UD Alumni Establishes Flyer Promise Scholarship

Carley Roberts
Contributing Writer

William Tweed, a University of Dayton alumnus and his wife, Jan, have donated $1.5 million to grant a Flyer Promise scholarship. This new program offers financial assistance for underrepresented students at partnering high schools.

The Flyer Promise Scholars program started with 42 students this year from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Dayton Early College Academy and Colegio San Jose High School in Puerto Rico.

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Tweed stated he wished to make a difference for students like himself. Tweed’s family income was very low; he was a first-generation college student from Cleveland, Ohio.

“I had the chance to come to campus and meet the Flyer Promise scholars. Before this program, these students were continually told they couldn’t and they wouldn’t — they faced long odds and difficult circumstances. I went through that same thing when I was young. I was told I couldn’t,” Tweed said.

Tweed explained that he had assistance paying for his education. Along with receiving loans and grants, Tweed worked multiple jobs every summer to help pay for tuition.

Others supported him when his student loan for his junior year did not go through, such as one mother of his fraternity brothers in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity who gave him a loan of $500 in 1968.

His room and board at the fraternity house was paid for by six of his brothers in return of Tweed doing household duties.

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As a scholar of the Flyer Promise program, a university-and donor-funded scholarship and grant aid is given, plus a $4,000 textbook scholarship and study abroad experiences at little to no extra cost.

“I think the impact of this program is going to be far greater than any of us can imagine,” Tweed explained.

Tweed’s program will be focused on science or engineering students. He earned his degree in mechanical engineering while participating in extra-curricular activities on campus, such as homecoming campaigns and being a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

“This program is an important part of the University’s commitment to affordability and accessibility,” expressed Jason Reinoehl, vice president for strategic enrollment management.

Photo courtesy of udayton.edu.