Your Alma Mater by President Sharon Gaber

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Your Alma Mater

Black History Month helps students find purpose

06262015-7905On Saturday, Feb. 4, The University of Toledo kicked off its annual celebration of Black History Month to an auditorium packed full of UT students, faculty and community members in the Thompson Student Union. The keynote speaker, Dr. Angela Davis – scholar, author and Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz – reminded participants to advocate for others through community involvement.

The primary goal of higher education, and certainly here at UT, is student success. We achieve that through outstanding faculty; nationally recognized research; the on-campus experience in our residence halls and Greek life; myriad student clubs; internships and co-ops; mentorships by leaders, including UT alumni; community service; and lectures by well-known national figures who offer varying perspectives.

More so than when most of us were undergraduates, today’s increasing out-of-classroom activities provide students with hands-on experience that complements coursework and often not only expands their world view, but also motivates them to find their true passion. Do you remember when you found yours?

That sudden “spark” that ignites the fire in your belly is well worth any amount of time spent attending a Saturday luncheon to listen to a lecture; working late at the office; weekend volunteering; or heeding wisdom from a coach, teacher or spiritual leader. It’s your passion that drives a successful career … and helps to ensure lifelong, personal happiness.

Encouraging students to discover their purpose is a profound privilege! That’s why during February, UT annually hosts an array of Black History Month activities to provide students additional ways to raise their awareness of others and of issues they can help to address.

Sincere thanks to UT alumni whose continued support – through attendance at UT events, Foundation donations, co-op offerings, scholarships and other gifts of time, talent and personal resources – further prepare our students to find their purpose and make a real difference. Go Rockets!

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Your Alma Mater by President Sharon Gaber

January 30th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Your Alma Mater

A monthly update from Dr. Sharon Gaber, President of the University of Toledo

Service part of UT’s commitment to community

06262015-7905As one of Ohio’s 14 public universities, UT continually strives to be a robust community resource for Toledo and northwest Ohio. In partial fulfillment of that commitment, I’m very proud that our students continue to be engaged in ongoing community service activities, which many of our alumni either participated in – or helped to launch – in previous years.

For instance, each spring our UT students volunteer thousands of hours during The Big Event – a daylong marathon of raking neighborhood yards, picking up trash in local parks, painting homes, cleaning gutters and performing other labor-intensive activities. In 2016, more than 1,500 students participated in The Big Event as a way to thank the community for supporting them throughout the year.

Our students also have raised more than $700,000 in recent years by participating in RockeTHON, a 13-hour dance marathon. Proceeds benefit pediatric patients and their families through the Children’s Miracle Network. Additionally, our student-athletes tutor local elementary school students in reading, while other UT students volunteer at various soup kitchens and food pantries to help address the issue of hunger in our community.

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And, as part of this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute, UT students have expanded their commitment to include a special week of service, which occurred Jan. 16 – 20. Specifically, they provided companionship to members of the J. Frank Troy Senior Center, stocked shelves and assisted visitors at the Friendly Center (a faith-based nonprofit serving families in North Toledo), worked with kids in the Padua Center’s Alternative-to-Suspension Program, and volunteered at other local not-for-profit agencies.

I could not be more proud of these UT students! Dr. King lost his life nearly 49 years ago and it’s imperative that we keep his civil rights message alive among this younger generation. That means promoting that they get involved, take action, and stand up for what is right and just. In King’s own words, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”

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