University of Dayton | Groups


COC 2023 will be hosted on Friday, Dec. 8th

Christmas on Campus is an annual celebration held each December on the University of Dayton campus. It is a hallmark event symbolizing the Catholic and Marianist tradition of the University of Dayton.  On Friday, December 8, 2023, we will celebrate our 60th Christmas on Campus! The event is from 5-8pm, with our tree lighting ceremony starting at 5:30pm in Humanities Plaza. A mass at Holy Angels will follow the event at 9:30pm. 

The tradition of celebrating Christmas and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception dates back to 1963 when a group of students gathered and decided they wanted to celebrate Christmas before they left for the holidays. With that, Christmas on Campus was born. Since then, it has evolved into the night of magic and wonder that we know today.

When Christmas on Campus began, it was a celebration for UD students and faculty. Then UD decided to involve the greater Dayton Community; thus local families were invited to come to the event and share in the Christmas celebration. It came to the attention of UD students that many children may not have the opportunity to fully celebrate the Christmas holiday. Rather than simply inviting children, they created a way to “buddy-up” a child.  More than 1000 children from Dayton City Schools are "buddied-up" by UD students the night of Christmas on Campus.  In addition to the schools we work with, the event is free and open to the general public.

Over the years, the activities of the night have grown and expanded to make Christmas on Campus one of the most signature at the University of Dayton.  Each year, the entire campus sparkles with holiday cheer.  UD Alumni hold "Christmas off Campus" events across the United States, and even around the world!  Christmas on Campus is a unique opportunity to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas with the entire Dayton community- students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and most of all - the children of Dayton.