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University of Dayton

Overview of University of Dayton

The University of Dayton’s history is one of perseverance, tenacity, ingenuity and transformation. The school began with an act of faith more than 160 years ago. In the middle of a cholera epidemic, the Bishop of Cincinnati sent Father Leo Meyer, S.M., to minister to the sick at Emmanuel parish in Dayton. Here, he met John Stuart, whose daughter died of cholera the year before. Mr. Stuart wanted to sell his Dayton property and return to Europe. Father Meyer gave him a medal of St. Joseph and a promise of $12,000 in return for Dewberry Farm — 125 acres of vineyards, orchards, a mansion and farm buildings.

On July 1, 1850, St. Mary’s School for Boys, a frame building that not long before had housed farm hands, opened its doors to 14 primary students from Dayton. Known at various times as St. Mary’s School, St. Mary’s Institute and St. Mary’s College, the school assumed its present identity in 1920. Today, the University of Dayton is recognized as a top-tier national research university rooted in the Catholic tradition.


The campus of the University of Dayton is located on about 388 acres on the southern border of the city of Dayton, Ohio, U.S. It is divided into four sections — the Historic Campus, the East Campus, the River Campus, and the Sports Complex Arena. The campus comprises 38 academic, educational, athletic, and administrative buildings; five residence halls; 18 apartment complexes for students; and 473 houses (347 of which are university-owned).

  • Nan Whaley-Politician, mayor of the city of Dayton.
  • Bill Klesse-CEO of Valero Energy.
  • Jerry Blevins-pitcher.
  • Chris Johnson-NBA Player.
Fun Facts
  • Students in the UD have campus houses.
  • The mascot of UD is named after the aviation inventors.
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