Ian T. Brunner Memorial Scholarship

69% of $150,000 goal
This campaign ends on May 31 at 11:59PM EDT
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On May 7, 2023, the University of Dayton lost a vibrant member of our Flyer community. Ian Timothy Brunner, Class of 2023 and Mechanical Engineering graduate, was involved in a fatal accident while repairing his 1994 Mazda Miata.

Whether you knew Ian or only met him once, his enthusiasm was immediate. He possessed a passion for learning and life that was evident in who he was and what he did. Each day was met with discovering new information and contributing to the discussion or problem-solving process. Whatever the interaction, Ian acted with kindness and an even greater sense of caring for others. He never met a stranger, but instead was genuinely considerate. Once you knew him, his big smile and outgoing personality were obvious, as was his wonderful sense of humor. Many of us referred to him as a friend, fellow classmate, Car Guy, MakerSpace helper, club member, and more. He truly loved his undergraduate years at UD and often dedicated time to welcoming others on campus.

As a graduate of the School of Engineering, Ian remains both a Forever Flyer and a wonderful inspiration in the hearts of family and friends. Of his many talents, imagining new projects and building them was his ultimate goal, no matter how many obstacles needed to be addressed in the process. That was his attitude in pursuing a fifth year to earn a Master of Science degree while expanding his wingspan.

As a means of continuing Ian’s contributions to the Mechanical Engineering field and the University of Dayton community, Ian’s parents, Timothy and Jennifer Brunner, family and friends are establishing the Ian Timothy Brunner Endowed Memorial Scholarship. This fund will support future graduate engineering students and memorialize Ian's legacy on campus. 

Please join the family of Ian Brunner and our Flyer community in honoring him by contributing to the Ian Timothy Brunner Endowed Memorial Scholarship. By doing so, we each have an opportunity to directly encourage High Flyers and give tribute to Ian’s spirit. 

Ian's Impact as an Organ Donor

When Ian Brunner got his driver's license, he signed up to be an organ donor. When he passed away, his family was left numb with grief, but Ian's decision to be an organ donor has provided a path forward. Discussions with Community Tissue Services guided them through the process and helped them reconcile the suddenness of his death, per Ian's mother, Jennifer. 

To hear more about Ian's generous donation as a cornea donor, read the story (pages 7 - 8) shared in the Lions Eye Bank of West Central Ohio newsletter. 

Thank you for your continued support of both Ian's legacy and his family and friends! 

23 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Ian's Story in the News

Happy New Year, all! 

Jennifer Brunner, Ian's mother, continues to share Ian's story and sustain his legacy through storytelling. Over the holidays, Jennifer shared Ian's story with a Pittsburgh-area journal, highlighting the generosity the family has felt from their neighbors in the wake of Ian's passing. You can read that story on the TribLive website

Additionally, last night, Dayton's CBS affiliate, WHIO TV, aired a second interview between UD alum, John Bedell, a WHIO anchor, and Jennifer. During the interview, Jennifer provided an update on the progress towards endowing Ian's scholarship, Ian's selflessness as an organ donor and more. To see the interview and read the story, visit WHIO.com.

Thank you all for your continued support of the Brunner family through generous donations to Ian's scholarship.

Wishing you all the best in 2024, 

Emily Baldwin '14
Director of Annual Giving & New Donor Initiatives
University of Dayton

49 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Final Update of Calendar Year 2023

Hello all,

On behalf of the University of Dayton community, THANK YOU all for your ongoing support of the Brunner family and the Ian Timothy Brunner Endowed Memorial Scholarship. Your ongoing engagement with this campaign page and your generous gifts to date have ensured that Ian's legacy here at UD will live on in perpetuity.

We are thrilled to share that, because of your generosity, the first scholarship will be awarded to a deserving Flyer student next academic year. 

We're excited and honored to continue to work with the Brunner family, including Jennifer and Tim, to make sure their wish to raise more funds and support more students continues. You may notice we increased the fundraising goal from the original $100,000 to a "stretch goal" of $150,000 to increase the impact this scholarship will have at UD. We've also extended the time this campaign will run through the end of May 2024 to ensure we reach our stretch goal.

Again, thank you for your support of this scholarship, the Brunner family, and our UD students who will follow in Ian's footsteps to obtain their degrees in mechanical engineering.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season,

Emily Baldwin '14
Director of Annual Giving and New Donor Initiatives
University of Dayton

69 days ago by Emily Baldwin
A Letter to Ian from His Father, Tim 12/3/2023

This letter was written by Tim Brunner, Ian Brunner's father, on December 3, 2023 and is being shared on Tim's behalf.

December 3, 2023

Dear Ian,

On the day in May when you received your B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and passed away later in that tragic accident you had just turned 22 1/2 years old. Soon after I made a commitment to myself to honor you in one small way by bicycling 2250 miles before the end of the year, an activity I regularly do to exercise and relax my mind. Well today which happens to be the 23rd anniversary of your Baptism, I was able to reach that goal after close to one hundred rides. This brings up memories of when you were 7- or 8-years old riding together with the tag-a-long bike. During our rides we always stopped on the Montour Trail at the Caboose and under the highly elevated railroad bridge on the Pittsburgh Ohio River trail watching the long trains cross over the river. It was obvious then that your inquisitive mind was already at work assessing these past complex engineering feats. As you grew over the years into a teenager then a young man it was an honor seeing you use these God-given talents to the fullest.

