Celebration of community
It rained during One Day, One Dayton, our annual day of giving, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of University of Dayton seniors who showed up — and showed up big.
The Class of 2022 topped every class with the strongest participation rate during the 24-hour giving marathon on April 6. Every. Single. Class.
To me, that clearly shows how much the seniors loved their UD experience, and it bodes well for their lifelong engagement with their alma mater.
“In classic Dayton fashion, even the rain couldn’t stop us.”
“In classic Dayton fashion, even the rain couldn’t stop us,” said Alexandria “Alex” Foos ’22, vice president for Students for University Advancement during One Day, One Dayton. She now works as a staff assistant for U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson on Capitol Hill.
“Everything we say about Dayton and its sense of community was there that day. It was definitely an adrenaline rush to see the numbers go up on the leaderboard and realize the Class of 2022 did better than any other class, even those who graduated 50 years ago.”
At one point during the day, three of our four current student classes were part of the top 12, with the Class of 2023 finishing in sixth place for participation.
And talk about Flyer love — a record 412 students made gifts. “Our students stole the show,” Jen Howe, vice president for University advancement, told the board of trustees at its May meeting.
In all, 6,634 donors spread across all 50 states participated with $2.2 million in gifts on that extraordinary day. I did my fair share of tweeting during #1Day1Dayton, but so did hundreds of others — to the tune of 3.4 million impressions of love and loyalty on social media. Now in its fourth year, One Day, One Dayton attracted more than 800 volunteers, an eightfold increase since its launch.
Special kudos are due to Students for University Advancement, a group of student volunteers dedicated to building a culture of philanthropy and engagement on campus. Even the gift of a price of a latte, they told classmates, can make a difference — particularly since a donor promised to triple every student donation. The message resonated as students targeted gifts to scholarships, experiential learning opportunities and student organizations like Flyer Enterprises, Catholic Life, Women in Business and the Asian American Association.
“Our vision came to life,” said Caroline Sullivan ’23, student engagement chair who will lead the organization next year. “It was so magical walking on campus and seeing the participation of students.”
Between classes, students played inflatable games, tried their hand in (soft) axe-throwing contests, participated in miniature golf, visited food trucks — and, through interviews and social media posts, told Flyer Nation that they want to help provide future students with the same magical, transformative experience they’ve enjoyed.
At the end of the day I joined hundreds of students in RecPlex for the “Rockout at Knockout” basketball event. It felt more like a celebration than a competition. At its heart, One Day, One Dayton is a celebration of community.