My Flyer family: We have spirit, yes we do
I may be the only former cheerleader in my proud UD family, but we’ve had Flyer spirit for decades.
You might say I have been immersed in UD’s culture my whole life, as my mom, Joan Doyle Hiti ’85, comes from a family of six children who all attended UD. She also met my dad, Frank M. Hiti ’84, on campus.
Growing up, I remember going to UD basketball games and eating at pre-renovation Milano’s, but it was only after I took an official tour during high school that I fell in love with UD’s environment and I knew where my heart was set on attending.
My grandparents, Edgar Doyle Jr. ’61 and Martha Watchler Doyle ’62, met on a blind date while attending UD. After graduating and having a family, they never had any expectations that all of their kids would become Flyers themselves. I believe that this consequently led to my parents not enforcing any expectations on me becoming a Flyer either.
With regard to my grandfather, his brother, James Doyle ’65, was also a Flyer. Both of them grew up in Upstate New York but chose Dayton based on what they had heard from the Marianist brothers of Bergamo East in Marcy, New York, where their father, Edgar Doyle Sr., helped in designing the chapel there.
My mom’s three youngest siblings, Marc Doyle ’92, Scott Doyle ’96 and Jennifer Doyle Martineau ’98, went to UD when I was a child; so I ended up visiting UD before I could walk. From watching a family home video of me as an infant in Marc’s freshman dorm and seeing a picture of me at 4 years old in Sherman Hall, it was clear that my love for UD started quite early.
Just like how my mom’s siblings followed in her footsteps, my sisters, Kaitlyn Hiti Donnelly ’12 and Sarah Hiti Ross ’15, followed in my footsteps as well by attending UD.
My mom, her sister Kathleen Doyle Boos ’86 and her brother Christopher Doyle were in the Pride of Dayton marching band for at least a year all at once, so there is family history of supporting UD athletics and music programs.
As for me, my true passion is Flyer basketball. When I was a senior, I was a devoted member of Red Scare and scored front row seats through the old basketball points system. After earning my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2010, I decided to pursue my MBA. Unfortunately, graduate students cannot join Red Scare, so I had to find another way to be at those games that I adored so much. Luckily, my roommate at the time was a cheerleader and convinced me to join the squad, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
Being a cheerleader was physically challenging but insanely fun, having been able to cheer in front of 13,000 people and watch the games about as close as one could get. However, I will admit that my proximity to the referees did not blend well with my Red Scare tendencies.
My love for UD basketball is deeper than ever, and I’ve continued to support and kindle my love for the team by buying season tickets ever since I left campus. Even when I lived in Michigan for about a year after graduating, that still did not stop me from supporting the Flyers – even if it required some late-night drives.
I have since moved back to the area and now reside in Springboro, Ohio, with my wife, Melissa Knollman Hiti ’10, and our two daughters. I love showing them around campus and taking them to games. Like my parents and grandparents, I will not apply any pressure for them to go to UD, but until they make their college decisions, they will be Flyers.
Perpetuating my family’s legacy even further, my cousin Conor Doyle is currently a senior studying mechanical engineering. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the next generation of my family. But of course, no pressure.As told to Rebecca Sutton ’25
Have a Flyer family story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.