Actualizing the Traditions of the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame
English Teacher, Senior Capstone Coordinator, Recipient of the 2013 Sr. Dorothy Stang Award

During junior year, students explore themes of poverty and equality in religion class and spend a minimum of 25 hours immersing themselves in real life social issues through serving agencies in the Dayton area. Passions for causes are kindled, and students finish the year wanting to do more. This past school year, we piloted the senior capstone project that answers the question, “What’s next?”

You can never underestimate the impact one person — great or small — can have; Sr. Dorothy Stang ‘49 is one example. One of the main goals of the senior capstone is to actualize the Characteristics of a Marianist Education and the Hallmarks of a Notre Dame education in our students. This is why CJ’s capstone is so unique. Students gain inspiration from not only the Catholic Social Teaching of the Church but from our founding orders as well. Students begin to move beyond the traditional service experiences into actual projects designed to impact even more lives.

Students begin their senior capstone experience by engaging in research on an issue of their choosing and then designing a project to make an impact on the issue. Mentors, usually a faculty member or alumnus, offer feedback, act as a resource, and help keep students on track. Great learning happens when students are engaged with a subject that involves their passions!

Through their work, students gain a deeper insight into the issues, transforming them into social justice advocates and compassionate leaders. It cultivates a global perspective within them and they answer in an act of faith. The CJ community can be proud that our school offers this unique experience of integrating the humanities in students’ lives in such a concrete way. CJ continues to pursue, model and define what it means to be a global citizen advocating and addressing social justice issues in our world today. 

The Ripple Effect of Important Cultural Experiences

In 1967, classmate Richard Portune and I were excited to be among Dayton Sister City Committee’s first delegation to travel to Augsburg, Germany. Though I had lived out of the country before, this particular trip changed my life.

My father was in the U.S. Air Force and we had lived in England for three years. My brother Gregory ’66 and I went to a British school, and my sister Elizabeth Snyder ’73 was born there. We eventually moved to Dayton in 1956.

European culture continued to play a role in my life. In 1997, my employer, Beloit College in Wisconsin, granted me a year sabbatical. My wife, Melanie — of German heritage — and I decided to give our two boys an experience abroad. Thirty years after the sister city visit and accompanied by my family, I went to live in Augsburg. Over the next 10 years, we spent about a quarter of our time there. Our younger son, now in college, is majoring in psychology and… German!

This year, my wife and I had the fulfilling experience of greeting this year’s contingent from the Dayton Sister Cities Committee including 17 students from CJ and teacher Tony Ricciuto ’74. Meeting them in Rathaus in Augsburg freshened memories of stepping into a new culture for the first time. I admire their courage in taking on such an experience.

I am immensely happy that CJ continues to offer this important opportunity to students through the extraordinary efforts of Tony and his work with the Sister Cities program. As my life shows—and as theirs will, too—even a short cultural experience can have lasting effects that ripple far beyond oneself.

Leaving a Legacy of Service and Community Spirit
Lucas Pfander Memorial Race & Scholarship Fund

Lucas clearly loved CJ. He was a standout student who played a sport each season, had perfect attendance, and took the Marianist and Notre Dame charism of service to others to heart. In his three years at CJ, he performed more than 100 hours of community service. Lucas lived life, and this is what we see in each senior who receives a scholarship from the Lucas Pfander Scholarship Fund.

Bringing kids together was something that came natural to Lucas; he was a friend to everyone. After his death in the summer of 2008, we heard from many students who shared their memories of him and how he affected their lives and the school community. Community spirit and serving others is his legacy. It is important that it is kept alive and the race held each August does that. People gather in his memory and the funds raised each year help support the education of students who are so connected to living out the school’s mission. The race is a community event embraced by alumni, students and parents — and everyone is invited. Just like Lucas was open to everyone, so is the race.

The growth of the race has meant so much to our family, especially as we get farther away from when he died. People continue to share their memories of him, and will also approach us after the event when they see us wearing shirts for the race. We like to talk about him. It’s heartwarming to know that people continue to think about him and generously contribute to a scholarship in his name. The outpouring of support tells us that even though he’s our son, he was special to many people. VIVA LA VIDA!

Faculty and Staff Strengthen Students' Faith

My experience at CJ taught me how to go into the world, bring God to people, and become a better person. That didn’t start clicking until junior retreat. How I could help others learn about Jesus? Opportunities came through football, government and drama. Sometimes you have to just listen. That helped me become a leader, and also a learner.

