Under the direction of President Sharon Gaber and with the support of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, many great things were accomplished at the University of Toledo in 2016. Here is a recap of a few of the many newsworthy moments from this year:
- The Ohio Attorney General’s Office awards UT $214,000 to help victims of sexual violence on campus. The funding is used to create the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.
- UT alumni Prakash Karamchandani and Hochan Jang open Bubble Tea in the Gateway.
- For the 10th year in a row, UT Medical Center receives the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
- Some 2,000 attend the 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration in Savage Arena.
- UT student-athletes earn a combined grade point average of 3.216 in the 2015 fall semester, the highest department GPA for a semester in school history.
- The University’s surgical residency program ranks No. 14 in the nation when it comes to outcome-based measures, according to the Journal of Surgical Education.
- The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences celebrates the opening of the Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence. Shimadzu Scientific Instruments’ gift of $250,000 funds several new state-of-the-art instruments.
- Total enrollment for spring semester increases to 18,849, according to official 15-day census numbers. That’s up from 18,783 in spring semester 2015.
- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., visits campus Feb. 1 for the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series and shares the story of how he and Steve Jobs — and their business partner Ronald Wayne — revolutionized the computer industry. More than 3,000 attend the event in Savage Arena.
- White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli visits Scott Park Campus and holds a Toledo Community Forum on Responses to the Opioid Epidemic, discussing evidence-based programs to prevent and treat prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse.
- Open forums and focus groups take place to gather input for the University’s strategic diversity plan.
- The UT Board of Trustees approves the merger of the College of Health Sciences and the College of Social Justice and Human Service. The new College of Health and Human Services will be established July 1. Dr. Christopher Ingersoll will serve as dean.
- To stabilize the University’s budget, division and college leaders are asked to identify a 1.5 percent reduction to the operating budget for fiscal year 2016 and
3 percent to the entire budget for fiscal year 2017.
- Will Lucas, alumnus and co-founder and CEO of the technology company Classana, and founder of Creadio, is named by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to the UT Board of Trustees.
- UT is among eight Ohio universities to receive a total of $1.9 million from the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative.
- The UT Foundation achieves a 2.3 percent total investment return for the 2015 fiscal year, surpassing the 2 percent average for participants of similar asset size, in the National Association of College and University Business Officers-Commonfund Study of Endowments.
- Mark Beier, the longtime radio play-by-play voice of Toledo Rockets football and men’s basketball, retires.
- A total of 165 fourth-year medical students learn where they will train for their residencies at Match Day.
- Dr. Andrew Hsu, dean of the College of Engineering at San Jose State University, is named UT provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and will start his new job July 1.
- Donald Kamm, associate director and Title IX deputy coordinator at the University of Illinois at Chicago Office for Access and Equity, is tapped as director of Title IX and compliance and Title IX coordinator for UT.
- UT and Toledo Public Schools partner to create a new initiative called Teach Toledo to recruit and prepare the Glass City’s citizens to become Toledo’s teachers.
- Nearly 1,700 students, faculty and staff spend March 19 giving back to the community during the Big Event.
- Senior Sammy Richart becomes only the seventh Rocket in program history to qualify for the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Meet.
- The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is named one of the 2015 top 100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs by Becker’s Hospital Review.
- The women’s golf team breaks a school record by winning its fifth tournament crown of the season with an eight-stroke victory at the Kingsmill Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, Va.
- Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell starts his new job as associate vice president and dean of students April 4. Most recently, he served as associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at Jackson State University in Mississippi.
- Polar explorer Ann Bancroft speaks April 5 in Doermann Theater as part of the Jesup Scott Honors Distinguished Lecture Series.
- Students dance for 13 hours at RockeTHON and raise $147,530 for the Children’s Miracle Network.
- The Dr. Cyrus Chan Endowed Scholarship Fund is established by friends and colleagues of the 39-year-old resident who is battling stage IV colon cancer. Chan passes away April 21.
- More than 650 pack the Student Union Auditorium to hear rapper, record producer, actor and activist David Banner discuss “Diversity in Politics.” His keynote address is part of Diversity Week and Diversity Month.
- Dan Barbee, vice president for clinical services, is named UTMC interim CEO to replace Dave Morlock, who announces he is leaving the University.
- Trustees approve the merger of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and YouCollege with UT Online to form University College. Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, will be dean beginning July 1.
- UT and BP partner for the new Rocket Engineering Prep Program that will ensure full tuition and fee scholarships for four years for select Toledo Public School students to attend the College of Engineering in exchange for successfully completing three summers of enrichment and mentoring programs at the University during high school.
- The University is selected as one of America’s Outstanding Navy Reserve Employers for 2016. Out of more than 100 employers nominated for this recognition, 50 are chosen, and UT is the only higher education institution selected to receive the designation.
- A new FieldTurf surface called Revolution 360 is installed in the Glass Bowl.
- The College of Business and Innovation is listed in the top 100 best undergraduate business schools in the nation by Bloomberg, a global business and financial information and news leader. The college is No. 96.
- The women’s basketball team finishes 24th best in the country in home attendance, averaging 4,050 fans per contest for the second highest total in school history. The Rockets lead the MAC in attendance for an unprecedented 26th consecutive season.
