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Women & Philanthropy Awards Grant for Art Studio

Women & Philanthropy, a volunteer organization that promotes The University of Toledo through grants to UToledo, has given its 2020 grant in the amount of $65,000 to Barbara Miner, professor and chair of the Art Department.

The grant will assist in the creation of the University’s Axon Lab/Studio, which will be the first dedicated digital design and fabrication studio on campus.

The new lab/studio space will build on collaborations across multiple academic disciplines and colleges, and will provide new opportunities for collaboration in STEMM fields and in new curricula development, according to Miner. It will serve as an innovative learning hub where technology, creativity and interdisciplinary practices converge, as students are provided with resources that meet the newest industry standards in relation to software and hardware, and community partnerships are enhanced with new tools and resources.

“The creation of this lab space is pivotal to bringing together traditional skills and contemporary practices in order to prepare our students for the meteoric pace of job/life changes globally. We are so very grateful for this support from Women & Philanthropy,” Miner said.

With this grant, Women & Philanthropy has given a total of 21 grants totaling $623,687 to The University of Toledo over the past 10 years.

“Our mission is to support the University while building relationships among a community of generous, forward-thinking women,” Dee Talmage, chair of Women & Philanthropy, said. “Through this grant, we are excited to provide students with state-of-the art technologies as they prepare for contemporary careers or admission to graduate studies.”

Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo was chartered in 2006 and made its first award to UToledo in 2008. Through this giving circle, members of diverse backgrounds and interests work collaboratively to make positive, meaningful and immediate impacts at the University.

Applications and guidelines for 2021 grants will be available in late fall.

For more information, go to the Women & Philanthropy website.

Trailblazing Chemist Who Served Alma Mater Passes

Dr. Nina I. McClelland, a renowned environmental scientist who championed safe drinking water around the globe and returned to teach and lead at The University of Toledo, died Aug. 16. The Toledo resident was 90.

“Dr. McClelland was an outstanding alumna of The University of Toledo and trailblazer for women in science,” Dr. John Plenefisch, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said. “Her lifelong efforts setting high standards for water quality and the environment have truly made the world a better place.”


McClelland, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s degree in chemistry in 1963 from UToledo, was recognized globally as one of the most influential people in environmental science. She served as chair, president and chief executive officer during her more than 30 years with NSF International, formally National Sanitation Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods.

As former chair of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific organization, McClelland developed a Water Quality Index to report water quality in lakes, rivers and streams. In time, states and water authorities were required to annually report water quality to Congress using the index. After the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed, she developed a standard adopted by the government regarding chemicals used to treat drinking water, as well as one covering all products that come in contact with drinking water via its treatment, storage and distribution.

When she retired in 1995 from NSF International, she formed a consulting firm whose clients included the World Bank.

McClelland was a principal and consultant with the International Clean Water program, dedicated to providing healthcare, safe drinking water and food, education, disease control, and other essentials to those in developing countries. She also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals and for three terms on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Safe drinking water was an issue close to her heart. In a 2016 interview, she said, “…safe drinking water from an adequate source through treatment and distribution has always been my strength and passion.”

That passion began with her first job as a chemist and bacteriologist in the Department of Health at the Wastewater Reclamation Facility in the city of Toledo. After five years, she was named chief chemist, a position she held from 1956 to 1963. She became the first woman in Ohio to earn a Class A license for wastewater treatment.

After receiving a master of public health degree and a doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1964 and 1968, respectively, McClelland joined NSF International in Ann Arbor.

During her career, McClelland served on several major committees, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals in the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council.

In 2003, McClelland returned to the Glass City and her alma mater as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry. Five years later, she was tapped to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She retired from the University in 2011 after working in the Office of the Provost. The dean emerita and professor emerita also served as executive-in-residence in the College of Business and Innovation.

McClelland was awarded an honorary doctorate in science by the University in 2003, and in 2014 received the UToledo Alumni Association’s Gold T in recognition of her outstanding career accomplishments. In addition, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Department of Chemistry in 1993 and the College of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and the University Women’s Commission’s Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award in 2017. And she was featured in the 2004 book titled “Nine UT Alumni Who Changed the World.”