I really like where CJ is going! During my four years, we saw dramatic improvements take place. Moving football conditioning to the new Student Conditioning Center was huge. We were introduced to technology in a way that we would use in college. Faculty and staff encouraged us to be stronger people. I learned first-hand the depth of their commitment as they helped me through a particularly rough time this past year.

I suffered a season-ending football injury during the first game of the year. This was senior year when colleges would watch me play! It took a lot out of me, and I questioned my faith. I was answered with teammates, coaches and classmates who were there for me. Teachers helped me through two weeks of missed work — I learned how much CJ moves you forward.

Time away from football gave me the chance to enjoy other aspects of school like performing arts and working with the development office. I learned that I want to build a stronger life now for when my football career permanently ends.

Because of all of this, I know that it will be important to me to give back to CJ just as many others do. It keeps your connection to the school strong. That connection enabled me to attend this great school, and that’s what I will want to do for others.

Catholic Education Develops Christ-Centered Leaders

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Society of Mary, and the Sisters of Charity provided a strong foundation of faith and education for my entire family. These devoted religious men and women shaped generations who attended Our Lady of Rosary Parish, Holy Rosary School, or a CJ predecessor school. St. Mary’s Prep, Notre Dame Academy, Chaminade, Julienne, and St. Joseph’s Commercial — we attended them all!

With great pleasure, I learned that CJ acquired the magnificent stained-glass windows that once graced Villa Julienne Chapel within Julienne High School. Those stunning works of art are a treasure – not only for their inspirational beauty, but also for the history and tradition they represent. As CJ modernizes buildings, planners look for ways to include them, and the construction of CJ STEMM Center was the next opportunity.

The placement of this window symbolically connects past to present — and to future; it is a personal privilege to help provide a new permanent home for it. My father, G. Edward Loges, taught math at Chaminade, and two aunts, Sr. Francis Marie, SNDdeN and Sr. Martha, SNDdeN, taught science and math at Julienne. It is fitting that this window enhances the new Center, where students will learn, imagine, apply their knowledge, and someday be instrumental in building a new future.

In gratitude for what we have received, I believe my generation has a responsibility to help make a strong Catholic education available to our young people. I would not be the same today if it weren’t for the influence of my parents and Sisters, who instilled within me faith, character, integrity, and personal responsibility. It’s an honor and duty to support a mission that teaches students how to be Christ-centered leaders and contributing citizens of the world. 

Positioning Students for Future Successes

A CJ education continues to position students for future successes and better opportunities just like it did for me! I received a solid education that gave me a great foundation for success in college and career. Teachers like Rory Korzan, Peg Regan '73, Donald Weimert '57 and Jim Davis '54 had positive influences on me. By challenging and supporting me, they provided a framework of dedication that I carried into college. They gave me confidence and were engaged in my learning. They really wanted me and my classmates to succeed. We left CJ with strong academics, self-discipline, a sense of community involvement, lifelong friendships, and a religious and moral foundation. I remain in touch with most classmates and I am impressed by their accomplishments.

Reflecting on how CJ influenced all of us, I am pleased to be one of the many alumni who are helping others access these same opportunities. I enjoy supporting organizations that I feel provide value to our communities. I believe that education is the key to our country’s future success.

Like the University of Dayton, Miami Valley Hospital and other institutions that have cultivated Dayton and Daytonians for more than 100 years, Chaminade Julienne is a valued anchor, producing generations who have been instrumental in the development of our region and have served our world. The school’s progress on its master plan illustrates its continued leadership in the community. The investment in the STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) program is tremendous. Nationally certified programs and outstanding faculty — all facilitated in the new CJ STEMM Center, can only attract more students who seek an outstanding foundation for their futures. This kind of vision is what I am so proud to support.

A Beacon of Servant Leadership
Chairman, NCAA First Four Local Organizing Committee

All of us who live in the Dayton Region understand the magnitude of economic transition we have endured. The changes have impacted all corners of our community, in particular, within the City of Dayton. While the transition has brought challenges, the community has responded in a way which reveals its core values of service, innovation and optimism.

The origin of these values is open to debate, but undoubtedly, significant influence began with Father Chaminade himself and the Marianist order, who have educated so many of our community leaders. Their influence has impacted the way in which we come together as a community to respond to the important issues we are facing. Father Chaminade would be pleased at the critical role Catholic education has played in Dayton through the development of generations of servant leaders needed to address these complex challenges.

