When they were asked to play a part in the renovation of The University of Toledo’s Larimer Athletic Complex, Marcia and Roy Armes were more than happy to help out.They were even happier knowing that their gift would assist Rocket student-athletes in their academic pursuits.
The Armes’ gift of $500,000 to the Rockets’ latest capital campaign was designated for the expansion and improvement of the Rocket Academic Center located in Larimer. Renovations include additional work space for student-athletes and staff overlooking the Glass Bowl field; the creation of private tutoring rooms; new computer equipment; and new furniture.
“We feel fortunate to be able to give back to a University where we both went to school,” Roy said. “It’s an honor for us to be able to contribute to the athletic program and to the student-athletes. One of the things we cherish most is for us to be able to contribute to the education of the student-athletes.”
UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said the academic center re-opened in July as the Marcia and Roy Armes Rocket Academic Center.
“We are very grateful to Roy and Marcia for their generous donation,” O’Brien said. “We know how important academics are to them, so it is only fitting that the academic center is named in their honor.”
Roy, a 1975 graduate of the UT College of Engineering, is the president, chair and chief executive officer of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in Findlay. Marcia attended UT before transferring and earning her degree in education from Western Michigan University.
They have made numerous gifts to the University, including a recent donation of $1 million to support UT’s Engineering Leadership Institute.
Roy said personal experience has led him to appreciate the efforts of student-athletes, both in their chosen sports and in academics.
“With our two sons participating in high school sports — and one in college sports — we understand a lot about the dedication, commitment and hard work that goes into excelling in both athletics and the classroom,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of the student-athletes at UT, and they said it would be great to have a bigger and better academic center. We want the student-athletes to take advantage of their academic opportunities and set an example when they begin their chosen careers after they leave The University of Toledo.”
Roy’s career as a business executive has meant that the Armes have lived in many places around the world over the past 40 years, most of them far away from Toledo. They moved back to northwest Ohio about seven years ago when he accepted his position with Cooper Tire. They found that the University had undergone some dramatic changes, and they were excited to get more involved.
“To see all the changes at this University is just unbelievable,” Roy said. “We’re looking forward to seeing even greater things in the years to come.”