March 2021

Sending Hugs Through Blankets and Books

Snuggled up enjoying a fanciful story – there’s nothing like curling up with a good book in a cozy blanket.

Thanks to the Chaminade Julienne Senior Capstone group of Allie Bardine, Allie Bertke and Alex Yunger, the first graders at St. Benedict de Moor will be able to do just that. The trio created 23 comfy blankets and book sets to help inspire the young students to grow their love of reading through their Tie Reading Blankets project.

“It was such a rewarding experience and their smiles said it all,” Bardine said. “They were overjoyed the moment we walked in. They could not wait to unwrap their blanket and book to read together as a class.”

Bardine, Bertke and Yunger all participated in the Little Sibs program as juniors and fell in love with the young students they worked with. Continuing that journey was an easy decision for the trio as they contemplated a capstone project.

“Originally, we were planning to create an afterschool program to have a way to interact with young students and promote education,” Yunger said. “Then, COVID hit.”
Not to be deterred, they shifted gears a bit.

“We wanted to do something that would help kids get into the habit of reading,” Yunger said. “We thought having their own blanket and book would be one way to make reading extra special.”

To cover the cost of supplies, the group applied for and received a competitive Dayton Catholic Women’s Club Charity Grant. The $300 would help pay for fleece for the blankets as well as books for each of the eager young readers.

The group created a list of supplies and ventured out to a local fabric store to purchase the colorful fabric. A trip to the Downtown Dayton Book Swap netted a treasure of fun, gently used books for the kids.

Next was lining up help to cut and assemble the material into blankets. Chaminade Julienne Ministry and Service posted the project on the “Helper Helper” app, which lists service opportunities for students. More than a dozen service-minded students turned out to assist the capstone trio with the crafty and fun project.

Tied up with bows, the blankets and books were soon ready. The group excitedly delivered the blankets to the first grade class on March 8. It didn’t take long for the young readers to wrap themselves in the snuggly blankets and settle in to listen to a story.

“This is exactly what we hoped to accomplish when starting this Capstone project,” Bertke said. “We believe reading is an important building block, and when presented in a new, fun way, can inspire young kids to change the world one page at a time.”

The Senior Capstone at CJ is a cross curricular, inquiry-based research project that was first introduced as part of a pilot during the 2012-13 school year. Students are challenged to apply all the lessons of their four-year Catholic educational experience by actualizing the traditions of our school’s two founding orders, the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. All projects connect back to Catholic Social Teaching. Seniors work in groups of two, three or four for an entire year to complete four phases of the Capstone. The third phase requires students to present their research and findings at the school's Stang Symposium, held this year on April 13. Approximately 40 different projects are covered with topics from sanctity of life and homelessness to self-image, fair trade, environmentalism, poverty and more.



-- This story was published on March 31, 2021. 

#becauseofCJ: Jay Bryant '12

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the CJ Annual Fund, you make this happen for all students. As Jay Bryant '12 shares how his experience as an Eagle helped guide him toward a career in public relations, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

"After graduating nearly a decade ago, one of the major takeaways from CJ’s mission that is embedded in me is to 'become a life-long learner.' I remind myself of this daily, almost as a motto, because being a life-long learner is a commitment and can be woven into each aspect of everyday life.

In pursuit of this commitment, I chose to attend Saint Louis University (SLU) in St. Louis, MO. It was a leap of faith to attend college in a city that I was unfamiliar with and a was a six hour drive from home, but I knew this would challenge me to seek new learning opportunities, pushing me outside of my comfort zone. Having been involved in student council at CJ, I became very active in student government at SLU. The leadership lessons I learned from my time at CJ, from meetings with administrators to planning events, served as a foundation to support me in my college student government endeavors. One leadership skill that I took with me was listening with compassion. During my time at CJ, I learned a lot about listening, not only from faculty and staff, but also the service experiences. Whether it was volunteering at a food bank or a nursing home, or even taking a summer service trip, hearing about others’ lived experiences contributed to being a life-long learner.

Fast forward to now, I’ve put these learnings into practice as a professional working in public relations. Every day, I’m reminded to take a 'two ears, one mouth' approach (as I call it) when developing communications strategies to best engage various stakeholders. No day is the same, which challenges me to stay curious and remain open to learning something new—all things that being an Eagle has taught me to do.