There is no better example of this type of servant leadership than Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. Located in the city, CJ has not only survived through the challenges, but thrived while managing to play an ever stronger leadership role in the broader regional transformation. CJ’s leadership was evident last year as the community pursued creative ways to expand the impact of the NCAA First Four tournament games hosted at UD Arena. CJ leaders did not hesitate and stepped up in a big way. The ideal community partner, CJ brought staff, facilities and student resources to bear on the success of the endeavor.

CJ’s facilities and students were on display to thousands of participants during the event and local TV viewers on Selection Sunday. Overall, the Dayton community effort generated nearly $20 million of economic impact the last two years, created 10 straight sellout games and drove millions of dollars worth of rare, positive national media attention for Dayton.

On behalf of the committee, we cannot thank the CJ community enough for demonstrating Catholic values by doing, serving and leading — the school continues to make a huge difference in this community and in the world.

Carrying Forward Generations of School Tradition

Whenever I think of CJ, the first thing that comes to mind is the greater family community to which I, and all alumni, belong. We all gain by our membership and we choose to give back, be it time, talent or treasure, to carry forward generations of school tradition and success.

My daughter graduated last year. She couldn’t have asked for a better experience and Sherry and I couldn’t have found a better place for all of our children. As CJ parents, we can tell you that the school is strong and growing. Affirmation is in the current updating of the school’s buildings and campus to enhance today’s style of learning. The product the school puts out is superior. Instructors, teachers and guidance counselors carry out the Marianist and Notre Dame charism and school’s mission. Through this foundation, the school continues to wonderfully shape the lives of students.

CJ has provided each generation of my family its own unique brand of education. Excellent academics enabled each of us to go on and be successful in college and in life. My grandchildren will absolutely go to CJ, and my children would like nothing more! They want their children to experience the same Catholic faith and education they did.

Because of what they gained as students, my children will be inspired to contribute to CJ in their own way. This tradition of giving has held special meaning for my family as it has for other alumni who understand its value and impact. For a Catholic school to thrive, it must have the backing of its alumni. One feeds off the other. We may graduate from CJ, but it’s always home. It’s always our community. What better place to support?

Engaging Students to Build Confidence and Creativity

Camaraderie, team spirit and self-confidence, that’s what I saw when I spent time with students who were in town to perform at a national a cappella event. I was very impressed! They weren’t shy and were willing to put themselves on the line to compete at the highest level. The fact that they put the group together a few years ago and were now invited to sing in New York City demonstrated their dedication and hard work.

Meeting them and watching them perform took me to back to my experience with the school’s performing arts program. My participation in the arts made me more willing to engage with others in the wider community and provided broader exposure to such things as history and culture. The confidence and public speaking skills I developed have served me well as an attorney and in my current position as Vice President, North America Corporate Social Responsibility for Sanofi, U.S.

Chaminade also provided an ethical component. We were always encouraged to do volunteer work. It taught me to be an independent learner and made me aware that I needed to take responsibility for my education. We were able to take risks and do amazing things. During junior year, I taught a course in theater at a local arts center. These opportunities helped me understand and sort out what was ultimately important to me and what I wanted personally and professionally.

CJ continues to build kids up. Providing performance activities like band, theater, and athletics does that. It’s great to see that CJ is providing even more channels to help students develop that creative side of the brain and engage in collaborative efforts — all great skills to have regardless of the careers they ultimately choose.

Catholic Values Engender a Lifelong Love of Learning

Though I was a good student, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to Julienne and I didn’t want to go to a public school. One of the Sisters teaching me at St. James suggested I test for a scholarship to Julienne. I did and got it! Attending Julienne changed my life.

Those nuns were fantastic! They taught me to think. I quickly realized that I could have success in school by applying myself. There wasn’t a class that I didn’t like. We had an amazing teacher who got me totally hooked on math. I received a math medal without ever taking the final exam! To this day I love math and just think it’s the neatest thing. My Julienne education gave me a lifelong love of learning and also taught me social graces, which I don’t think I had until then. Julienne is where I received my values, study habits, and love of education. I owe Julienne big time!

Following high school, I attended Good Samaritan Nursing School and eventually earned a bachelor’s in liberal arts and a master’s in health services administration. I became a nurse administrator for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If it weren’t for Sister encouraging me to pursue that scholarship, I would have taken the first job that came along, never accomplishing all that I have.

There are two charities that I support — one is CJ and the other is the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. When I spend money there, I know exactly what I am supporting. Donations help open the door to success for kids in the same way that it was opened for me. If kids have potential, they should have opportunity