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Madam mayor

Madam mayor

Anne Slater Burt ’84 September 15, 2022

University of Dayton alumna Anne Slater Burt ’84 tells how a sheet sign started it all. As told to Nicole L. Craw.

Illustration of Anne Burt
Anne Burt '84, illustration by Zachary Ghaderi


My first time running for office started in a way that many Flyers are familiar with — a big white sheet and a fat Sharpie. 

At the start of my first year at UD, I ran for freshman representative of student government and proudly hung my sheet sign on the tennis courts in the middle of campus. I guess my sheet sign skills were superior, as I was elected and served in student leadership positions for three more years.

You could say UD is in my blood. My parents, my three sisters and my grandfather are all Flyers. The minute I stepped on campus, I discovered a stronger connection to my Catholic faith, especially with the girls on my floor in Marycrest. We have maintained a lifelong friendship to this day.

Dayton is where I first grasped the importance of servant-leadership and how much I valued it personally. I was involved as a student mentor at St. Joseph orphanage in Dayton and loved volunteering each year for Christmas on Campus. I felt so privileged to be able to share the joy of the holidays with children.

I found UD’s call to learn, lead and serve driving me forward. It was truly a calling from God.

"It was truly a calling from God."

Now I live with my husband in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul — Woodbury, Minnesota — where I serve as mayor. But my sheet sign skills didn’t play a part this time.

Woodbury, a city of 75,000 residents, is an ideal place for families, truly a place to learn, live, work and thrive. We have fantastic schools, flourishing parks and trails, and a booming medical hub that recently relocated many health care services from the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis to our location.

In 2020, Woodbury was named by Money magazine as the Best City in all of Minnesota and ninth best city in the country. I am incredibly proud of our town and how much we have accomplished. 

In my professional job, I am a technical consultant at a water treatment company. The world of politics can feel very divisive at times, which is why I never felt directly called to it. But I wanted to see change and make a difference in the city where I’ve lived for more than 15 years — and that’s what I plan to do, thanks to UD. 

I’ve learned. I’ve led. And now, I’ll serve.

A coming storm