Thank you to all who support the mission of Chaminade Julienne. Your gift not only supports current students today, but infuses a curiosity that allows us to continue to learn and serve for years to come."

- Jay Bryant '12



-- This story was published on March 29, 2021.

Reunion Weekend 2021 Cancelled

To our Eagle community,

As we move towards the close of another extraordinary school year — one that we have been so blessed and grateful to have conducted in-person — we are still living through the extended impact of COVID-19, and times of uncertainty for what spring and summer months will hold. Although current data indicates brighter days ahead, we are guided by current public health orders in our decision making and will continue to make the health and safety of our alumni and guests — those who would traditionally travel to Dayton from near and far to attend — a priority. Therefore, we are cancelling Reunion Weekend for 2021. It’s disappointing, but it’s the right thing to do.

We continue to place our hope in the time when we can gather again to celebrate our community on campus. God willing, those times will come as soon as this fall. You can follow our latest updates through the alumni Facebook page or receive notifications through email. Now is a good time to contact our office at (937) 461-3740 x248, or to ensure that we have current email information for you.

God bless,

John Marshall ‘86, director of development

CJ Acquires 300 S. Perry St. Building

Thanks to the support and encouragement of generous benefactors, Chaminade Julienne has been able to expand its campus with the purchase of the 300 South Perry Street building.

“We are incredibly grateful to our benefactors who continue to respond to our plans for the future and needs of our community,” said Dan Meixner ‘84, president. “This new space helps us take an initial step toward activating our campus master plan and opens the door for new opportunities to support our community.”

The school’s 2019 campus master plan anticipated future growth of the campus. The building, with more than 20,000 square feet, allows the school to consider a number of uses, including gathering space for alumni and student events, additional learning spaces, needed office space, and an auxiliary cafeteria. 

This is an important investment as it will enable CJ to continue to extend the footprint of campus and remain flexible in its use of spaces. CJ will be assembling a planning team later this spring to begin considering how the building will be programmed and utilized for future use. In the meantime, CJ will continue to use the space as a lunch area for students, faculty, and staff.

“The 300 S. Perry St. building has been a great space for us since January, allowing our students and teachers to relax during lunch while remaining safe with COVID-19 protocols in place,” said Meixner. “Our team is eager to start planning how else we can utilize the unique and substantial space.”

CJ is incredibly grateful for the benefactor support that has allowed the school to make strategic investments like this. This support covers the cost of acquisition and the interior and exterior painting needed to make the building CJ’s own, a project CJ will begin at the conclusion of the current school year.

“As the CJ community continues to expand our impact on our students and our neighborhood, our campus must also grow,” said Meixner. “Strategic investments into our campus like this will only help further our goal of creating the best environment for learning, teaching, and growing in our faith.”



-- This story was published on March 23, 2021. 

Honoring Inspirational CJ Women

What is CJ without strong women? It may not exist.

One of CJ’s founding orders, originally founded by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, the Society of Mary utilizes the Blessed Mother as its model of discipleship. Marianist priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people model their lives after Mary, the mother of Jesus, forming people and communities of faith through education, parish work, social justice, the arts, and other ministries all dedicated to embodying the spirit of Mary.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, CJ’s other founding order, make known God’s goodness and educate for life. These women, with hearts as wide as the world, show God’s love of the poor through a Gospel way of life, community and prayer. Continuing a strong educational tradition, they take a stand with poor people, especially women and children, in the most abandoned places. Each vowed member commits her one and only life to work with others to create justice and peace for all. Their founder, St. Julie Billiart, embodies what CJ community members, men and women alike, strive to be.

Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN '49, born in Dayton, Ohio attended Julienne High School and joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1948. Sister Stang’s travels to Brazil led her to her life's work among the poor farmers, spending the next 29 years educating about the importance of human dignity and justice for the poor and of sustaining the balance of the rainforest. On February 12, 2005, she was murdered  in Anapu, Para, Brazil for her work and outspoken support on behalf of the environment and poor Brazilians farmers and their families who were continually subjected to abuse and oppression from loggers and landowners. Her martyrship acts as the basis of CJ’s Stang Symposium and Senior Capstone projects, focusing on global issues and encouraging CJ students to take action within their community.

