Local family donates $5 million to UD

The University of Dayton has received a $5 million gift that will be used to provide scholarships primarily to students from Ohio and the midwest as a whole.

The donation from John Berry Jr., Shirley Berry and Charles “Chuck” Berry will establish the Berry Family Scholarship to support honors program students, according to the university.

The three donors are the sons and daughter-in-law of John W. Berry Sr., the late CEO of Dayton-based L.M. Berry & Company. John Berry Sr. was the son of Loren M. Berry, who began mass production and publication of the Yellow Pages throughout the Midwest and beyond when he launched his company in Dayton in 1910, according to the university.

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“As the University of Dayton continues to elevate our recruitment of the most talented, creative and academically well prepared students, the Berry Family Scholarship will transform our capacity to make a UD education financially accessible to our honors students,” Paul Benson, UD provost said in a prepared statement. “The Berry family recognizes that, through the support of the Honors Program, these students have a profound impact on the scholarly and creative culture of our campus.”

An additional $250,000 from the Berry Family Foundation will provide operating support for the Berry Summer Thesis Institute, an existing summer program supported by the Berrys that introduces students to research opportunities.

The Berry family has given $18 million to UD, a legacy of philanthropy that spans four decades, according to the university.

In 1980, Loren M. Berry left $1 million to the School of Law. John W. Berry Sr. gave $7.5 million in 1996 to endow an honors program scholarship fund and offer experiential learning and research opportunities, according to UD.

“He wanted to help raise the bar at the University of Dayton by giving the University the means to attract all types of students who were high achievers,” John Berry Jr. said of his father’s gift. “It’s very moving to hear the students talk about what the scholarship has meant to them and their enthusiasm about their research.”


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