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Being the Change

The University of Dayton has enlisted prospective students to dream big about the future even before stepping foot on campus.

Last fall, the Catholic, Marianist university asked high school students completing their applications to answer the question “How do you hope to create change?” Students weren’t told how their statements might be used.

More than 620 statements and one artist later, the result is a graphic mural covering the length of a wall in the admission offices, a visual representation of how the class of 2020 intends to put their educations into action.

“The mural was designed to be a visual representation of what bold, thoughtful thinking looks like,” said Jason Reinoehl, interim vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “It shows what it means to dream big and it symbolizes what the future can be when we work together.”

At the same time, it’s also a new way to depict the mission and the character of the University through the words and ideas of the next generation.

“Our mission as a University is transformative education, to offer students the education and the experience that will transform them and inspire them to create a better world,” he said. “This wall shows they are already bringing that inspiration to campus, that they’re starting out with ambitious ideas on how they will make their marks.”

A fold-out poster of the mural is being mailed to the students, along with the University’s thanks for helping to write the wall. They’re also directed to a microsite where they can explore the mural and find their contribution.

Nationally known graphic artist Timothy Goodman transformed the hundreds of student personal statements — from curing disease and improving literacy rates, to recycling and being a better neighbor — into a visual representation on how they hope to make a resounding impact on the world.

Here are some of their thoughts:

·      I hope to bring light to those without it in Haiti by using solar energy.

·      I hope to create change by being a good steward of the world's resources, and strategically using my environmental biology degree to do so.

·      I hope to create change in the world by becoming an influential and devoted teacher.

·      Using creativity and innovation, I will explore new ideas and ways of thinking.

·      By starting my education in pre-med to help my education in the public health field.

·      By being a journalist and telling the world the truth about what is happening.

·      I hope to work in neurology and prosthetics, improving healthcare universally.

·      I want to make the Fine Arts a method for diplomacy and promoting world peace.

·      By coaching. I want to impact kids, making lives better with life lessons.

·      I hope to create change by illuminating that which is otherwise unseen, and loving that which is otherwise ignored.


News and Communications Staff