The Flyer Pep Band Accepts the 2023 Musial Award

107% of $15,000 goal
This campaign ended on November 10, 2023, but you can still make a gift to University of Dayton by clicking here!

The Project
Every November, through a world-class event and a show that airs nationally on CBS, the Musial Awards honor the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and those in sports who embody class and character. The awards are named for Stan Musial, the beloved St. Louis Cardinal and Baseball Hall of Famer who personified those virtues.

In addition to keeping Stan’s legacy alive, the organization’s mission is to encourage kindness, selflessness, integrity and civility in sports and society – and to inspire people across the nation to be good sports.

The Musial Awards reached out to Dr. Willie Morris, director of the Flyer Pep Band in June 2023, sharing that our band would be recognized at this November’s ceremony:

I write to you in hopes that the Flyer Pep Band will accept our invitation to be honored among our 2023 Musial Award recipients at the event in St. Louis on Saturday, November 18. We wish to recognize you for stepping up for Fairleigh Dickinson during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and creating the ultimate post-season experience culminating in FDU’s historic victory. By embracing the team and treating them as your own, you not only learned the school’s fight song, but taught it to the fans who had never heard it before, along with several new cheers to keep the fans engaged. We were also impressed with the kindness you showed in traveling to two games and arranging a hotel send-off for the athletes in both locations. The Flyer Pep Band is most deserving of an award that stands for class, character, and sportsmanship. Stan the Man would be proud! 

It would mean so much to us to have you represent the Flyer Pep Band and personally accept the Musial Award in St. Louis.

Needless to say, Dr. Morris gladly accepted the invitation on behalf of our band! This is the first time a band has received the prestigious award. To mark this special occasion, Dr. Morris and the producer of the Awards have planned to have us – the students who played at the FDU games – perform at the ceremony in St. Louis this fall!

Who We Are
The Flyer Pep Band is a group of talented UD students that primarily perform, cheer and support the UD Flyers men’s and women’s basketball teams at home and away tournament games. The FPB also plays at special events on campus and in the Dayton area. During Dr. Morris’ tenure as director, we FPB have “served” as the pep band for other universities that didn’t have a pep band. In addition to Fairleigh Dickinson University, the FPB has also played for several other university basketball programs. Dr. Morris believes that the Marianist character of serving is an important part of our Flyer Pep Band identity.

What Your Gifts Will Do
Your financial support will alleviate the expenses incurred by the University for this trip:

  • Chartered bus: the cost of purchasing a bus to take the band to St. Louis and back to Dayton.
  • Hotel Cost: the cost of rooms at the hotel housing all of the ceremony honorees and participants.
  • Meals: the cost of meals for the student band members.
  • Performance Wear: the cost of replacing some of the performance accessories the FPB uses at games, pep rallies and other events. What we have is over 15 years old and is in bad shape. The band will use wear these at the awards ceremony.
  • Your gifts will allow us an opportunity to perform at a non-sporting event: This ceremony will be held in the iconic Stifel Theater in St. Louis. It also gives the FPB another opportunity to be seen nationally, since the ceremony will be aired nationally on CBS, thus impacting future recruitment of band members.
  • The University of Dayton Department of Music: Most of the students of the Flyer Pep Band play in one or more of the many ensembles in the University’s music department. A larger and more popular FPB give other ensembles more students to choose from for their ensembles.
  • UD Athletics: 80% of what the FPB does is for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at UD arena. Any and all positive visibility the FPB has outside of UD Arena shines a light on UD Athletics.
  • The University of Dayton: the Flyer Pep Band is often seen in the community and across the nation. In every case our band understands the importance of representing UD and what it means to be UD students. This performance gives the St. Louis community and the national audience to see and hear the Flyer Pep Band.
  • The Dayton community (or at least those that attend UD basketball games): UD basketball fans love the Flyer Pep Band. They know that the band is an important part of the energetic atmosphere at the Arena. Once they learn that the FPB was selected as the first band to receive this award, they will be even more supportive.

The Impact
Not only do your gifts support our trip to St. Louis, but our being able to accept the Musial Award on a national stage will have an even greater impact on the Pep Band, UD and beyond!

Share the Message
The Flyer Pep Band is often recognized for who they are and what they do. They have performed on the Today Show, in Times Square, at Niagara Falls and at the Lincoln Memorial. We are recognized as one of the best bands in the Atlantic 10 Athletic Conference. With all of its accolades during Dr. Morris’s tenure as director, this award is the Flyer Pep Band’s most notable and prestigious recognition.

We, Dr. Morris and the students of the Flyer Pep Band, encourage you to share this campaign and news of our recognition on your social media pages. When you do tag us! We invite you to visit our social media pages as well. We can be found online at We also have Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X accounts. 

You will find clickable links there where you can donate to this special campaign. Also tell your friends and colleagues where you work or hang out. Let people know that the Flyer Pep Band is being nationally recognized!

Thanks for Your Support!
Dr. Morris and the students of the UD Flyer Pep Band send a Flyer-felt thank you for your donation. Your support means that we can and will continue to represent the University of Dayton community in the best way possible. Thank you and go Flyers! 

A Flyer Thank You: Our Post-Musial Award Ceremony Update!

The below update is posted on behalf of Flyer Pep Band Director, Willie Morris. 

