The University of Dayton is one of the ten largest Roman Catholic schools in the United States and is the largest of the three Marianist universities in the nation. It is also home to one of the largest campus ministry programs in the world. The university offers more than 70 academic programs in arts and sciences, business administration, education and allied professions, engineering and law. It was first in the country to offer an undergraduate degree program in human rights.
In 1849, Rev. Leo Meyer purchased the land for the future university from John Stuart with a medal of St. Joseph, and a promise of US$12,000 during a choleraepidemic. As a condition of purchase, Rev. Meyer promised to maintain the grave site of Stuart's daughter. The land, known then as Dewberry Farm, was 125 acres (0.5 km2) and was primarily vineyards and orchards.
In 1850 the university was founded as a day school and boarding school for boys called St. Mary's School for Boys, later St. Mary's Institute. In 1913, the city of Dayton suffered a massive flooding when the Great Miami River overflowed. The university responded by sending faculty, Marianist brothers, and students out in rowboats to rescue Dayton citizens. In 1920, to reflect UD's commitment to its community, it took its current name. In 1935, the University of Dayton began admitting women, making it the first coeducational Roman Catholic university in the United States. As of 2011, UD is the largest private university in Ohio.
The University of Dayton main campus is compact and easy to navigate; one is generally able to cross campus in less than 10 minutes. Many historic buildings survive from the early years of the University; newer buildings fit in with the established architecture (with a few exceptions, including ArtStreet, Roesch Library, and Miriam Hall).
The fields are being used for intramural sports, and the College Park Center houses the UD Department of Public Safety (26-officer Police Department, Parking Services, and Student Volunteer Rescue Squad), on-campus maintenance, the University's Department of Visual Arts, and Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) charter school. Burt-Hill Architecture is developing the long-term plan for the property.
Kettering Labs is the home of the Engineering departments. This building includes classrooms, labs, offices, a machine shop, and a wind tunnel.
The Science Center (the joint name for Sherman Hall, Wohlleben Hall, and a connecting central atrium) is home to the Math and Science departments. This building includes class rooms, laboratories, offices, and auditoriums. Sherman and Wohlleben Halls were independent buildings until renovations in 2003 connected them with an atrium and study space.
The Humanities building is home of the English, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, and Religious Studies departments. This building includes classrooms and offices.
In December 2009, the University of Dayton Research Institute announced that they would be relocating to the former NCR world headquarters building, now the River Campus. The former HQ and 115 acres (0.47 km2) came under acquisition of the University of Dayton at a purchase price of $18 million. Along with UDRI, the 1700 South Patterson Building that sits on that land will house the Alumni Center envisioned in the University's master plan, as well as for graduate classes, executive development programs and conferences.
As of 2012 annual undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Dayton were reported to be $48,000. According to the university 90% of its students receive financial aid of some sort, including loans and work-study.
Located in the heart of campus, Founders Hall is U-shaped and houses first-year students. Its lobby is shared by the entire building. Founders Hall is coed by floor, and all rooms are double occupancy, except for two rooms, which are quads.Founders has the smallest dorm rooms on campus, and will be remodeled in the summer of 2013.
Marianist hall is composed of three separate wings. The east and middle wing originally housed first-year students, coed by floor, in double-occupancy rooms. The middle wing now houses second-year students, coed by floor. The west wing houses sophomore students, coed by quad. A bookstore, credit union, food emporium, learning center, and post office are also located in Marianist Hall.
Marycrest Complex, which is coed by floor, has three sections that house first-year and upperclass students by floor and wing. Marycrest has double-occupancy rooms for first-year and upperclass students, as well as a limited number of single-occupancy rooms. A dining facility is part of this complex. Marycrest also includes the late-night stop, Crest Express. Renovations were completed in summer 2007.
