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Main attraction

Main attraction

Staff March 04, 2022

The sound of construction equipment music to our ears. Work began in winter on the Roger Glass Center for the Arts, located on Main Street.

It is the University’s first building dedicated to concerts, dance and theater performances, and art exhibits. The lead donor for the center is Roger Glass ’67, a Dayton-area entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is president and CEO of Marion’s Piazza.

President Eric F. Spina said the center will showcase the works of faculty, visiting artists and community members — and especially art created and performed by students from throughout the University.

“The great thing about the facility, and really the great thing about arts at the University of Dayton, is there are so many students involved from all areas — engineers in our orchestra and English majors in our acting troupe,” Spina said. “The arts have really grown here, and the students need a facility like this. It’s a gift to our students, to the University, and to the community, and we thank Roger for his generosity in making this facility possible.”

“It’s a gift to our students, to the University, and to the community, and we thank Roger for his generosity in making this facility possible.”

The 51,000-square-foot facility was designed in consultation with local arts organizations to complement existing venues in the region and increase the connection between the campus and community arts programs. It provides specialized arts and media spaces not currently available on campus and will also help the University recruit students interested in the arts.

The center is designed to meet LEED Gold environmental standards. Students could be making their own sweet music in the center by late 2023.

Location: Southeast corner of Main and Stewart streets

  •  UD purchased the former industrial brownfield from NCR Corp. in 2005.
  • “The Roger Glass Center for the Arts will be the front porch of the University, an entry point for the community to campus and an architectural bridge between historic campus and the new development that will happen at onMain, Dayton’s imagination district.” —Jason Pierce, former dean, College of Arts and Sciences



  • 400-seat concert hall that can be acoustically tuned to groups ranging from the orchestra to smaller ensembles
  • Flexible space for theater, dance and performance technology students to experiment and innovate
  • Visible and accessible art gallery
  • Custom-built experiential learning space for students in Flyer News, Flyer TV and Flyer Radio to prepare for careers in media
  • “The arts center is integral to who we are as a Catholic and Marianist institution. We’re committed to educating the whole person, and the arts play a critical role. We’ve long had established arts and performance programs here, and now we’re matching those academic programs with the facility.” — Jason Pierce, former dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • “This is going to be used not just by the students but by the general public here in Dayton. I really see it being busy all the time.” —Glass

Cost: $45 million

  • Local resident Martha Walter left $2 million to the University when she died in 2002 at the age of 90. A lover of arts and music, she took a photography course at UD as part of a tuition-free program available to seniors. The University earmarked her gift for a future arts center; today, her gift has grown to a market value of more than $6 million.
  • Among the nearly 700 gifts to the arts center are those from faculty and staff members who support the vision of the arts center.
  • The lead donor, Roger Glass ’67, holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from UD and was a member of the Pride of Dayton Marching Band his freshman year, playing trumpet.
  • “When I went to UD, everything was scattered. This is an opportunity for all of the arts at UD to come together and have an amazing place to display their talents. Not only the university but the community will be able to ​​take advantage of the center for the arts.” —Glass
  • “The community has made my business what it is, not me — it’s the folks who come in and eat pizza.” —Glass
  • Students still love pizza, Glass said, with a twist: they dip it in ranch dressing. “One night, we had 150 kids from UD come to eat, and we almost ran out of ranch.”
  • “I wanted a college education, and UD fit my needs. The education was terrific. I had a wonderful time.” —Glass

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