stine’s network of classmates and those living near her in Indianapolis. Nearly 150 people registered to attend. They shared more than 300 prayer intentions, needs and expressions of gratitude that were written by Campus Ministry staff on colorful ribbons and tied to a prayer wall in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.
As the cabinet continues its work during coming years, volunteers say it will root its work in the mission of the University and the lessons alumni learned there.
“Dayton grounded us in faith, it grounded us in friendship, it grounded us in family, and it grounded us in community,” Dailey said. “We are making sure we keep the interests of the student No. 1 in our hearts.”