My alma mater—the University of Dayton—is in the Sweet Sixteen tonight, in case you haven’t heard. I may not be a huge basketball fan, but I am a UD fan, so I’m just as excited. The Flyers deserve to be in the national spotlight. There are lots of list out there about who we are and why we should win, but I wanted to offer my own. Here are ten more reasons from an alum perspective. (Hint: it’s much more than the Ghetto on Saturday night!)
- Marianists are among the greatest people you’ll ever meet.
UD is a Catholic, Marianist school with a real commitment to community and kindness. Our campus is full of priests, brothers, and sisters who embody that commitment every minute of every day. It’s intensely wonderful.
- The city of Dayton loves the University of Dayton.
Since the school housed hundreds and fed thousands of city residents stranded by the flood of 1913, UD has made every effort to help improve the city and have a positive impact on the community. They purchase and improve vacant buildings, support the city’s natural resources, and create jobs.
- Christmas on Campus is a beautiful thing.
Each year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, classes are cancelled and campus is abuzz for Christmas on Campus. It’s a chance for students to celebrate Christmas together before they go home for break—and do some great work for the community. Dayton-area kids come to campus to be hosted by students, given Christmas gifts, and treated like little royalty. It’s a ball.
- Academics are a top priority.
Let’s face it: college, at its heart, is about a good education that will launch careers, not bouncing a ball around. UD’s athletes are held to high academic standards, and boast a national top 20 standing for graduation success rates.
- Service is a core part of the university mission.
Whether it’s a spring break service trip to build houses in a low-income neighborhood, a summer trip to set up clean water for remote African villages or volunteer in Appalachia, or a weekend spent working in the inner city, UD is all about service in action and immersive education that will broaden students’ worldview.
- UD’s financial aid program is generous and (relatively) easy.
Applying for financial aid from the university is as easy as applying for admission—it’s the same application. Based on academic credentials, students learn what scholarships they qualify for as soon as they know they’ve been admitted. There are many other opportunities for aid, too. Though it’s a private school, it’s among the most affordable in the country.
- You can’t beat a Ghetto porch.
The Ghetto—otherwise known as the student neighborhood at the University of Dayton—is filled with old, janky houses with perfect porches. The first thing students do when the weather warms up in the spring is sit on a porch and wave to their neighbors. It’s a friendly, open-door neighborhood full of that community vibe Flyers just can’t get enough of.
- The whole world needs the Marian Library.
UD is home to the largest collection of printed materials about the mother of God on the planet. The Marian Library is filled with priceless works of scholarship and devotion to Mary and her place in salvation history. Its executive director—Fr. Francois Rossier—speaks five languages, has taught on every continent, and was installed by the Vatican. It’s that big a deal.
- UDRI is a research powerhouse.
The University of Dayton Research Institute makes great strides in energy, environment, aerospace, sustainability, sensors, materials, and many more fields. They’ve made a difference in the world, and they do it again and again—all with the help of brilliant professionals and hundreds of dedicated students.
- Everyone finds something to love at UD.
Truly embodying the Catholic call to welcome, love, and serve our neighbors, UD brings people together. Whether it’s an annual writers’ workshop, a conference for business geniuses (and students who want to be them), a sandwich and a smoothie at the campus hub for artsy kids, Sunday Mass at the historic chapel, or a good basketball game, there’s at least one something for everyone.