A Quick Reflection on FE Alumni Weekend
Written by Tony Blankemeyer, CEO ’08
Rudy’s Fly-Buy, the student-run convenience store on the corner of Stonemill and Evanston, opened its doors in the heart of the student neighborhood in 1985. For many of the students in the room, that was ten years before they were even born. Stuart’s Landing was originally called Rudy’s on the Hill, or “ROTH” for short. Students revolted when the ArtStreet Complex was built because in the process it took down so many beloved houses. The original Blend team was in attendance and shared the early days of starting up what is still our most profitable brand.
Since its inception, Flyer Enterprises has employed and graduated hundreds of students from across schools and majors at the University of Dayton. The program could write the textbook for experiential learning in the modern business world. This September weekend wasn’t just a history lesson about Flyer Enterprises’ beginnings, but a glimpse into the future of where the program is going.
Our alumni returned to UD to celebrate our organization’s heritage, reconnect with our colleagues and friends, and participate in dialogue between current staff and alumni about the challenges and opportunities ahead for organization. The weekend’s theme was “FE Story, Your Story”, and as we went through our morning sessions and heard from our alumni speakers, it became clear: the two stories are incredibly intertwined.
When you meet someone who attended the University of Dayton, there’s an incredible sense of pride in the way we talk about our school. When you get a Flyer Enterprises Alum talking about their time at FE… it is hard to get them to stop. I’ve heard multiple people say it was a defining experience that set the trajectory for their professional career.
As students or job seekers, its imperative to sharpen your personal narrative and to leverage the experiences that define who you are. What did you do? What were the results? Why did you do it? As you continue throughout your career, new roles will create chapters in your story. But one of the most powerful takeaways I had from the weekend was the common thread that I saw in each alumnus and in myself: Flyer Enterprises is a transformative experience. After listening to the latest happenings in the State of the Firm and engaging with the current team, I believe we witnessed that that sentiment is alive and well.
Flyer Enterprises is a profitable student-run business and the second largest employer on University of Dayton’s campus. It is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. It is rich in history with alumni that are now making a difference throughout the world. With a strong foundation in place, I’m excited to watch FE continue to grow with new ideas and ventures.
As our FE Alumni Network continues to expand, there are many ways to stay involved. Whether it is through our 1-to-1, student-to-alum mentorship program, strategic business advising, attending FE Weekends, sustainability and advancement discussions, or even staying in touch through the mailing list, there are different levels of engagement and ways to stay connected. For more information, please contact Tony Blankemeyer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO’s Past and Present at Alumni Weekend