- UT astronomers identify a new object in space approximately 100 light years from Earth, estimated to be roughly five to 10 times the mass of Jupiter and 10 million years old. The free-floating planetary mass object is a brown dwarf and called WISEA J114724.10-204021.3.
- Savage Arena’s production control room is renamed in honor of Don Reiber, associate professor of communication and director of the Department of Communication’s Media Services, who passed away Sept. 20 at age 68. More than 400 attend a memorial service April 24 to remember Reiber, who spent 36 years at the University teaching television production, live-truck production, and radio production and programming.
- Golfer Sathika Ruenreong is one of six individuals selected to participate in an NCAA regional hosted by the University of Alabama. She is the first Rocket to compete in an NCAA event in the program’s 21-year history.
- The UT Concert Chorale sings three songs with Barry Manilow April 27 as part of his Farewell Tour at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.
- Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt address 2,843 candidates for degrees at commencement ceremonies.
- Stephanie Sanders, an executive consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a firm that specializes in strengthening higher education enrollment practices, is named interim vice president of enrollment.
- Five peregrine falcon chicks hatch atop University Hall’s tower.
- Women’s Golf Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth, who in March signed a contract that will keep her at the Rockets’ helm through the 2018-19 season, is named MAC Coach of the Year.
- Dr. Willie McKether, associate professor of anthropology who has been serving in a temporary role as special assistant to the president for diversity, is named UT vice president for diversity and inclusion.
- Former Utah assistant Jonas Persson is named head women’s swimming and diving coach.
- Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Desjardins speaks in front of 254 candidates for degrees at the College of Medicine and Life Sciences commencement ceremony.
- UT student-athletes earn a combined grade point average of 3.249 in spring semester, the third highest department semester GPA in school history. The men’s golf team sets the all-time UT record for team GPA with a 3.759 mark.
- Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, is named dean of the College of Graduate Studies. She replaces Dr. Patsy Komuniecki, who will retire July 1.
- Graduate student Holly Embke is the first researcher to discover direct proof of grass carp, a type of invasive Asian carp, spawning in a Great Lakes tributary.
- The 10-year anniversary of the merger of The University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio is celebrated.
- Trustees approve the $737.8 million budget for fiscal year 2017.
- The board also approves the merger of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the College of Communication and the Arts.
- Dr. Jamie Barlowe will serve as dean of new College of Arts and Letters starting
- UT is selected to join the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The association operates world-class astronomical observatories and works to promote observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research.
- Lawrence R. Kelley, who has been interim chief financial officer, is appointed to the position.
- Veteran sports broadcaster Brent Balbinot is the new “Voice of the Rockets.” This fall, Balbinot will serve as play-by-play broadcaster for football and men’s basketball, and host the respective coaches’ radio shows.
- Dr. Rebecca Schneider, professor and chair of curriculum and instruction, receives two state grants to train local high school teachers to teach college courses to their students as part of an expansion of the state’s College Credit Plus program.
- Fiscal year 2016 ends with a total of 10,529 donors giving $18.5 million to the University. It is an increase in donors of nearly 17 percent and an increase of nearly 10 percent in dollars.
- As part of the Academic Affiliation, UT learners on the ProMedica Toledo and Toledo Children’s Hospital Campus begin occupying a new academic space. The renovated area provides classrooms, on-call sleep rooms, a lounge, lockers and shower facilities for students and residents.
- Stranahan Arboretum is No. 40 on the 50 Most Beautiful College Arboretums by Best College Reviews.
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich names Alfred A. Baker, a retired vice president from Owens Illinois Inc., to the UT Board of Trustees.
- Dr. Heidi Appel, senior associate director of the Honors College at the University of Missouri, is named dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College. She will start her new job Aug. 15.
- The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center and UT Physicians are selected to participate in a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services pilot program designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of oncology specialty care.
- W.R. Meyers Co. of Napoleon, Ohio, uses a helicopter crane to deliver steel beams that will be used to reinforce University Hall’s iconic tower.
- UTMC is recognized by the National Health Resources and Services Administration as a platinum-level partner for its efforts to promote organ, eye and tissue donation as part of the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign.
- Domino’s opens at the Gateway.
- More than 10,000 attend the 24th annual Art on the Mall, presented by the University of Toledo Alumni Association.
- Business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi holds a ceremony in honor of Sierah Joughin July 30 in the Student Union. Joughin, who was entering her third year as a student in the College of Business and Innovation, died last month at age 20. About 100 attend the event, which includes a candlelight vigil.
- The University and the city of Toledo announce the Toledo Talent Keeps Toledo Great internship program to allow all students the opportunity to earn experience working in city offices and provide local government with additional talent to serve the community.
- A total of 173 medical students receive their white coats and recite the pledge of ethics at a ceremony Aug. 4 in the Lois and Norman Nitschke Auditorium.
- Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for government relations, is appointed vice president of research. He led the University’s research operations for a decade before moving to government relations in 2011.
- Former Rocket quarterback Bruce Gradkowski opens Social Gastropub Aug. 15. The renovated eatery replaces Gradkowski’s.
