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History

Built on a Promise

The University of Dayton's history is one of perseverance, tenacity, ingenuity and transformation. The school began with an act of faith more than 170 years ago.



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On July 1, 1850, St. Mary's School for Boys, a frame building that not long before had housed farm hands, opened its doors to 14 primary students from Dayton. Known at various times as St. Mary's School, St. Mary's Institute and St. Mary's College, the school assumed its present identity in 1920.

Today, the University of Dayton is recognized as a top-tier national research university rooted in the Catholic tradition.

Campus in the 1900s