President touts power of University’s people during yearly address

April 3, 2019 | News, UToday, Alumni
By Joe Bellfy

In her third State of the University address, President Sharon L. Gaber focused on the important contributions of students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters in positioning UToledo for the future.

“Above all else, today is a celebration of the people who showcase the exciting future for our great institution,” Gaber said to the audience of more than 500 gathered April 3 in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

President Sharon L. Gaber delivered her third State of the University address April 3 in Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

“The people in our campus community have fueled our momentum throughout the last year. You are the reason we are the university of choice for so many seeking higher education.”

The president unveiled UToledo’s new brand, Fueling Tomorrows, in her address that concentrated on how through the dedication and commitment of UToledo’s faculty, staff and students, the institution is achieving its strategic priorities — specifically in the areas of student success, groundbreaking research, and progress in growing its national reputation.

Through the individual stories of students, researchers and alumni, Gaber illustrated how UToledo is making an impact.

The determination and resilience of Lovely Forges and Justin Tapp, both graduating in May, led highlights of the personal experiences of students. Young alumni also were featured, including Quinton Babcock — now mayor of the Village of Oak Harbor, Ohio — and Margaret Gorz, an associate scientist for Estée Lauder in New York.

Students applauded when President Sharon L. Gaber announced that kayaks will be available on the Ottawa River this fall.

Gaber announced several key support programs and coming additions to campus, including a meal alert program, kayaks on the Ottawa River starting in the fall, and a new soccer field coming to Main Campus outside the Fetterman Training Center, to underscore how UToledo continues to reimagine its various services and facilities to be supportive and responsive to student success.

“We are on a mission to help students succeed, but we realize that the word ‘success’ can translate in different ways for a student body as rich and diverse as ours,” Gaber said.

“The University of Toledo not only recognizes, but embraces these different perspectives and is empowering all of our students to thrive.”

Rocket student-athletes were recognized for proving their excellence in the classroom as well as in competition. Seven sports programs led the Mid-American Conference in Academic Progress Rate, and Coach Tricia Cullop recently became the winningest women’s basketball head coach in the program’s history with 241 career victories.

More than 500 attended President Sharon L. Gaber’s third annual State of the University address in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The president also applauded the University’s rigorous approach to research, innovation and outreach, which has contributed to its growing national profile.

Gaber announced that cutting-edge physicist Dr. Yanfa Yan will collaborate with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop ultra-high efficiency solar cells, thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The University also will host a National Lab Day this October, which will connect its researchers and students with Department of Energy scientists, facilities and opportunities that are unique to some of the country’s most preeminent labs.

“It’s no coincidence that you are seeing more headlines about our exceptional faculty making great breakthroughs,” Gaber said. “Our experts are not only advancing discovery beyond what we thought possible — they are engaging our students in the process.”

The president also highlighted a number of recent achievements to celebrate. In addition to record highs in academic preparedness for first-year students and six-year graduation rates, graduate programs in nursing and law have risen dramatically in U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Gaber encouraged everyone present, and those in the wider Toledo community, to proudly tell UToledo’s story to share the positive energy that positions the institution for continued success.

“At The University of Toledo, we are a community inspired to help our students succeed through inclusive collaboration, scholarly research and hands-on experience,” she said.

“We are committed to improving the human condition in the region and throughout the world. We are changing lives through the work that we do. We are shaping the future. We are fueling tomorrows.”

Watch the full address on YouTube.

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