Flash from the past
Golden Flyer William (Bill) Hagerty `71 has a rare memento from his five years at University of Dayton. Not a yearbook or a favorite T-shirt — the badge from his freshman orientation in 1966.
After recently rediscovering the badge, he decided to share his discovery with a few people at UD, including Diana Barrett, the director for student transitions and family program. Barrett was intrigued with Hagerty’s story and invited him to be a guest for 2022 orientation leaders — making it the first time an alumnus has participated in a first-year orientation.
Hagerty shared details about his UD journey with the leaders and showed the badge and other memorabilia he kept from his time as a UD student. This included his orientation badge, acceptance letter, a financial aid packet, T-shirts from his fraternity and more.
“They were in awe while passing around my things,” said Hagerty. “It was such a cool experience just talking to the students.”
Barrett wanted to bring Hagerty into the leaders’ session to help inspire them to think about their impact on new students.
“We wanted them to reset and rethink the platform they have,” said Barrett. “The goal was to have them think about their ability to build connections among the students and how that has a long lasting impact even beyond college.”
Barrett said she thought Hagerty’s experience was unique, recognizing that college requires stepping outside comfort zones. “Orientation is often met with a lot of emotion and anxiety,” Barrett said.
Hagerty keeping his badge for years after his orientation reflects that he had a positive experience as an incoming student, she said. His story is one that encourages younger generations to embrace the change.
Hagerty said that alumni should get more involved with current students in volunteer roles and as mentors. He enjoys talking with enthusiastic UD students whenever he can and said he thinks that a degree from UD is a big door opener for the future.
“College is hard,” he said. “It takes a lot of work and concentration, but it pays off in the end. I tell students to stick with it.”