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$5M for global study

$5M for global study

Staff June 27, 2023
Deborah Flanagan Tobias '73 with President Spina onstage.
Deborah Flanagan Tobias '73 with President Spina.

Deborah Flanagan Tobias ’73 threatened to get teary-eyed as she took the stage at the Dayton Arcade April 19 to announce the We Soar campaign to an in-person audience and the thousands more who were watching online. As chair of the campaign, she shared her own story — of being an undergrad who never wanted to leave UD, to being a member of the board of trustees who now sees the intentional plan UD set out for her education and that of current and future students. 

“Building upon a legacy of our Marianist founders, seeing the real impact of that legacy on our students here today and making a commitment to build on the legacy for generations to come — that’s why we are here tonight,” she said. 

Tobias kept the momentum going toward UD’s $400 million philanthropic campaign goal with an announcement May 19 that she and her husband, Randall, will commit $5 million to offer life-changing international experiences and learning for future generations of UD students. 

An endowment will create the Deborah Flanagan Tobias Leaders Program to provide UD students who are Pell-eligible with a passport and scholarship support to participate in study-abroad programs. 

The gift from the Tobiases includes support of a fund created in 2019 that already has helped more than 100 students participate in study abroad programs on six continents.

Also with the gift, the University plans to eventually establish the Tobias Global Challenge Program, which will foster global and intercultural understanding among UD students as they work for the common good and strengthen the ability of UD’s education abroad programs to advance critical global themes through hands-on learning.

The campaign kickoff celebration brought her great joy, and she anticipated what its success will accomplish.  

“It’s a dream come true to look back and see value — and to look forward and see promise. And that’s what I see at UD here today,” she said. “I want this nurturing, stimulating environment to be available for generations
to come.”

Photo by Briana Snyder/Knack Video+Photo. Header image courtesy Global and Intercultural Affairs Center.