UToledo News » Advancement








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 utoledostrong.buyproforma.com.

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.

Face Mask Sale Extended; More Than $7,000 Raised for UToledo Students

Team Sports, a sportswear company located in Holland, Ohio, and a longtime supporter of Rocket athletics, has raised more than $7,000 for UToledo students through the sale of face masks that feature the Toledo Rocket logo.

Team Sports also has been selling T-shirts with “Toledo Rocket Strong” emblazoned on the front as part of its fundraising initiative.

Matt Eberly of Team Sports models the Toledo Rocket face mask.

Matt Eberly, senior account representative of Team Sports, said more than 1,000 online orders were placed in 10 days, raising more than $7,000 for UToledo’s COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund.

Initial orders were so successful that Team Sports is now taking additional orders through Sunday, May 3, at 11:59 p.m. Face masks and shirts can be ordered online at UTRockets.com/Facemask.

“We want to thank The University of Toledo for partnering with us to help support the Rocket/COVID-19 Emergency Fund,” Eberly said. “We also want to thank everyone in Rocket Nation who purchased a face mask or a ‘Toledo Strong’ shirt. Their response has been absolutely amazing as we have raised well over $7,000 so far. We hope to break the $8,000 barrier to help support this great cause.”

“We are more than grateful for the generosity of Team Sports and their willingness to support UToledo students,” said Billy Pierce, UToledo associate vice president of alumni engagement. “Because of them, and everyone that purchased items in support of this effort, we can assist more students that need help during this pandemic.”

Eberly said orders that have been placed should be received by mail soon.

Healthcare Entrepreneur, UToledo Benefactor Passes

Frederic D. “Fritz” Wolfe, who built an empire in the long-term healthcare field and shared his wealth in the community, died April 5 at Kingston Rehabilitation of Perrysburg. He was 90.

He joined the family business, the Lima Lumber Co., after attending Yale University and the Harvard Business School. His education was punctuated by a two-year stint as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.


In 1963, Lima Lumber built its first nursing home. Four years later, Wolfe, at the helm of the family business, ventured into the skilled nursing industry and started two companies — one to manage nursing homes and one to invest in the construction and acquisition of nursing homes.

Wolfe co-founded the Health Care Fund in 1970. It was the first real estate investment trust in the nation to focus solely on nursing homes and clinics. By 1980, the company counted more than $25 million in assets. That company became Welltower, which was valued at more than $25 billion by the late 2010s.

In addition, Wolfe founded Health Care and Retirement Corp. of America in 1981. The nursing home operator was sold for $99 million in 1984.

The generous business mogul shared his wealth with several institutions, including The University of Toledo. In 1997, Wolfe Hall opened on Main Campus. The Wolfe family gave $1.5 million for the state-of-the-art research laboratories for the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, and, at the time, the College of Pharmacy.

After UToledo merged with the Medical University of Ohio, the Wolfes donated $2.5 million to support diabetes research through the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, a collaboration between the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. To honor that gift, the new home for the College of Pharmacy on Health Science Campus was named the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center. It opened in 2011.

Wolfe was a trustee emeritus of The University of Toledo Foundation Board, on which he served from 1992 to 2003.

The philanthropist was honored by the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2009 when he received an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Donate to Assist UTMC Caregivers

Brave and selfless healthcare workers report to work every day to help those in need. Their sacrifices have never been more important than during this pandemic.

“Healthcare providers treating patients with COVID-19 are juggling the new normal, which includes finding daycare and elder care, as well as homeschooling children,” Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, president of The University of Toledo, said. “We are working to show support for our everyday heroes at The University of Toledo Medical Center.”

A campaign for the Bryan Family UTMC Emergency Assistance Fund has launched.

UToledo benefactor David Bryan is broadening the scope of the fund established by his father, Ashel G. Bryan, former chair of the Medical College of Ohio Board of Trustees and well-known businessman and philanthropist, so more UTMC personnel can receive assistance during this unprecedented time.

“We are expanding the fund to help not only nurses, but also medical technicians, therapists, nurse aides and janitorial staff members who clean and sanitize rooms daily,” Bryan said. “This fund needs to grow to meet the tremendous sacrifices these individuals make every day.”

