Monday, January 28, 2013

"Hope on the Hill" ~ UD and the 1913 Flood

University of Dayton, Ohio
Hope on the Hill
01.24.2013 | Catholic, Campus and Community
When floodwaters struck Dayton in 1913, those who fled to high ground just south of where the
waters crested at Apple Street found shelter, food and welcome from the Marianists at St. Mary's
College, the school that became the University of Dayton.
During the Dayton community's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the historic disaster,
treasures from the University's archives will be on display including photos, a roster of the
refugees written in their own hand, original film footage of the flood and a first-person oral history.
"The University rests on the foundation of the Society of Mary's commitment to serving the community," said Kathleen Webb, dean of University libraries. "Nowhere is that more evident than in these items that tell the story of how the St. Mary's College community opened wide its doors to take in and care for those who had been so terribly affected by the flood."
"Hope on the Hill: Marianists and the 1913 Dayton Flood" runs from Feb. 4 to June 17 on the second floor of Roesch Library on the University of Dayton campus. Because days and times vary, call 937-229-4094 or visit for a schedule and directions. The exhibit highlights events during and after the disaster and the college's significant role in providing relief. The Exponent, a student magazine, reported on the college's efforts and published perspectives by students.
St. Mary's College was uniquely situated and equipped to provide relief to flood victims. Because students had not returned to campus from Easter break, the college was amply stocked with food and other provisions. Due to its location on the hill, electric light and heating plants were not affected, a plentiful clean water supply was available and the college had other essential facilities such as a laundry and infirmary.
In addition to meals for the refugees, the college's kitchen provided meals to Miami Valley Hospital, whose own kitchen had been crippled by the flood. And the college provided 12,000 pounds of provisions to St. Elizabeth Hospital. The first night, 400 refugees took shelter at St. Mary's College; by the end of the week the number had grown to 600. All in all, the college assisted 800 refugees.
Accounts from The Exponent, photos, postcards and other memorabilia will be on display. Visitors can listen to an oral history from Marianist Brother AndyWeber describing what he saw from his window. Original flood footage from the University Archives' Glenn Walters Collection will also be on display.
Digitized materials from the collection will available online by visiting the 1913 Flood Collection at (url: .
The University's exhibit is part of a community-wide commemoration throughout the Miami Valley looking back at the flood and its lasting impact. For more on the commemorations, visit (url: . For information, contact Katy Kelly, communications and outreach librarian, at 937-229-4274 or

UD Library Exhibit - "Hope on the Hill: Marianists and the 1913 Dayton Flood"

Check out this exhibit UD's library will be hosting February 4th through June 17th.  Just one of the many great events that will commemorate the 1913 Flood.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Water Bottles Banned at the University of Vermont!

Hey, River Steward community! I'm really excited about this!  The University of Vermont is now the largest university to ban disposable water bottles on their campus.  How cool, considering the 2013 Cohort fought for this while doing their own capstone project!

Check the link:  Water Bottle Banning on Campus- NPR Article


Concetta Reda

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Southwestern Outlook

So I've been home almost a month, removed from UD and The River Stewards. I've also been removed from a region that has abundant resources my home of Albuquerque, New Mexico is lacking.  In this time I've noticed that my attitude towards my surroundings has completely changed. I think part of this is due to being around our rivers in Dayton all the time and partially due to the things I've learned with River Stewards. 

I spent a few hours the other day walking along the bosque, the area around the Rio Grande. I started comparing what I was seeing to the rivers we've kayaked on. Here, there are no kyakers, few people fishing and almost no families along the rivers edge. The river is often low and fails to live up to its namesake, meaning "Grand River". In Dayton, the river has been important in uniting groups and the greater Dayton community. We as a group seek to let it bring us together without viewing it only in terms of how it can serve us. But here, the river has always been viewed as a nuisance when it floods million dollar homes that should have never been built on its banks. It's viewed as something to be controlled with jetty jacks and dams, something that's not connected in complicated ways to the ecosystem around it and ultimately, something that can be manipulated to serve human interest without consequence. 

Fortunately, much like in Dayton, changes are being made because people are realizing what we've done. River Stewards has given me tools to help and reason to hope that here, in Dayton, and everywhere, water resources will be treated with the respect they deserve and changes will be made to the way people view our rivers. 

The jetty jacks installed in the fifties to prevent flooding:

The Rio Grande itself:

I consider both Dayton and Albuquerque home, and I hope that I can not only see changes being made to protect our resources in both regions, but also that I can help. 

-Maddi Irwin, 2015 Cohort