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University of Dayton Graduate Donates $1 Million to Business School Alma Mater

Though he graduated college in 1969, Ron McDaniel isn't too different from a lot of students trying to earn a degree today. Married with a family, McDaniel started his college education by juggling courses at a two-year college with a full-time job at a railroad track supply company, before transferring to University of Dayton and receiving an accounting degree at the age of 30. From there, he went back to his roots -- building on his newfound business skills to become the owner of Western-Cullen-Hayes, a Chicago-based railroad equipment manufacturing company. Now, he's giving a little bit back to students just like him forty years later.

In this case, that "little bit" is to the tune of a cool $1 million, which McDaniel is donating to University of Dayton in order to help fund their launch of the "Flyer Angels" investor program. According to University of Dayton's own Flyer News, "Angel groups are teams who contribute money to start-up companies and in turn have some ownership rights to that company. The panel is responsible for evaluating ventures and deciding whether or not to participate." In this case, the Flyer Angels group is to be comprised of undergraduate students pursuing entrepreneurship degrees, and the grant from McDaniel will enable the program to launch in 2010.

Dean McFarlin, chair of the Department of Management and Marketing and NCR Professor of Global Leadership Development, is excited about the generous donation to the program and its implications for the future of the students involved: "It will jumpstart our efforts to launch Flyer Angels, which will ultimately give our entrepreneurship students another unique hands-on experience... We hope it will also help us enhance our program and its reputation for giving students outstanding theory-to-practice opportunities." As for McDaniel himself, he is reportedly excited to take the program to another level and give the students important experience in the world of entrepreneurship." Said McDaniel to the Dayton Daily News, "I thought it would be a good way to contribute to something I felt very strongly about."

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