Alumna donates $1 million to UT to support teacher education | UToledo News

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Alumna donates $1 million to UT to support teacher education

A $1 million donation from a two-time graduate of The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education will support generations of future teachers.

Janet Keller, who received a bachelor of education degree in 1960 and a master of education degree in 1964, said she made the gift “because I love the University.”

UT alumna Janet Keller and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller

UT alumna Janet Keller and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller

The former high school Spanish teacher said she and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller, were inspired to advance the college’s strong reputation as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“We wanted to do something to help others,” Keller said. “I had a wonderful career as a teacher, and I want to help others have that opportunity. We want to see more students become good teachers.”

This $1 million gift builds upon previous generosity from the Kellers, who in 1985 set up the A. Martin and Ruth Zucker Fund in memory of her parents to support student scholarships and other priorities of the Judith Herb College of Education.

“The thank-you notes from the students are a delight to both of us — even my husband who is not a graduate of The University of Toledo,” Keller said. “The notes have been overwhelming. It says a lot about the UT students and the culture.”

“The generosity of the Keller family will not only benefit our students here in the Judith Herb College of Education, but also the future students they touch as educators for an impact that will last generations,” said Dr. Virginia Keil, interim dean of the college. “I cannot think of a more exciting way to celebrate 100 years of our college than for a graduate to make this type of gift to support our strong future.”

Keller said she was inspired by others who have made donations to the University and hopes that their gift will motivate more people to invest in the future of UT’s students.

“I certainly want those who need that extra support through a scholarship to have the opportunity to continue their education,” she said. “It’s such an important investment.”

As part of the college’s 100-year anniversary, a student scholarship drive launched this month to engage alumni in supporting future educators.

“The Kellers’ generosity is a fantastic example of the loyalty and generosity of UT alumni, and the important role that graduates play in supporting current and future students,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We are grateful for this gift and the Kellers’ willingness to tell their story to inspire others to follow their lead and contribute to the University’s future.”

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