A back arrow

All Articles

Deep love for UD

Deep love for UD

Shannon Shelton Miller April 17, 2023
Remembering two men with a deep commitment and history of service to UD — L. William "Bill" Crotty ’52 and Richard "Dick" Glennon Sr. ’50.

In the late 1940s, the University of Dayton welcomed hundreds of young men who’d served their country in the U.S. armed forces, during wartime or shortly after. Two of those students, Richard “Dick” Glennon Sr. ’50 and L. William “Bill” Crotty ’52, would travel remarkably similar life paths, from achieving success in business to becoming engaged philanthropists committed to giving back to UD.

Bill Crotty and Dick Glennon
UD remembers board of trustees emeriti Bill Crotty (left) and Dick Glennon

Ask them why they loved UD so much, and they’d give similar responses about the quality of the education they received and how the University helped them deepen their faith. What they cherished most, however, was meeting Mary Stoermer Glennon and Marilyn “Bootsy” Hauer Crotty ’53, the two students who’d become their future wives. Both couples would celebrate more than 60 years of marriage, with their unions ending only after Mary and Marilyn died within weeks of each other in 2015.

Just as their lives had unfolded in parallel fashion, so did their final days. Glennon, born in May 1927, died Jan. 31, at 95. A few weeks later, Crotty, born in August 1927, died Feb. 14, at 95.

“The University of Dayton community has suffered a profound loss after the recent passing of two former longtime trustees and major philanthropists who believed deeply in UD and helped to make it the special place that it is today,” said UD President Eric F. Spina. “Bill Crotty and Dick Glennon lived full, rich lives, and the University of Dayton is a much stronger university because of their deep care for their alma mater.”

Bill and Marilyn Crotty provided the lead gift to establish the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the School of Business Administration in 1998, helping elevate the University’s reputation nationally as a top institution for entrepreneurial education. Richard and Mary provided significant financial support for business, Catholic education and Marianist initiatives across the University, along with scholarships for underrepresented students. They also established the Glennon Symposium, which invites distinguished speakers to talk with students.

Glennon earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UD after serving in the U.S. Navy, while Crotty earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Glennon became an entrepreneur who launched companies that revolved around new technology, such as flexible IV catheters and diagnostic software that aids radiologists in the early detection of disease. Crotty built Van Dyne Crotty, a family-owned and operated business, into one of the premier privately owned uniform companies in the country. 

Glennon joined the UD board of trustees in 1979, serving his first nine-year term through 1988, and a second nine-year term from 1989-98. Crotty joined the board in 1980 and served three consecutive three-year terms.

“[T]hey wanted to see UD become so much stronger as an institution.”

"These two men had such a love for the University,” said Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., UD president from 1979-2002. “It was a passion, and they wanted to see UD become so much stronger as an institution. You could see it was so meaningful to them — I think that came from the way they were supported when they were here.”

Fitz said both were very supportive of his vision to elevate UD’s reputation to become one of Ohio’s top private universities and a nationally ranked Catholic university. They helped him think through how UD could reach its full potential, from investing in new academic programs and facilities to revitalizing the Fairgrounds neighborhood and purchasing student housing to enhance the entire area around campus. Fitz described those efforts as important “pieces of the puzzle” to help UD realize its full potential in the final decades of the 20th century.

Glennon and Crotty were also major champions for the Dayton region.

“Simply put, he loved UD,” said Mike Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation, where Glennon served on the board from 1984-98. “It’s where he met his wife, Mary, and is the place that supported his deep faith as a Catholic. He also loved Dayton, Ohio. He generously and unselfishly shared his time, talents and treasure to help improve the lives of all in our community, but he particularly cared for those in need. Dick was committed to and passionate about education and the value of education for all.”

“Dick was committed to and passionate about education and the value of education for all.”

Crotty also served on numerous community boards and organizations, including the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Catholic Social Services, the Victoria Theatre Association, St. Elizabeth Medical Foundation and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“As a successful businessman, philanthropist and visionary leader, Bill Crotty made an incredible positive impact on not just Catholic Social Services, but our entire community,” said Laura Roesch, chief executive officer for Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley. “Bill served as a long-term adviser and supporter, and was especially engaged with our programs that serve young children and families. He believed deeply in our mission of service and challenged us to bring support and resources to our community’s most vulnerable people.”

“[He] challenged us to bring support and resources to our community’s most vulnerable people.”

In their final years, Glennon and Crotty shared another moment that honored their contributions to UD. In 2020, Glennon received the University of Dayton Alumni Association’s Christian Service Award while Crotty received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In video interviews for the awards, both men shared why the University held a special place in their hearts. It’s where they found love – for education, for their wives and for God.

“Do not underestimate the value of your experience as a student here at the University of Dayton,” Crotty said. “And maybe you’ll be lucky like me and meet the love of your life. Without UD, we probably wouldn’t have met. It was meant to be.”

Said Glennon: “It has always been the Marianists who make UD special. Whatever talents God gives you, I feel there is a sense of responsibility to accomplish something good with those gifts.”

2020 Alumni Award honorees