- Closed since March, the new David Leigh Root Bridge on Stadium Drive opens. The span features UT’s signature lannon stone and six-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the road.
- Carlson Library’s $3 million renovation of the third and fourth floors is celebrated Aug. 18. Funded by state capital investment funds, the renovation includes the creation of more than 20 new group study rooms on the floors.
- Male student-athletes are the recipients of the 2015-16 MAC Faculty Athletics Representative Academic Achievement Award for the highest overall grade point average for all men’s sports.
- UT wins the 2015-16 MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award for the best GPA in the conference. UT’s 377 student-athletes post a school-record grade point average of 3.235.
- Enrollment for fall semester increases by 267 students, marking the first gain in six years. Total enrollment for fall semester is 20,648, according to official 15-day census numbers. UT had 20,381 students enrolled in fall semester 2015.
- The facilities master planning team holds open forums to receive feedback on scenarios.
- Trustees conduct their first performance review of President Sharon L. Gaber and voice their full support of her leadership.
- UT extends its contract with Aramark for six years and announces Steak ‘n Shake is scheduled to open in spring 2017 and replace Rocky’s Grill in the lower level of the Student Union.
- A memorial service is held for Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson, professor emeritus of chemistry and 55-year UT veteran, who died Sept. 10 at age 91. President Gaber announces the Student Union will be renamed in his honor. A trailblazer, Thompson was the first African-American full-time faculty member at the University, the first black to receive tenure, the first African-American vice president, and the first person to hold the post of vice president for student affairs.
- The University is ranked among the world’s top research schools in the 2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
- UT helps launch the White House mentoring program called My Brother’s Keeper in Toledo, which will prepare local students for college and career readiness.
- The University hosts the 13th annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.
- The UT strategic planning committee holds its inaugural meeting Sept. 27.
- Dr. Xin Wang, associate professor of psychiatry, receives $3.38 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the brain for early signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after an injury.
- Andrew Young makes history come alive at the Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Sept. 29 as he shares his 60 years of experiences in the civil rights movement, the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, and as mayor of Atlanta. More than 500 attend his talk in Savage Arena.
- UT alumna Janet Keller gives $1 million to support generations of future teachers. She and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller, are inspired to advance the Judith Herb College of Education’s strong reputation as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.
- The Ohio Senate presents a proclamation honoring the Athletic Department for earning the 2015-16 MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award.
- Trustees approve Oct. 10 the issue of $30 million in bonds to address maintenance needs on Main Campus and Health Science Campus. Parks Tower and other academic and administrative buildings will be renovated.
- The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness receives a U.S. Department of Justice $299,202 grant to prevent and address sexual assault victimization on college campuses. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine awards UT $286,782 to continue operations of the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.
- George and Leslie Chapman donate $1 million for the construction of the new basketball office complex in Savage Arena.
- The Toledo Rockets win the Battle of I-75 for the seventh consecutive season with a thrilling 42-35 Homecoming victory over the Bowling Green Falcons Oct. 15 in front of 30,147 fans in the Glass Bowl.
- Daymond John, an investor on ABC’s Emmy award-winning reality television series “Shark Tank” and founder and CEO of the clothing line FUBU, speaks Oct. 18 in front of a capacity crowd in the Lois and Norman Nitschke Auditorium. He shares his success story as part of the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.
- Strategic planning open forums are held to gather input from the campus community.
- UTMC is again verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
- The 16th annual Great Lakes Water Conference focuses on “Safe Drinking Water: A Tale of Three Cities” Nov. 4 in the Law Center.
- The Student Union is renamed Nov. 7 in honor of Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson, the longtime UT professor and administrator who devoted his career to student success.
- UT is recognized as a top school for supporting student veterans. Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM and Military Spouse, gives the University the 2017 Military Friendly® School designation. Military Times lists UT in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings, and Military Advanced Education & Transition names UT a top school in its 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities research study.
- Army Sgt. Richard Perry, UT professor emeritus, receives the French Legion of Honor at the annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair Nov. 11 in Savage Arena.
- New markers are unveiled Nov. 11 at the UT Veterans Memorial Plaza. The new Gold Star Memorial and Blue Star Memorial markers pay tribute to the Gold Star families whose loved ones paid the ultimate price defending the country and to those Blue Star families who have defended, are defending, or will defend the United States.
- The Ohio Department of Public Safety certifies the UT Police Department for meeting new state standards for the use of deadly force, agency recruitment and hiring.
- A draft of the campus master plan is presented to the public Dec. 7. The proposal focuses on repositioning the academic core, investing in research, consolidating athletics, and enhancing student life.
- Senior tight end Michael Roberts is named first-team All-America by the Football Writers Association of America and Phil Steel Publications.
- UT Medical Center is named one of America’s 32 best teaching hospitals at preventing central-line infections in intensive care units, according to Consumer Reports.
- The Board of Trustees approves the conversion from a 16-week semester to a 15-week semester.
- Toledo loses to Appalachian State, 31-28, in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Dec. 17 in Montgomery, Ala. Senior running back Kareem Hunt rushes for 120 yards and two touchdowns to become UT’s all-time leading rusher.