By Callie Ewing, BA '03 MH '22
“The University of Dallas might not be for everyone, but it was for our family,” said Chris Archer, father of four UD alumni. “All four St. Louis Archers graduated from the school, and each in very different disciplines. Patrick Archer, BA ’14, was business/accounting; newly ordained Father Charlie Archer, BA ’16, was philosophy; Joe Archer, BS ’17, was physics; and Claire (Archer) Andrews, BA ’21, was English.
“Our children may look alike,” he added, “but they are obviously very different people choosing very different vocations.”
Still, each found a place at UD, which was part of what led Theresa and Chris Archer to join UD’s Parent Council, which recognizes current and former UD parents who partner closely with the university in support of our shared mission. Parents are eligible to join with an annual contribution of $5,000 or more to the university.
The Archers first learned about UD through family friends Jean and Frank O’Brien. “As our children thrived at the university and made many wonderful friends, we gradually increased our awareness of what a special gift UD was, and how much our children were benefiting,” said Theresa Archer. “Through frequent visits, and many stories of professors, classes and other things, we realized this was something we wanted to encourage and share so other families could benefit as we had.”
Chris said, “One of the best parts of UD is the Core and common classwork that all undergrads are required to take, which binds them together, as does their Rome experience. For those of you wondering, only Joe was a Spromer; the others went in the fall. Dante’s Beatrice was referenced by Father Archer at his sister’s recent wedding, with the chorus of UD students in attendance all shaking their heads due to their common study of Dante’s Divine Comedy.”
The Archer parents appreciate this sense of community that was instilled in their children at UD, as well as the support of their faith as it applied to both vocations and marriage.
“More than any other gift that UD provides, it is the school’s unabashedly Catholic tradition that will forever be its defining influence on our children,” said Chris. “It may come as a shock to the alumni reading this article, but not many colleges have couples wandering campus on rosary-walks or on a pilgrimage to a grotto. Attendance at Sunday Mass is assumed, and daily Mass is common on campus. With our culture in turmoil and with the shunning or delaying of traditional marriage, there were 28 engaged couples associated with this year’s graduating class! Talk about a busy summer.”
Theresa also noted a recent Wall Street Journal editorial titled “Why I Stopped Hiring Ivy League Graduates,” which mentioned UD.
“It does a good job of pointing out the uniqueness of UD’s education and how it’s a fantastic preparation for future professional work and success,” she said.
She shared an anecdote from when Patrick was enrolled at Ohio State University in the master’s accounting program along with two other UD alumni. They had a classmate who was older and had worked a while before returning to school; this classmate was married with a young son. One day, he told Patrick, “I was up last night Googling the University of Dallas because I want my son to attend that school. I’m not Catholic, but you three from UD are different. You’ve obviously had a great education, and you know how to think through a problem rather than just provide the data. I’m impressed, and I want that for my son.”
Chris said, “On behalf of myself and Theresa, thank you, UD! We recommend the school often and plan on continuing to support UD through the Cor Fund for years to come.”
Theresa concluded, “Parents’ support is an important piece of the puzzle at UD. The best thing we can do is share our positive experience, and encourage other families to look at the University of Dallas. It’s a way of showing our gratitude for what the school has to offer.”