We have arrived back in Dayton after an incredible weekend in St. Louis! This weekend would not have been possible without your donations. The Musial Awards was such an incredible experience, and truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Seeing the pure joy from the students was absolutely incredible. Don’t listen to me on what our favorite parts were, but listen to the students, who shared their highlights from the experience:

  • The vast majority of the students enjoyed visiting the Gateway Arch Museum and performing outside the Arch! One student said, “Playing in front of the Gateway Arch was an awesome experience, one that I’m not sure many people have done!” 
  • For others, our performance at the Musial Awards and the moments behind the scenes right after were their favorite takeaway: “The moment after we performed at the Musial. The walk back to the dressing room with all of us full of adrenaline!”
  • Getting to see Al Roker at the Musial Award Ceremony was a nice surprise! 
  • Several students also shared that they walked away from the weekend feeling more connected to their bandmates! 

We cannot thank you enough for your donations to help us get to this point. It is absolutely amazing to see how many people came to the support of the Flyer Pep Band. 

From the bottom of my heart, and the rest of the Flyer Pep Band, thank you so much! We truly appreciate it, and words cannot express how thankful we are for you all. 

You can view more photos from our weekend in St. Louis in our Google album!

246 days ago by Emily Baldwin
One Day Left!!

Hi Flyer Pep Band Family,

   Thank you so much for helping us out.  You have no idea how grateful and appreciative we all are. You are all the greatest!  We have one day left.  Can you help us reach $16K?  Email, text or call your friends.  Post and tag us on you social media pages.  Heck you can even give again.  Let see is we can reach 16k by tomorrow.

Thank you again for you donations!

Dr. Willie!

258 days ago by Willie Morris
What a performance you’ve done!

Thank you doesn’t begin to do enough to say how thankful I am for everyone who has supported the Flyer Pep Band. Whether it is our parents, alumni, people who cheer us on at games, or someone who was inspired by our story, we are thankful for each and every one of you and your generosity. Last month, when Dr.Morris told me we were going to set up a funder, I will admit I was nervous. “What happens if it doesn't go over well? What if we can’t raise enough money?” were two thoughts that I was constantly having. My nerves were quickly gone when we saw how fast people came to support us. It is people like each of you that make it so special to be in the Flyer Pep Band! I wanted to give you all a little update on what has been happening behind the scenes here in the Flyer Pep Band! 

Last night, the Men’s Basketball team had the first game of the season, where we won! As always, the Pep Band loved being there to cheer on the team. 

We have been working very hard in our weekly rehearsals preparing for the upcoming games of the season, and planning all of the behind the scenes for our trip to St.Louis. The trip is coming up so quickly, and I am beyond excited to get to share with everyone more as we get closer! 

As we work towards this season, we keep coming back to how thrilled we are about those who have donated to us. We are replacing SO MUCH of our performance wear because of the help from you all! I’m pretty sure some of our hats are about as old as me, so it is going to be very exciting to have brand new (not gross) hats for us to wear! In our final days of the funder, I just want to thank you all for everything you have done! We could not do anything without the support you all give us! As always, Go Flyers! 

-Lizzi Clock, Assistant Chief Executive Officer

260 days ago by Willie Morris
Video Update from Willie Morris (recorded 11/5)

262 days ago by Emily Baldwin

Blessed. When thinking about our Flyer Funder, the first word that comes to my mind is blessed. I feel so blessed to be in a community that supports the Flyer Pep Band. We kicked off our campaign two weeks ago, and have almost doubled our original goal. I never expected us to pass our goal, but to almost double our original goal is incredible. It truly shows the generosity and support that the community shows us. 

We have kicked off basketball season and the Flyer Pep Band has kicked it into high gear. Our first game was on Sunday October 22nd with an exhibition game against Ohio State. It was an incredible first game, showing our support for the Flyers as well as our support for Ohio State, as we played Hang on Sloopy for the team! Our game was all about supporting mental health, and we are so glad to have been part of such an incredible night! We have another game coming up this Saturday, and our students are beyond excited! 

Our executive board has been very busy planning outreach events in our community. Coming up, we will be participating in the Dayton Diabetes run, something near and dear to our Flyer Pep Band family. We are incredibly excited to be playing at the start of the race, and getting the runners excited! 

Most importantly, our team has been planning for St.Louis. We have been working on all of the details, from travel to packing lists and everything in between. We are absolutely thrilled for this trip. Watch out St.Louis, because the Flyer Pep Band is coming in hot! 

Originally, our goal was set to help us on our trip to St.Louis for the Musial ceremony, and maybe be able to replace a few parts of our performance wear. Because of the support being shown by our Dayton Community, near and far, we are able to replace all of our performance wear! As a student in the Flyer Pep Band, I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many people who care about supporting us. I cannot thank each person enough for their donations, sharing our story, and the endless support we have experienced. It is people like you all that make being a part of the Flyer Pep Band so incredible. Once again, thank you all, and as always, Go Flyers!

273 days ago by Willie Morris
Flyer Pep Band fans are the greatest!

275 days ago by Willie Morris
In the words of Gomer Pyle……

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  

We kicked off our campaign just 7 days ago and the response has been nothing short of AMAZING. I would have never expected to reach this much in such a short amount of time.  Your donations say a lot about what you feel about the students of the Flyer Pep Band and maybe even their director!! I had a Zoom meeting with the Musial Committee last week. They are so excited to have the Flyer Pep Band as part of their ceremony. We are really excited to be there. Your continued donations will help us get closer to our goal. Please share this link with your friends and tell them all about us. Tell them that they can donate any amount because every amount matters.  Again, thank you so much for your donations.  You are helping to make the Flyer Pep Band so much better.

PS. For those of you that didn’t know who Gomer Pyle was, Google him!!

281 days ago by Willie Morris

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