As of April 14, $2,180 has been raised; the goal is to have 50 donors contribute to this campaign.

“I’m humbled by the outreach of members of our community who want to assist our caregivers, employees and all our team members who are working on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Michael Ellis, UTMC chief medical officer. “Thank you for your support and compassion. Together we will get through this.”

Make a donation and learn more about the drive on the Bryan Family UTMC Emergency Assistance Fund campaign website.

“Gifts will provide critical financial support to UTMC healthcare employees who are supporting us during this difficult time,” Bryan said. “This fund will be used for an employee assistance program that will provide grants to help with unexpected expenses associated with the COVID-19 environment.”

UTMC employees can complete the application to apply for the grant.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee, which will decide how to distribute the funds.

“It’s our time to help our dedicated team of UTMC caregivers and employees who make sacrifices every day to care for our community members,” Bryan said.

For more information, contact Jennifer Schaefer, senior director of development in The University of Toledo Foundation, at jennifer.giesige2@utoledo.edu.

Local Business to Sell Masks Featuring Rocket Logo

Rocket fans can show their school pride while helping fight the spread of the coronavirus and aid others in the process.

Team Sports, a sportswear company located in Holland, Ohio, and a longtime supporter of Rocket athletics, is branding and marketing face masks that feature a Toledo Rocket logo.

In addition, Team Sports is selling a “Toledo Rocket Strong” T-shirt.

The company is selling the products online and giving all proceeds to UToledo’s COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund and the American Red Cross.

“Like everybody else, we wanted to do something to help,” said Matt Eberly, senior account representative of Team Sports. “This was a perfect way to provide masks to people who want them, as well as let people show their Rocket pride.”

Eberly said he originally contacted William “Billy” Pierce, UToledo associate vice president of alumni engagement, for ideas to help with marketing a face mask to alumni. Pierce suggested a Rocket-branded mask with a portion of the proceeds going to the Rocket to Rocket/COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund and the UToledo Student Food Pantry Fund.

“Since so many people are wearing face masks now, I knew that UToledo alumni would love to have a Rocket logo on theirs,” Pierce said. “It’s a win-win. It provides support to our students who need it, and it helps get our brand out there. It’s also a chance to show support to a local business that has been a loyal supporter of our athletics program for a long time.”

Face masks and T-shirts can be ordered on the Team Sports website. The deadline for all orders is Sunday, April 19, at 11:59 p.m.

UToledo Launches COVID-19 Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Students

As the world grapples with the growing coronavirus pandemic, The University of Toledo has created a fund to assist students during this unprecedented time.

Rocket nation is asked to consider donating to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign.

The University of Toledo Foundation is partnering with the UToledo Division of Student Affairs with a goal to raise $30,000 by the end of the fiscal year. The campaign collected $10,000 in a matter of hours after launching, and, as of March 23, more than $20,000 has been raised.

“The outpouring of support since this fund launched has been amazing,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We want to thank alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University who are coming together to assist our students. We are Rockets helping Rockets.”

“So many UToledo students are being impacted by this new reality we are living,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “Within a week, 1,159 of our students can no longer work on campus, and 125 students are not able to return home to their native countries.”

“Gifts through this campaign will alleviate some financial stress and worries for UToledo students who are struggling to maintain basic needs,” said Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for student success and inclusion.

This online giving campaign will provide emergency relief for students in need. Donations will help students facing financial hardships pay for housing, utilities, car repairs, medical bills, food and toiletries.

“Together, we can make a difference for our UToledo students,” Cockrell said. “Gifts of any amount will be appreciated.”

Make a donation and learn more about the drive on the COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign website.

UToledo students can apply for up to $500. For details, go to the Division of Student Affairs website.

“We encourage students in need to apply for help,” Soliz said. “We will review applications and work with the Office of Financial Aid to distribute funds.”

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Success at omss@utoledo.edu.

Eberly Center Honors Legacy of Past While Looking to Future

Catharine S. Eberly, a member of The University of Toledo’s Board of Trustees in the 1970s, served as an advocate for women. In 1978, she helped to establish a campus women’s center and sat on its advisory board.

The following year, Eberly died in a tragic car accident. In 1980, the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women was named to honor her legacy.


