Former University of Dayton president Daniel Curran was back on campus this week for the dedication of the property now home to the school’s research center. The building, which UD bought while Curran was president, was renamed in honor of him.

Former UD president honored on campus one year after liver transplant

About a year after receiving a life-saving liver transplant, former University of Dayton president Daniel Curran was back on campus this week as the school named one of his crowning achievements after him.

UD dedicated the property that was once home to NCR’s world headquarters Wednesday by renaming it Daniel J. Curran Place. The property, at 1700 S. Patterson Boulevard, is now the location of the University of Dayton Research Institute.

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Curran, who retired in 2016 after serving as president of UD for 14 years, oversaw the purchase of 164 acres of land from NCR between 2005 and 2009. The purchases nearly doubled UD’s physical footprint and helped the university attract the $51-million GE Aviation EPISCenter and the $35-million Emerson Helix Innovation Center, according to the school.

Curran called the dedication “a real honor” and said it held special meaning given the fact that more than a year ago when UD officially announced it would rename the property, Curran was ill. He had been suffering from liver disease for about a decade before he received a transplant in April 2018.

“I had a lot of time to think about all the people who made the difference,” Curran said. “It’s special…a year ago I couldn’t come here. I couldn’t even do a Skype interview a year ago so I’m happy.”

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After his retirement, Curran continued to teach, served as UD’s president emeritus and as an executive in residence for Asian affairs for UD’s China Institute in Suzhou, China, which launched under the former president, according to the university. UD announced in November that it planned to end classes at its China Institute, which Curran said was “sad” but was due to a changing higher education “environment.”

When UD bought the former NCR headquarters, Curran said the goal was to expand and re-brand UDRI. In the decade since the university bought the property, the research center has set one record after another including performing $135.9 million in sponsored research in fiscal year 2017, the school announced last year.

“It has allowed us to really create some incredible collaborations for our faculty, our students and our staff,” UD president Eric Spina said. “So, we’re really pleased to have this day here and most importantly to have Dan back home where he belongs.”

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