Her many honors include induction into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and the National Wildlife Federation’s 2016 Women in Conservation Award, which she received for protecting safe water around the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio. She also was named a Fellow by the American Chemical Society in 2011 and was recognized as a Legend of Environmental Chemistry by the organization.

Last year, the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis was dedicated in the UToledo College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Located in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories, the lab features state-of-the-art equipment, including novel extraction and microextraction technology and high-resolution mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, and an advanced imaging system.

“Nina was a tremendous friend and supporter of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and her beloved University of Toledo,” Plenefisch said. “She will be greatly missed, but her legacy will live on at the University through the students and the research being performed in the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She loved our students and was always encouraging them to seek their full potential.”

The funeral service will be streamed live Thursday, Aug. 20, at 1:15 p.m.

Tributes are suggested to the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis through The University of Toledo Foundation; call 419.530.7730 or email

Rockets Create Scholarship Fund in Memory of Football Player

The University of Toledo announced the creation of a memorial scholarship fund in the name of slain Rocket football player Jahneil Douglas. Douglas was shot and killed in Toledo July 7.

The Jahneil Douglas Memorial Scholarship Fund will annually award a scholarship to a former Rocket football player who has completed his athletic eligibility and is planning to attend graduate school or is completing his bachelor’s degree. Preference will be given to student-athletes from the city of Toledo, and applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5.


“Jahneil was a beloved member of our football program and our Rocket family, so we felt it was appropriate to honor his memory with a scholarship fund that will benefit future Rockets,” UToledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said.

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle said the scholarship will allow Douglas’ memory to live on.

“Jahneil Douglas was an inspirational teammate who sought to positively impact every individual that he encountered,” Candle said. “Although JD is no longer with us, his impact will continue to be felt at The University of Toledo. Through the Jahneil Douglas Memorial Scholarship Fund, an individual will have the opportunity to pursue post-graduate education after playing football at the highest collegiate level. We are incredibly thankful for the Toledo community’s generosity, which will allow JD’s legacy to live on at The University of Toledo.”

Friends, family and Rocket fans can make a gift or pledge to the fund on The University of Toledo Foundation website.

UToledo Athletic Department’s Reverse Raffle to be Held Virtually July 30

The University of Toledo Athletic Department’s Reverse Raffle will take place virtually Thursday, July 30.

The decision was made to hold the Reverse Raffle virtually in order to ensure the health and safety of guests. The opportunity to win prizes, including the $7,500 grand prize, remains unchanged for all those who purchase tickets.

This event sells out every year. With only 350 tickets available for sale, be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible. You can still win big in the raffle drawing for cash and other prizes, and also participate in the silent auction with just a smartphone or a computer.

Ticket cost is $150 and includes:

• One entry into the reverse raffle drawing, which awards prizes to 58 total winners (the first ticket, every 10th ticket and the final 10 tickets drawn all receive prizes). The grand prize of $7,500 is based on 100% of reverse raffle drawing tickets sold. If 100% of tickets are not sold prior to the event date, prizes will be based on a sliding scale in proportion to the total number of tickets sold.

• A virtual check-in with coaches during the event while the virtual reverse raffle drawing is conducted.

• Six Rocket football ticket exchange vouchers for the 2020 Rocket football season (worth more than $155).

• Silent auction and premium raffle prizes accessible from your computer or smartphone.

All proceeds from the Reverse Raffle will benefit the Toledo Athletic Department and Rocket student-athletes.

Purchase tickets here or call 419.530.5316 and leave a voicemail.

President Emeritus Who Helped Lead Merger With MUO Passes

Dr. Daniel M. Johnson, who became president of The University of Toledo in 2001 and helped lead the 2006 merger with the Medical University of Ohio (MUO), died July 1.

Johnson, who was known for his work promoting a student-centered culture and fostering community engagement during his tenure as the University’s 15th president, served in higher education leadership positions for more than 40 years throughout his career. He developed collaborations and partnerships among public universities, government entities, industrial corporations and international organizations.

Dan Johnson at Podium


He was instrumental in the UToledo and MUO merger that set the University apart as one of just 27 comprehensive public universities in the country with its breadth and depth of academic programs.

