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Best of 2021

Best of 2021

Michelle Tedford January 07, 2022

Here are nine of University of Dayton Magazine’s most popular — and most talked-about — stories of last year. From stories that touched our hearts to those that made us think, take a look — or even a second look.

Top magazine stories

“A Complete Miracle.” The story about “Miss Linda” Waltz, a beloved member of the Dayton Flyers women’s basketball program, and her struggle to survive COVID-19 was the No. 1 UD Magazine story in 2021. The feature by Tom Archdeacon ’72 also elicited outpourings of love and support on social media and in letters. Her story is full of hope and strength — and worth another read.

illustration of two people taking bricks off a wall“Rebuilding Community.” In a year that saw so much division, it was good to hear from writer Michael Dunekacke about how the community spirit taught at UD can translate into positive ways forward — together. Brother Thomas Giardino, S.M. ’65, provides a Marianist perspective. Read the Spring 2021 issue here.

Top web stories

ceiling of windows in the Arcade“The Hub Rises: Abundance and New Beginnings in the Old Arcade.” Would the old Dayton Arcade ever be renovated? For decades we held our breaths. And then the stars aligned and partners stepped forward — including the University of Dayton — with vision, determination, resources and momentum. This story by Jeaneen Parsons and photographer Larry Burgess gave our readers a sneak peek inside the beautiful, historic, just-renovated building that has become a center of energy, education and entrepreneurship in Dayton. Truly a gem.

“Student Business Combines Fun, Social Distancing with Customized Cornhole.” You can’t go wrong with cornhole. This story of students starting a business was as successful as their venture. Hats off to experiential learning and student reporter Zoë Hill ’22.

You can’t go wrong with cornhole.

“Brothers in Business: Students Provide Cleaning Supplies During Pandemic.” Another story of students in business — this time of two brothers working to get pandemic cleaning supplies where they were needed most — takes another top spot. Meet the Schmidt brothers in this story by Zoë Hill ’22.

student volunteers“Students Help 4,000 Receive Vaccines.” Student writer Lauren Durham ’22 shares how the University’s health program students and faculty helped roll out the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021 to people in the Dayton community. 

Top faculty stories

“18 Million U.S. Children Are at Risk of Hunger: What More Can Be Done?” Associate professor Diana Cuy Castellanos and her colleagues took on this important question for The Conversation, which shares academic expertise with audiences around the world.

“Deaf Christians Often Struggle to Hear God's Word, but Some Find Meaning in the Richness of Who They Are.” Jana Bennett, professor of religious studies, writes that deaf Christians can often feel excluded in churches. But the Christian contemplative tradition that celebrates silence and considers it a form of prayer can bring a new understanding of faith, she writes for The Conversation.

Top archive story

illustration of entering hell“The Lesson from Hell.” Hell — it’s not just for Halloween anymore. This story on the research of Meghan Henning, an assistant professor of religious studies, from the Autumn 2019 University of Dayton Magazine month after month remains one of the top-read online stories. Written by Matthew Dewald and featuring classic illustrations by Gustave Doré, it offers insight into the religious and social uses of stories of hell. Thousands of readers have already delved deep into the feature.

And a few more by popular demand

basketball team hugsIn the 2021 magazine survey, our readers told us which stories from the past year they remembered the most: the opening of The Hub at the renovated Arcade, a remembrance of beloved Christian marriage professor Father Norbert Burns, S.M. ’45, coverage of UD’s response to the pandemic, and the 2019-20 historic run by the Dayton men’s basketball team. Oh, what could have been.

Thanks for reading. And happy New Year!

Lessons Learned