Stuart Complex comprises three separate first-year student halls sharing a common lobby. Before renovations in 2009, Adele Hall housed women, Meyer Hall housed men, and Sheehy Hall housed men and women, coed by floor. Now, each wing has both men and women co-ed by floor. All rooms are double occupancy. A convenience store known as "Stuart's Landing" is part of this complex.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can elect to remain in a residence hall or live in other University housing. Upperclass University housing includes a residential suite complex, apartments, and houses located within a short walk of campus. The university also owns a number of apartment buildings for student housing; these include the Lawnview Apartments, the Campus South, and Garden Apartments, forming the South Quad; ArtStreet townhouse and loft apartments in the center of the Student Neighborhood; Garden Apartments along Stewart Street; and Plumwood Apartments on Brown Street. Lawnview Apartments are four-person apartments located in the south student neighborhood for junior and senior students. Each apartment includes two bedrooms, a bath, kitchen, living room, and storage space. The Campus South is a 10-story apartment building for sophomores. Each apartment accommodates six men or women. In addition to three bedrooms, these units also contain kitchens, living rooms, and baths. Garden Apartments are for sophomore, junior, and senior students. Ten apartment facilities contain units for four or six men or women. The Garden Apartments contain kitchens, living rooms, and baths. Because of the student neighborhood and massive availability of on-campus housing, over 98% of current UD undergraduates live on campus.
The Ghetto and Darkside
The University of Dayton has a unique feature: it has a student neighborhood (literally). Over time, the University of Dayton has acquired houses adjacent to its property. These properties used to belong to NCR and were used to house their employees. Most junior and senior-status students live in these houses. The university has been slowly renovating and/or rebuilding the houses in the worst condition. Most students refer to the South Student Neighborhood as "the Ghetto." The Ghetto is bounded by Brown Street to the west, Irving Avenue to the south, Trinity Avenue and Evanston Avenue to the east, and Caldwell Street and Stonemill Road to the north. The Ghetto is located beside Oakwood, an established neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio. The area north of the campus center (North Student Neighborhood) is known as "the Darkside", due to the lack of streetlights when it was annexed. The area adjacent to the Darkside is known as "the Far Side", due to its distance from the center of the Ghetto.
The Dayton Flyers compete in the Atlantic Ten Conference in all sports except football, in which they compete in the Pioneer Football League. The Flyers' mascot is "Rudy Flyer," a pun based on the university's initials, "U.D." Rudy is a barnstorming pilot who wears 1930s-1940s-era goggles and a leather pilot's helmet. The nickname "Flyers" is a tribute to the Wright Brothers who began their careers and invented the airplane in Dayton.
Flyers basketball is one of the biggest sports attractions in the Dayton area with the Flyers perennially ranking in the NCAA Division I top 30 in basketball attendance. The men's basketball team has advanced to the NCAA tournament numerous times and holds a 13-15 all time NCAA tournament record. The team reached the NCAA finals against UCLA in 1967 and won the NIT in 1962, 1968, and 2010.
Many of these varsity athletic teams are supported by the Red Scare, UD's spirit group made up of 1,300 undergrads. From its inception in 1996 until 2006, Red Scare was focused primarily on men's basketball. In 2007, the focus of Red Scare expanded to other sports including baseball and softball in the spring, football, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball in the fall, and men's and women's basketball in the winter. The Red Scare expanded other sports' fan base with the creation of a points system called "Spirit Points." Students are given points for each sporting event they attend. These points are then used to obtain a quality seat at the men's basketball game.
In addition to varsity athletics, there are numerous club and intramural sports available to students including ice hockey. In January 2006, the university opened its new RecPlex, a $25 million state of the art sports and recreational facility for students of the university.
University of Dayton students have the opportunity to study at either of the other Marianist universities in the United States: Chaminade University of Honolulu (Honolulu, Hawaiʻi) or St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas). These intercultural exchange opportunities allow students experience with majority Asian-American culture in Honolulu and Latino-American culture in San Antonio.
In the 2010 edition of U.S. News and World Report's annual "America’s Best Colleges" issue, The University of Dayton broke the top 100 and ranked 99th of the top "national universities." However in the 2011 edition, the university fell down to 101. It also ranked 85th among private schools and 5th among Catholic institutions.
In 2010 General Electric announced that it would be locating a new $51 million research center on the University of Dayton's campus. The center will be used for collaboration between University Researchers and GE to create new electrical power technologies.
Bob Taft - distinguished research associate for educational excellence, professor in the Political Science department. Former two term governor of the state of Ohio. Great Grandson of President Taft.