Love always, 

86 days ago by Emily Baldwin
University of Pittsburgh's University Times

On Tuesday, the University of Pittsburgh's University Times posted an article online featuring an interview with Jennifer Brunner, Ian's mother, and Pitt's School of Nursing adviser.

In the piece, Jennifer reflects on Ian's life - his YouTube channel where he would showcase things he built, his outgoing nature, the Legos he'd build as a child and how they helped him to develop as a "mechanically minded" young man - and his legacy. 

Jennifer also shares how Ian's passing has affected her personally and professionally. 

You can read the article on the University Times' website and are encouraged to share the story with your network so we can continue to spread the word not only about this scholarship, but about Ian's legacy.

Thank you for your continued support of the University of Dayton through this scholarship.

102 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Birthday Wishes to Ian from Jennifer Brunner

The below update was written by Ian's mother, Jennifer Brunner, and is being posted to this campaign page on her behalf. 

Birthday Wishes

Your birthday was November 1, 2000, All Saints Day.

A day to celebrate you.

But six months since your tragic death, we struggle with disbelief that you’re gone.

How do we honor this day without you present?

You’d like it when we went to your favorite restaurant, remembered the candy, and sent $$.

This year, I’ll hold on to those sweet memories and more.

It is time to keep the light of your thoughtful words and big smile in my heart,

while celebrating it for all to see.

You are loved dearly and missed greatly.


119 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Fellow Flyer Interviews Jennifer Brunner - WHIO

Ian's mother, Jennifer, is continuing to share Ian's story with local media! This time, though, Jennifer shared Ian's story with WHIO-TV, the Dayton-area CBS affiliate. 

Not only was this the first Dayton-area interview Jennifer has done since this campaign's launch, but the interviewer is actually a fellow UD alum, John Bedell '10. 

During her time with Bedell, Jennifer shared more of Ian's story, including his generous service to others as an organ donor and photos from his time on our campus. 

It's amazing to see Jennifer continue to share the story of her son with so many and to see the impact her sharing has had. When we launched this campaign page, 45 donors had supported Ian's legacy with their gifts. That number has more than tripled. 

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your son's story with all of us! And thank you to the donors who have supported this effort with your financial resources and any sharing of this campaign page link. When we work together to raise awareness about Ian, we all are making great strides in furthering his legacy! 

Thank you,

150 days ago by Emily Baldwin
WPXI Interview

Good afternoon,

Ian's mother, Jennifer, was recently interviewed by WPXI, a Pittsburgh news affiliate. During the interview, she shared information about the kind of person Ian was. 

Ian was an incredibly innovative young man; he once built his own go-kart! Ian's passion for engineering was evident in all he did. The Ian Timothy Brunner Memorial Endowed Scholarship will allow students like Ian - students who are innovative and passionate about engineering - to further their mechanical engineering education while easing the financial hardship attending a private university can perpetuate. 

On behalf of the family and friends of Ian, thank YOU for your support! YOU are actively helping them further Ian's legacy. Please continue to share the link to this page with your networks if you're able! 

Thank you again for your continued support,

Emily Baldwin '14
Director of Annual Giving and New Donor Initiatives
University of Dayton 

151 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Jennifer Brunner on KDKA 9/20/23

Wow! Since Jennifer's interview with WTAE earlier this week, so many supporters have come forward to honor Ian's legacy with their gifts to the Ian Timothy Brunner Endowed Memorial Scholarship. THANK YOU!

I'm excited to share another interview with you: yesterday Jennifer spoke with Rick Dayton on KDKA, sharing more about who Ian was and the generosity donors like each of you have displayed through your gifts. 

During the interview, Jennifer highlights Ian's journey to a degree in mechanical engineering and explains why endowing the scholarship is so important.

Please give the interview a listen, share it on your social media and help us reach the Brunners' goal of $100,000 so we can endow this amazing scholarship in memory a fellow Flyer.

With immense gratitude,

Emily Baldwin '14
Director of Annual Giving and New Donor Initiatives
University of Dayton

160 days ago by Emily Baldwin
Sharing Ian's Legacy with His Hometown

Good morning everyone!

Thank you for your support of the Ian Timothy Brunner Endowed Memorial Scholarship. 

Ian's mother, Jennifer Brunner, shared his story with the family's hometown of Pittsburgh this week. To hear Jennifer share, in her own words, why the family chose to create a scholarship in Ian's name, you can watch the WTAE video on their website.  

Not only do your gifts memorialize Ian, but they help shape his legacy at the University of Dayton and beyond. Your gifts will help future mechanical engineering graduate students stay on track to graduate, obtain their degrees and change the world. 

Thank you again for your support!

Emily Baldwin '14
Director of Annual Giving and New Donor Initiatives
University of Dayton

161 days ago by Emily Baldwin

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