Despite his retirement from the University of Dayton’s presidency in 2016, Dr. Dan Curran has played a large role in defining many of our college experiences here, which should come as no surprise considering his contributions to this university over his fourteen-year tenure. He painted a picture of a university administration close to the students it represented, and he went on to demonstrate that closeness in his work and public presence. In everything from expanding the university through land bought from NCR, to inaugurating our China Institute on the opposite side of the world, Dr. Curran has been instrumental in building the UD we know and love today.
Recently, it distressed me to hear that he was in poor health and in need of a liver transplant. Despite the fear of losing someone so close to all of us, it was deeply heartening to see this community come together around him, and even more so to hear that he found a suitable donor and is now recovering.
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The response from this community has been incredible, from prayers to an outpouring of support from students, faculty, and alumni on social media, everyone has been wishing fervently for his health.
Struggling to directly help someone that’s shaped a large part of your life can be a harrowing experience, and one it’s often difficult to talk about, but it’s also an experience all of us share. According to United Network for Organ Sharing, there are about 114,848 people on the waitlist for a lifesaving organ transplant, so Dr. Curran was lucky to find his match. Many aren’t.
Looking back on all this university has given us over our college careers, one’s thoughts start to turn to giving back. Service is key to Marianist teaching, and its expression in the closeness of this campus community is the reason many of us have found ourselves here.
Organ donors can be a godsend to many with otherwise terminal medical conditions, and should the worst ever befall any of us, registering to donate vital organs can save up to eight different people’s lives. Living donations, where donors choose to give a small piece of the required organ, are also possible and lifesaving. Unfortunately, while nearly a totality of American adults support donation, only fifty four percent are registered donors, and many more people could be saved if more people were registered.
Taking the small step of registering as an organ donor (either at a DMV or online through the donor registry’s website https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html) can do real, measurable good, and in doing so, we can all help to ensure that the Dan Curran in someone else’s life gets the care they need.
As for the Dan Curran in our lives, I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say “Thank you”. Your service to this university has been so far-reaching that I doubt many of us know the extent of it yet, and we’re all immeasurably glad to hear your transplant was successful.
We wish you a swift recovery, and continue to pray for you and your family throughout this journey. In some way, you’ve inspired each of us, and I hope as students, faculty, and alumni that we can make you proud.
Photo taken from mydaytondailynews.com.