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Arts for all

Arts for all

Staff June 16, 2024

A long red carpet welcomed guests April 13 to the grand opening gala at the University’s new Roger Glass Center for the Arts. Sounds from a student jazz trio echoed through the main hall and added to the excitement in the air. This was a moment to celebrate a beautiful new building at the corner of Main and Stewart streets — its location an intentional invitation for students and community to create and enjoy the arts together.

Entrance to the new arts center, sign displays Roger Glass Center for the Arts








“The Roger Glass Center for the Arts reflects our commitment to providing the highest caliber facilities for experiential learning in the visual, performing and communication arts,” said Darlene Weaver, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs to the audience seated in the concert hall. “This facility will provide students with new opportunities to learn, perform and connect with the greater Dayton community.”

The Glass Center is the culmination of the vision of the late Roger Glass ’67, Dayton-area entrepreneur and philanthropist whose lead gift made possible the arts center. He recalled in a 2019 interview the joy he felt as a student while playing the trumpet in UD’s marching band. He understood how important it was for him, a communication major who would later go on to be president and CEO of Marion’s Piazza, to have a creative outlet. He wanted to help ensure students of all majors had a proper home for their creative endeavors.

“When I went to UD, everything was scattered,” he said of the arts.

“This is an opportunity for all of the arts at UD to come together and have an amazing place to display their talents.”

Larry Mullins, Glass’ husband of 45 years, and Glass’ sister, Carol Pollock, were among his family members to attend the opening event.

During the gala and an open house earlier in the day, the community and special guests visited the new spaces and interacted with students. They also learned about some of the special considerations that went into the building. The concert hall, for example, is acoustically tunable.

Behind the wooden dowel rods affixed to the walls are thick, black curtains that can be moved, depending on the needs of the performers. When the Dayton Jazz Ensemble performed, the curtains were pulled out; a band with such a huge sound did not require extra reverberation. But when the cast of Godspell stepped on stage to sing, technical theater students returned the curtains to their positions to allow their voices to fill the hall.

The building opened in January, and students started rehearsing, performing and taking classes. In all, 5,082 people attended 42 events in the Glass Center during spring semester.

In his blessing of the Glass Center, Father Jim Fitz, S.M. ’68, vice president of mission and rector, reminded us of the power of the arts to transform lives and build community.

“Grant that all those educated in this building may be blessed with the skills needed to advance the common good and the grace to contribute to the advancement of humanity in our world,” he said.

Drone Fly Through: Roger Glass Center for the Arts


2406_glasscenter_ovation.jpgRoger Glass '67 envisioned a center  where the arts would bring together campus and the community to support the creative genius of students from all majors. His lead gift was joined by gifts from faculty and staff; corporate and foundation partners; and alumni and friends; with foundational support from two anonymousbequests. Among those recognized at the April 13 opening gala were:

Ursula Buehring Post ’74 and Steven Post ’74: Their names grace the south plaza, and two entrances are named for their family: the Elisabeth and Willi Buehring Entrance, in tribute to Ursula Post’s parents, and the Rebecca Post Sikes Entrance, in memory of their daughter and mother of Ren Sikes ’24.

The Hilbert family, for supporting student journalism through The Hilbert Family Flyer News Room.

Duke Hartman ’81 and Pam Hartman, for their support of Flyer TV through the Pam and Duke Hartman TV Studio Control Room.

Reynolds and Reynolds, a local corporate partner for whom the Reynolds and Reynolds Center Stage Caf. is named.

Cultural Impact

On a cold Saturday afternoon in late January, the Roger Glass Center for the Arts welcomed 484 visitors eager to view artwork from 92 local artists in a free public event. 

Student actors stand on boxes performing Godspell.
Students performed in Godspell in the experimental theater.

The aptly titled Get Together exhibit was just part of the draw for attendees that day. The Glass Center
itself was making its soft launch debut as the latest addition to Dayton’s thriving arts scene, taking its place among venues like the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center and the Dayton Art Institute
downtown as hubs of culture and community.

The Glass Center has been a long-awaited vision for UD, and its arrival is expected to have a positive impact on Dayton’s arts community as a whole. The arts are thriving in Dayton, with the region’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generating $239.4 million in economic activity in 2022, according to a recent Arts and Economic Prosperity report delivered by CultureWorks. The report also noted how the arts boosted tourism, businesses and overall engagement in local communities.

The fall season of events at the Glass Center is taking shape, with UD’s ArtsLive kickoff Sept. 22 featuring the Akropolis Reed Quintet. The facility is sure to attract audience members and performers from around the region, making the Glass Center the newest space for the Dayton arts community to get together. —S.S.M.

Fast facts: The Roger Glass Center       

  • 16

    miles of wooden dowels in the 386-seat concert hall

  • 5,082

    people attended 42 events in the Glass Center spring semester

  • 3,800

    square feet of lobby glass in the 51,200 square-foot Glass Center

  • 14

    key construction partners

  • 92

    local artists featured in Get Together, the first exhibit in the 2,000-square-foot gallery

  • 50+

    construction site tours in 2 years

Certified Gold

Within weeks of its grand opening, the Roger Glass Center for the Arts went gold. 

Art hanging on the walls of the new art gallery
The Horvath Juried Student Exhibition in the Glass Center art gallery. 

Not only did the Glass Center become LEED certified, which means it met some of the world’s highest standards for sustainability in construction, but it also earned a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

The Glass Center is UD’s 15th LEED-certified project — a significant achievement since standards become more strict each year, said David Schmidt, assistant vice president for planning and construction management. 

“LEED certification gets harder to achieve over time,” Schmidt said. “The gold rating achieved at the Glass Center — certified under LEED version 4 — is more energy efficient and met much more stringent requirements for waste reduction, water use, indoor air quality and sustainable landscaping than our first gold-rated building (the GE EPISCenter) in 2013.”

Design highlights that led to the Glass Center’s LEED certification include the use of heat recovery chillers, which save energy by providing chilled water for both cooling and dehumidification of the air in the building, and the use of LED fixtures for building and performance lighting. —S.S.M.


  • 600,000

    square feet of LEED-certified space on campus

  • 62

    new trees planted on the Glass Center site — all plantings on the project are native and adaptive to the area

  • 11

    percent of campus space is LEED-certified

The student experience