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Xavier Magazine | September 23, 2017

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Profile: Bill Daily

Profile: Bill Daily
Greg Schaber

Bill Daily
Bachelor of Science in business administration, 1957; Master of Education, 1961 | Professor of communication arts

Finding Meaning | A full-time faculty member for 36 years, Daily’s helped shape the University. But what shaped him the most was a 1992 faculty trip to Nicaragua. He’d been searching for purpose since a near-death experience in 1970 and found it in the poor. “Seeing their tremendous strength and hope in spite of having nothing was very powerful. I never felt closer to Xavier because I felt the spirit of St. Ignatius was alive there.”

Service Chain | The trip planted the seeds for the University’s service-learning semesters and led Daily to his work with the homeless in Cincinnati. That led to a service-learning semester in Cincinnati’s poor Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Lessons Learned | Daily also serves on the board of ReStock, which rehabs housing in Over-the-Rhine, and has worked as a consultant for the neighborhood’s homeless shelter. “In service, it’s what you learn, not what you give that’s important,” he says. “That’s very humbling. There are all sorts of poorness, other than economic. We’re all poor in some way.”

Learning Lessons | Some of his fondest undergraduate memories are of the informal talks with Jesuit faculty in the old South Hall. Those days also provided Daily with a lifetime friend and mentor, professor Walter Clark. “He instilled in me a deep desire for learning. I’m forever indebted to him for that.”

Family Tree | Daily, his wife and six children hold a total of 19 academic degrees, nine of them from Xavier.

Love the Game | An Indiana native, Daily has a love affair with basketball. He tried out for Xavier’s freshman team but was cut by a student-coach named Jim Bunning. Still, Daily left his mark on Xavier basketball in 1978 when he chaired the committee that hired coach Bob Staak, a move widely acknowledged as the turning point in the school’s hoops fortunes.

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