Golf isn’t usually thought of as a team sport, but the game draws together Flyer alumni annually to raise money for future University of Dayton students.
The Flyer Cup, held each year during the third weekend of September, started as a way for Jason Capone ’07 and his former classmates to meet up, tee off and reconnect.
“It's a great opportunity for us all to get together and, you know, relive some of our glory days," Capone said. “And to continue to build connections, friendships and relationships.”
The golf outing started in 2013 as something the friend group “cobbled together,” Capone said, but has since grown over the last decade into a fundraiser helping UD students pay their way through college. The group spends most of the year planning the event, with some fun rules including having the winners choose the location of the following year’s outing.
“One thing that we all have in common is that we all came to UD, and we attribute much of our friendship and success to our time here,” Capone said. “The idea of establishing the scholarship was really to give someone that was like us almost 20 years ago — the same opportunity to make friends and have something like this to look forward to in their future.”
After establishing the Flyer Cup Scholarship, Capone said he began receiving appreciation letters from student recipients, which makes the outing that much more valuable. To Capone, the letters serve as a “call to action” that he said makes him want to go online and donate as soon as he finishes reading one.
“It's really rewarding to know that we're helping out some students who are doing some really great things,” Capone said. “All of us, in some way, were supported by generous donors, so it's an opportunity for us to pay that forward and do the same.”
“It's really rewarding to know that we're helping out some students who are doing some really great things."
As the Flyer Cup grew, so did the group’s fundraising aspirations. The more advanced the golfers became in their careers, the more they could financially contribute to the scholarship. Those efforts culminated in an endowed scholarship fund that will assist UD students for years to come.
“This is exciting for us to develop something and fund something that's going to go on forever,'' Capone said. “It motivates us to make sure that we keep the Flyer Cup going … and hope that others have an opportunity to get together with friends and then give back to the University.”
While the Flyer Cup has grown beyond what any of the golfers envisioned that first year out on the green, the core of it all goes back to one alumni group’s desire to reconnect — something that Capone said he hopes future students can have a swing too.
“Something we learned in 2020 and 2021 is how important relationships are,” Capone said. “And to have each other has been one of the greatest gifts that have come from our time at UD.”