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Alumni champion UD to future Flyers

Alumni champion UD to future Flyers

Zoë Hill ’22 January 17, 2022

There is no one better to get new flyers excited about UD than an alumnus. Now there is a new volunteer opportunity for alumni — becoming a Flyer Champion.

The Flyer Champion role, a collaboration between advancement and admission, connects alumni with admitted students to introduce them to the University community. In its first year, it attracted more than 80 alumni to donate this past spring their time to personally reach out to and welcome recently admitted students via phone.

McKenzie Morin ’06, senior associate director of alumni and constituent programs, helped design the role. She trains and oversees the alumni volunteers to prepare them to engage with students.

“[The alumni] are champions for the University,” Morin said. “They recognize that, ‘This is my school’— a lot of us love UD.”

“[The alumni] are champions for the University. They recognize that, ‘This is my school’— a lot of us love UD.”

The volunteer role is a part of the Flyer Recruitment Program that recruits alumni who are passionate about their UD experience and want to help usher in the future class of Flyers, Morin said. Each Flyer Champion reaches out to 10 students. Volunteers send out two text messages and make a phone call to the admitted students who have yet to commit to the University.


Flyer Champion Katie Huesman Duggan ’14 was the first Flyer in her family. She calls the role a “game-changer” because it adds a personal touch to the admission process at UD.

“I remember the nerves and all the questions I had when applying and making my final decision,” Duggan said. “Of course, the numerous mailers and websites were helpful, but had an alum reached out to me directly, that would have been wonderful.”

Flyer Champions answer questions beyond financial aid and academics, which are answered by the admission office.

Texts went out to 796 accepted students in the spring, and 144 of them had a direct conversation with an alumnus. Morin said she hopes the role attracts more alumni to reach even more students. She said the Flyer connection is strong between the incoming class and alumni even though they may have graduated decades before.

Flyer Champion Emily Keane ’16 agreed, saying the UD family brings people together in a way unlike any other.

“The UD community is so strong. Whether it’s four years or four decades, Dayton bonds are something special.”

“The UD community is so strong,” Keane said. “Whether it’s four years or four decades, Dayton bonds are something special.”

For more information on recruiting future Flyers, visit bit.ly/FlyerChampion.

2021 Alumni Awards