In his final State of the University Address on Jan. 19, 2006, Johnson described UToledo in a “state of readiness” to begin shaping the future of the new University of Toledo.

“UT is poised and is now ready to take a giant step that will put it in a new league of universities. Our university — the University to which we all have linked our professional lives — is ready to embrace a future that will include a nationally recognized medical school, a world-class health campus and a distinguished university hospital,” he said. “The University of Toledo is ready for the new opportunities and responsibilities that will come with our merger with MUO. It is a new beginning for two major universities with deep roots in our community and region. The time for the merger has come.”

During his tenure up to the merger, Johnson led the campus through refining its mission, developing and implementing a strategic plan, completing a master plan for campus, and initiating a $100 million capital campaign. He spearheaded presidential initiatives to advance UToledo’s mission as a metropolitan university, including a Commission on Diversity, Council on Outreach and Engagement, and Commission on the River.

“President Johnson was instrumental in shaping the UToledo we know today and for setting this University on our current path of positive momentum that has benefited countless students, graduates and members of our greater community,” said Al Baker, chair of the UToledo Board of Trustees, who also previously served as a member of the MUO Board of Trustees during the merger process. He was the first trustee to complete his service after the 2006 merger when his term ended in 2007. “On behalf of the trustees and our entire University community, we thank Dr. Johnson for his service and express our sincere condolences to his loved ones.”

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed on March 31, 2006, House Bill 478 signing the merger legislation into law with UToledo President Dan Johnson and MUO President Lloyd Jacobs.

Following his term as president, Johnson was named president emeritus and distinguished professor of public policy and economic development.

In 2008, he was invited to serve as provost and chief operating officer of Zayed University in United Arab Emirates. He returned to UToledo in 2011 as director of global initiatives and worked to establish partnerships in Lebanon, South Africa, China, India and other nations until 2013.

Prior to coming to Toledo, Johnson was provost of the University of Alaska Anchorage. His career also included administrative positions at University of North Texas in Denton, Texas; Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond; Sangamon State University in Springfield, Ill.; and Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., as well as additional faculty positions at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan., and Christian College in Columbia, Mo.

He is the author of numerous books, chapters, study reports and papers, including “Leading Economic Development: A Toolbox for Public Officials and Civic Leaders” published by University of Toledo Press in 2015.

In his final letter to the campus community upon becoming president emeritus, Johnson described UToledo as “poised for greatness” and wrote that it was time to aim higher to produce more graduates and more research funding and be a powerful force for economic development.

“At historic times like this we are often tempted to look back to see how far we have come, to reminisce about the good things that have happened, and to congratulate ourselves on our progress,” Johnson wrote. “I would urge us not to yield to this temptation but rather spend our limited and valuable time looking ahead, setting high goals and charting a strategic course that will enable us to achieve these goals and our larger mission.”

Johnson is survived by his wife, Elaine Johnson, and two sons, Darin and Brent Johnson. Funeral arrangements are to be handled by Walker Funeral Home.

UToledo Establishes George Floyd Memorial Scholarship

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota that sparked protests across the country calling for racial justice and police reform, The University of Toledo created the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship to support students with a demonstrated passion for social justice who have financial need.

“Following the worldwide outcry against police brutality and racism targeting African Americans in the United States, coupled with the ongoing protests of beautifully diverse people, this fund is one of many ways our University is taking action to strengthen our continued commitment to unfettered opportunity for success and upward mobility for students of color,” Dr. Willie McKether, UToledo vice president for diversity and inclusion, and vice provost, said. “Diversity is a core value of our University. Preference for this scholarship will be given to students of underrepresented minority populations.”

The University of Toledo Foundation is collecting private donations to fund the new scholarship. Once the minimum endowment goal of $25,000 is met, students can begin applying for the scholarship through the Financial Aid Office.

The plan is to begin awarding a $1,000 scholarship to one student each year and grow the endowment to be able to offer half a dozen $1,000 scholarships in honor of George Floyd every year.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student has to have demonstrated financial need, a GPA of at least 2.5, and involvement in initiatives to promote diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.

Make a donation and learn more on the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund campaign website.