“I never met my grandmother, but from the stories I hear she was a remarkable woman — kind, thoughtful and generous,” said her granddaughter, Sloan Eberly Mann. “At her funeral, John Straub, president of The University of Toledo Board, stated, ‘I believe Kate’s most lasting contribution … is her pressure on us for sensitivity to the goals and aspirations of women. She did this by example, by her calm logic, and, when necessary, with forceful, but always polite, persuasion.’”

Focusing on advocacy, education, empowerment and student financial assistance, the Eberly Center has evolved through the past 40 years to reflect the changing needs of women on campus and in the community. Current programs include:

Kate’s Closet — professional women’s clothing at no cost;

Courageous Conversation — community dialogue series on intersectional gender equity;

Monthly Teach-Ins — exploring personal, professional and political issues that impact women;

Suffrage Summit — Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 16 and 17, in partnership with the League of Women Voters; and

Scholarships — for women in STEM careers, seeking a second degree, impacted by domestic violence, and those who are single parents.

Eberly Mann’s father, Michael, who died in August 2018, also served on the center’s advisory board. Now she fills that position. “My grandmother and my father believed education is the key to equality,” she said, “and I will continue to honor both of their legacies as best I can.”

Last fall, the Eberly Center welcomed a new director.

“Dr. Angela Fitzpatrick is shaping a strong vision for the center’s future, which honors the legacy of the past, but also recognizes the importance of meeting needs of women today,” Eberly Mann said.

“It is a remarkable time to be a woman,” Fitzpatrick said. “Over the last few years, we have seen a powerful resurgence among women mobilizing to end social and political inequities.”

She said the center is “tapping into this power by creating spaces where women feel empowered and valued, and can develop tools for personal and professional growth.”

Despite the gains women made in the past century, significant inequities still exist in political office, student loan debt and wage gap.

“I believe it is our responsibility to advocate for gender equitable practices and policies,” she said, “and assist women in reaching their full potential.”

As a first-generation college student who was a young mother, Fitzpatrick noted, “Sometimes we need someone to remind us of our strength and to help us find the way forward. I feel passionate about using my position here to open doors for women and remove barriers that
might prevent them from walking through those doors.”

The Eberly Center is developing its strategic plan, exploring the needs of women on campus and in the community, and making data-driven decisions about programs and services to best address those needs.

“I am a firm believer in collaboration and building power together,” Fitzpatrick said. “Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you want to partner.”

For more information about the Eberly Center, or to make a financial contribution, contact Fitzpatrick at angela.fitzpatrick@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8574.

Pianist to Play Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Feb. 19

The University of Toledo Department of Music will welcome jazz pianist Ellen Rowe as the guest artist for the 2020 Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Wednesday, Feb. 19.

She will take the stage at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.


Her program will feature selections by Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Irene Himmelhoch, Bronislaw Kaper and Ned Washington, and Nacio Herb Brown and Gus Kahn, as well as three original compositions.

Rowe is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment at Michigan, Rowe served as director of jazz studies at the University of Connecticut.

She has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the United States and has toured in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and Australia. Also active as a clinician, Rowe has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory in Australia; Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne, Germany; Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway; and the Royal Academy of Music in London. In addition, she has appeared as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country.

CDs out under her name include “Sylvan Way,” “Wishing Well,” “Denali Pass” and “Courage Music.” Her 2019 project, “Momentum — Portraits of Women in Motion,” features Ingrid Jensen, Tia Fuller, Marion Hayden and Allison Miller.

Rowe’s compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz ensembles and orchestras around the world; these include the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, London Symphony, DIVA and the Perth Jazz Orchestra. Many of these works can be heard on recordings, including “Leave It to DIVA,” “The Perth Jazz Orchestra,” “Bingo” by The Bird of Paradise Orchestra, and “I Believe In You” by DIVA. She recently was a composer-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

When not leading her own trio, quartet or quintet, Rowe is in demand as a sideman, having performed with a wide variety of jazz artists, including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton and Steve Turre. She also was a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the UToledo Art Tatum Memorial Scholarship program.

Tickets — $15 for general admission, and $5 for students, children and seniors — will be available at the door, but purchasing them in advance is recommended. Go to the School of Visual and Performing Arts’ website or call the Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 419.530.ARTS (2787).