1. Elvis Presley played at UD five times
The King played five concerts at UD between 1956 and 1976:
May 27, 1956: University of Dayton Fieldhouse
April 7, 1972: University of Dayton Arena
Oct. 6, 1974: Two concerts at University of Dayton Arena (2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.)
Oct. 26, 1976: University of Dayton Arena
2. President Bartlett drank his coffee from a Dayton Flyers mug
In the 4th episode of the second season of The West Wing, Martin Sheen drinks from a Dayton Flyers mug. Sheen, a Dayton native, claims he purposely failed UD’s entrance exam so he could pursue a career in acting, but also credits the Marianists at UD for helping shape his sense of social justice activism when he was young.
Other fun facts: West Wing co-star Rob Lowe also hails from Dayton, West Wing character CJ Cregg (played by Allison Janney) is from Dayton, and two West Wing episodes are set in Dayton: one where CJ returns for a high school reunion and another when presidential candidate Matt Santos campaigns in Ohio.
3. The KKK terrorized UD’s campus in the 1920s
Known for targeting African Americans, the Klu Klux Klan also has a history of terrorizing new immigrants and their Catholic heritage. Between 1923 and 1926, the Dayton chapter of the KKK burnt several crosses on the campus of the University of Dayton (a Catholic university). The best known incident was on December 19, 1923, the first day of Christmas break at UD, when the KKK set off 12 bombs on UD’s campus late at night. The 40 students and few staff left on campus were not seriously hurt.
4. Nearly all UD’s students live within a few blocks of each other
Over 90% of UD’s students live in on-campus dorms or houses. The streets around the main campus contain old houses originally built by the National Cash Register company (NCR), which was at the time located next to UD’s campus, to house their employees. Over time individuals and the university began purchasing the houses for students to live in. The neighborhoods, known as the Ghetto and Darkside, make for close-knit community of students. It also ensures there is always a house party to go to.
5. UD Saved the city of Dayton in a 1913 Flood
In 1913, the Great Miami River flooded the city of Dayton. Then known as St. Mary’s College, the university provided shelter for hundreds of refugees since it was located on high ground and provided meals for thousands across the city. Due in part to its flood relief efforts and close connection to the identity of the city, St. Mary’s College was renamed University of Dayton in 1920.
6. UD Has One of the Best St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the Country
You can go into any given classroom on UD’s campus on March 17th, but you won’t find many students. That’s because thousands of students gather in the Ghetto to celebrate the Catholic holiday and the beginning of Spring weather. Starting early in the morning and going all day, students party outside dressed in green. The celebration attracted national headlines in 2013, as riots broke out, although both the students and the university administration pointed out most of the damage was done by visitors who don’t attend UD.
7. Hot Domino’s Pizza Delivered to Your Front Door….Thanks to UD
Researchers at the University of Dayton “developed the phase-change materials used in Domino’s Pizza’s first “Heat Wave” transport pack and in portable refrigerators for vaccine delivery to Third World nations” (but local Cousin Vinny’s is the preferred late-night pizza option at UD).
8. Every year for five days, the city of Daytona, Florida gets taken over by Dayton students
Most UD students don’t do spring break. At least not until May. The week after classes let out (usually the second week of May), over 2,500 of the schools’ 7,500 undergrads head to Daytona, Florida. Known as “Dayton 2 Daytona,” it is a tradition that dates back 30 years that involves afternoons of free beer, concerts on the pool deck, and trips to the beachfront arcade.
9. UD’s President Surfed A Crowd of Students
After the Dayton Flyers Men’s basketball team made the Sweet Sixteen in the 2014 NCAA tournament, students went out in the streets to celebrate. They were joined by UD President Dan Curran, who surfed the crowd.
10. UD Students Are Ranked As Some of the “Happiest” In the US
Studies have shown UD has some of the happiest students in the country…probably because UD is the greatest place on earth.