UToledo Benefactor Passes Away

Helen McMaster, a local philanthropist who had a passion for helping others and was known for giving to The University of Toledo, died June 14 in Perrysburg. She was 103.

Known for her kind, generous nature, McMaster had the vision and the desire to provide funding to make others’ ideas come to fruition.

Harold and Helen McMaster received honorary degrees from The University of Toledo during the McMaster Hall dedication ceremony in 1987.

Harold A. McMaster, her husband of 66 years, died in 2003. He was an inventor who made a name for himself in the glass industry and solar energy field, and later shared his wealth with several area educational institutions.

He co-founded Glasstech Inc., Glasstech Solar Inc. and Solar Cells Inc., and formed McMaster Energy Enterprises, a Toledo umbrella organization for Solar Cells, Solar Fields Inc., McMaster Fuel Limited and the McMaster Motor Co. Inc.

The McMasters donated approximately $4.5 million to The University of Toledo.

The couple’s gift of $1.2 million in 1986 — combined with $7.9 million from the state — led to the construction of the physics and astronomy building that bears their name. The five-story building with more than 42,000 square feet for classrooms and research labs opened in 1987, and the McMasters received honorary degrees from the University during the dedication ceremony. Two years later, bronze busts of the two were unveiled in the lobby of McMaster Hall.

In 1989, the McMasters gave a $1.5 million gift to UT Corp. to help extend the University’s participation in solar energy research with Solar Cells Inc. For years, UToledo researchers worked with the company, now known as First Solar LLC, and received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In addition, the couple personally funded two long-range UToledo research projects to produce an efficient, low-cost, non-polluting source of vehicular power and a new concept rotary engine to utilize power derived from solar energy.

Tributes are suggested to the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Program, account number 2600275, through The University of Toledo Foundation.

ProForma Specialty Printing Launches T-Shirt Fundraiser to Support UToledo COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Fund

ProForma Specialty Printing is launching a T-shirt fundraiser to support The University of Toledo COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Fund.

The shirts, representing the Fueling Tomorrows brand, will be supplied by longtime UToledo supporter ProForma Specialty Printing. Each shirt will cost $20 plus shipping and will be available at

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Fund and UToledo scholarships.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to add to the great work being done to help UToledo students through the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Fund,” said Billy Pierce, UToledo associate vice president of alumni engagement. “We think a T-shirt fundraiser will be another great way to continue to support this important initiative, and we hope the Rocket community will agree.”

The fundraiser will run through Monday, June 15.

Rocket Golf Classic Canceled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The 2020 Thomas Baither Memorial Rocket Golf Classic presented by UBS Financial Services has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event, which was originally scheduled for June 18 at Stone Oak Country Club, is held every year and helps benefit The University of Toledo Athletic Department.

The 2020 Thomas Baither Memorial Rocket Golf Classic has been canceled this year.

“The Rocket Golf Classic is an event that many of our supporters look forward to every year, so we are very disappointed that we have to cancel it this year,” said Deputy Athletic Director Dave Nottke. “We appreciate their enthusiasm and support for our student-athletes, and look forward to the day in the very near future when we can once again gather together and celebrate our passion for the Rockets.

“We also very much appreciate any contributions to the Rocket Fund as we move into a significant fiscal challenge for our athletic department,” he added.

In light of the cancellation of the golf tournament, supporters may make contributions to the Athletic Department on The University of Toledo Foundation website.

Orders for Rocket Face Masks Extended to May 24

Rocket fans will have one last chance to order face masks that show off their school pride, and help UToledo students in the process.

Team Sports, a sportswear company located in Holland, Ohio, and a longtime supporter of Rocket athletics, is taking orders for Rocket logo face masks until Sunday, May 24, at 11:59 p.m. This will be the final order placed by Team Sports for the face masks.

In addition, fans can still place orders for “Toledo Rocket Strong” T-shirts.

Team Sports is contributing a substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale of both items to UToledo’s COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund. Online sales of the masks and T-shirts so far have contributed more than $10,000 to the fund, which aids UToledo students who are facing financial challenges due to the pandemic.

Face masks and shirts can be ordered on the Team Sports website.