All said, CJ is and always has been backed by strong, dedicated, faith-driven women who make the community what it is today. Below are some other CJ women, submitted by community members, who inspire the CJ community each day:

“My mother Sandra (Bir) Krimm, alumni of St. Joe Class of 62’. She’s strong, compassionate and a wonderful human being, mother and grandmother!”

“My daughter Isabell Carrington, Class of 2024. First girl’s state placer in school history!! Paving the path for future generations of wrestlers to come!”

“Ann Szabo. She’s not only the boy whisperer that raised her six awesome sons, but also played a huge role in helping dozens of other parents raise theirs! I have no doubt my son has achieved many of his successes because of her being his second mom. Don’t think we could have done it so well without her influence.”

“Sister Damien.”

“Charlene Wheeler. A leader, mentor and friend. Charlene was a teacher and guidance counselor. She dedicated most of her career at CJ and was even Principal for a brief moment when CJ needed her. This is the essence of who she is, faithful servant and a faith filled, passionate female I admire!”

“My mother, Linda Colás, the señora, the magistra. She taught at CJ for more than 30 years. She gave all her time and effort to being the best most caring teacher she could be. She gave me a CJ education and I give my daughters a CJ education because of this.”

“Julie Herman Roach. Inspired by her kindness, intellect, sense of humor, dedicated energy, and passion EVERY DAY! CJ Board member and mother of two CJ students while balancing a more-than-full time job.”

“Kate Corrado-Whistler.”

“My daughter, Coach Britney Carrington. She is working very hard to build a great girls wrestling team for CJ!”

“Sister Christine Julie (Sister CJ) McGuirk - taught biology at CJ in late 1970s to late 1980s.”

“Sister Carol Lichtenberg - teacher and administrator at Julienne and CJ. Later, co-chaired LIFT as provincial of the Ohio Province.”

“Elizabeth Naughton ‘50 - teacher at Julienne and CJ. Finished her career in mid-1990s as administrative assistant to the president.”

“Sister Ruth Ann Bange - teacher at Julienne and CJ. Started the ministry and service program in the mid 1990s.”

“Mrs. Margaret Good - attendance clerk from 1950s to late 1980s.”

“Sister Nancy Gnau ‘48 - first executive director (principal and president) of the merged Chaminade Julienne. One of the top ten women in Dayton in 1974.”

"My sister, Judi MacLeod, class of '88 and Director of the Cuvilly Program. She is an amazing mother and aunt along with being dedicated to her students!"

"Jackie Doss, class of 1980. She takes communion to those in Nursing Homes and is our 90-year-old Mother’s caregiver. I am forever grateful for her."

"My daughter, Angela Mason, who is the most organized, law and order, happy person At CJ."

"Elaine Bonner, staff member, who demonstrates kindness and generosity every day!"

"Joan Marie Weimert Smith worked at NCR, helped her older brother Don L. Weimert with paying for college at UD. She even bought him two cars, which he didn’t take, and gave one to his younger brother Charles. She also took care of her little brother Charles Weimert, and always took him everywhere she went and included him in all activities of hers. She raised five children, and we all were loved, and had a strong German mother that always had our backs growing up. She was an artist. She had a painting of her, Uncle Don, and Uncle Charles crossing a bridge. I’ve always loved the story behind the painting, and her beautiful paining of the scene and her brothers walking across the bridge with her. I was awe struck by her strong family bonds, and that was depicted in her painting. She was a devout Catholic, and loved our blessed Mother. I was blessed to attend CJHS back in the 80’s and graduated in 1987  – CJ Class of 87’! Thanks to my strong parents, and especially Mom for making the family budget work to send me to an awesome Catholic HS, and supporting my four other siblings to attend their school of choice! Thank you Mom and Dad!"

"My mom, Kelly Muhl, is one of the hardest working people I know and her passion is the CJ students! She has played many roles from working in guidance, college admissions, musicals and plays, athletic event coordination, and now is the bright smiling face each person sees at the from desk when they arrive! She may not have graduated from CJ but my mom bleeds blue and green more than anyone I know! She genuinely cares for every student that enters through those doors."

If you would still like to submit the name and details of an inspiring CJ woman, please email Scott Sadowski to have their name added to this list.




--This story was published on March 22, 2021.