his past week, I wrote a feature story on the 10th anniversary of Daniel Curran’s arrival as University of Dayton president. While working on the story, I had a unique opportunity to interview about a dozen individuals who know Curran in a multitude of different lights.
But in order for anyone to actually enjoy the fruits of labor from my 200 interview minutes, there had to be some great quotes that just didn’t make the final cut. Thus, this post covers some of the top thoughts on Curran from many of the individuals connected to UD who know him best.
1. Teri Rizvi, university vice president of communication, on Curran’s personality: “I think he has very strong instincts about people. And you know, he’s very accessible, he has a son who is a student here and beyond being the president of the university, he’s also a parent, you know, and he’s very, I think he’s a champion of students in my viewpoint.”
2. Jeff Firestone, a fifth-year senior accounting and finance major working on his Master of Business Administration, on Curran’s ability to market UD: “His favorite part of his job is definitely interaction with students and it shows. … Speaking to him, his vision hasn’t changed very much as far as standards for the university go as far as the years I’ve had the opportunity to interact with him.”Firestone also is a member of President’s Emissaries and the CEO of Flyer Enterprises.
3. Elizabeth Reeves, a senior communication management major, on Curran’s personality: “He has the same kind of respect and the same kind of appreciation for everyone, and when he is listening to you, he really is listening. And he takes you seriously, again whether you are a student or not. So really it’s just that personal touch that makes UD what it is and he’s kind of put the cherry on top.” Reeves is a member of President’s Emissaries and the executive vice president of Student Government Association.
4. Lisa Lin, a senior international business and finance major, on Curran’s efforts toward globalization and growth: “He’s been working hard to make UD known to the world. … I think we’re slowly moving up, we’re still in the development stage, but I think one day UD will be a world-known school like hopefully Harvard or Yale.” Lin is a co-facilitator of the President’s Emissaries group on campus.
5. Victoria Barrera-Garces, a graduate student in college student personnel, on planning Curran’s annual dialogue event: “And so I think that’s what really gave me the insight into Dr. Curran and just how open he wants to be with the students, and especially just on a personal level.” Barrera-Garces is a member of President’s Emissaries.
6. Danny McCorry, a junior biology and philosophy major, on Curran’s impact in 10 years: “Realizing that he is the school’s first outside hire, the first non-Marianist, like he had big shoes to fill because obviously the Marianist values are what makes UD so special compared to other schools. I think he’s really encapsulated that and manifested it in ways that are as good as anyone could have expected.” McCorry is in charge of recruitment for President’s Emissaries.
7. Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, on UD’s growth under Curran: “I know in talking to a number of people at the school that he has given significant support to a number of mission-identity initiatives there that are both Marianist-based and Catholic-based in their foundation. And so he has found a way to keep the academic rigor and strengthen that, and at the same time build on Catholic mission which I think is terrific and a wonderful sign of a Catholic leader in today’s higher education world.”
8. Brother Ray Fitz, former university president (1979-2002) and Ferree Professor of Social Justice, on Curran’s most significant achievements: “I think a big accomplishment is getting [General Electric Co. Aviation Systems] to come. And then I think opening up the university to the China experience has been a very good endeavor. … I think when you write the history and somebody looks back 20 years from now, I think they’ll say he opened up the university to more international students and more international scholars, [and that] was a very good move for UD.”
9. Irene Dickey, marketing professor and UD alumna, on Curran’s leadership: “I think he had a vision, he helped develop a brand and a reputation that went beyond local, it went beyond regional and it’s now beyond national. We have a global presence and a global customer base and I think he had that vision and effectively kept it in focus and built strategy to make that vision happen.”
10. Aidan Curran, a junior electronic media major and Daniel Curran’s son, on what Dayton means to him: “I consider Dayton my home now, I mean I grew up in Philadelphia, but I mean the people here are much more friendly, especially at UD, it’s such a friendly environment.”