Three Presidents. Three Eras. One University.
Over the last 42 years, only three University of Dayton presidents have inhabited room 207 in St. Mary’s Hall — a remarkable show of stability in leadership when the average national tenure is six years.
UD President Eric F. Spina will join President Emeriti Daniel J. Curran and Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. ’64, in a virtual conversation with alumni and friends at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 9. Sharon Howard ’78, a communications executive and member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, will moderate the informal gathering with the three leaders.
“It’s a rare opportunity for alumni and friends to converse with three remarkable presidents who, each in his own way, has propelled our beloved University forward,” said Anita Brothers, director of alumni relations and engagement. “They hold such deep respect for one another — and for their role as stewards of UD’s Catholic, Marianist mission.”
“They hold such deep respect for one another — and for their role as stewards of UD’s Catholic, Marianist mission.”
When Spina became UD’s 19th president in 2016, he posed for an official portrait and a few candid photos in St. Mary’s courtyard with his predecessors, including an “all hands in” image, symbolic of the collaborative, welcoming spirit of UD’s campus.
If there’s a watchword for their presidencies, it’s transformation. By every measure, the University of Dayton has grown in size, prestige and aspiration under their combined leadership. Between them, they’ve awarded well over 100,000 degrees.
If there’s a mantra, it’s community. From the front porches in the student neighborhoods to the new classrooms in the Dayton Arcade overlooking Main Street, UD continues to build community, one relationship at a time. That’s a Marianist value each of these presidents models and holds dear.
If there’s a constant, it’s mission. It’s the thread that runs throughout the school’s 171-year history. The three leaders share a deep and abiding commitment to sustaining the Catholic, Marianist philosophy of education. As UD has adapted and changed its curriculum for the times, the University continues to educate the whole person — mind, body, heart and spirit — in a community of support that respects the gifts of each student.
“The University of Dayton has been so well managed throughout the years, with each of these extraordinary presidents rising to meet the times with faith and courage,” said Howard, who has worked in a volunteer capacity with all three. “We’ve been blessed with great leadership.”