2015 Annual Report

Letter from
the UTF President
& Board Chair

Dear Friends of The University of Toledo,

It’s been 25 years since the UT Corporation and UT Alumni Foundation merged to form the UT Foundation, the official philanthropic partner of The University of Toledo. While the UT Foundation has continued to grow and evolve, what has remained the same is the organization’s steadfast tradition of supporting UT’s mission and objectives.

In fiscal year 2015, the UT Foundation surpassed its investment benchmark of .6 percent, with a 2.3 percent return. Because the Foundation invests in perpetuity, however, our long-term returns remain the primary focus. The Foundation’s five-year annualized return is 11.3 percent, exceeding its benchmark of 9.1 percent, and the average since January of 1994 is a healthy 8.5 percent, compared to a benchmark of 7.0 percent.

Together, through your generous contributions and the Foundation’s stewardship, we provided $16.4 million for scholarships, programs, capital projects, healthcare, and research.

Meanwhile, the UT Foundation took several steps in the last year to improve efficiency and customer service, including:

  • the establishment of the UT Guild, to honor donors with 20 or more years of giving
  • a tiered, sliding administrative fee resulting in more than $40,000 in increased spending for the donor-designated purposes of its largest endowments
  • consolidated year-end receipts for donors giving through multiple vehicles, such as trusts

Our collaboration with UT and with you, our stakeholders, not only benefits students and the Toledo community but also extends globally. Together, we advance higher education, which plays a critical role in economic development, community service, and medical initiatives. We continue to support important initiatives, shaping a vision for a brighter future and making a transformative difference in lives everywhere.

We are grateful for your foresight, your investment, and your partnership in making that difference.


Brendas Signature

Brenda S. Lee

Garys Signature

Gary Leidich

Brenda S. Lee, President
The University of Toledo Foundation

Gary Leidich, 2014-15 Chair
The University of Toledo Foundation
Board of Trustees

Letter from
the UT President

Dear Friends, Donors and Alumni,

I am proud to be a part of this community and am grateful for the warm welcome I have received since joining The University of Toledo on July 1, 2015 as its 17th president.

This is a strong university with an incredible potential for greatness, and with your support we continue to elevate UT on the national stage.

We have great stories to tell, such as the country’s first bachelor’s degree in disability studies that has earned national publicity and the recently established Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute that will enhance our ongoing efforts to address this international travesty.

Additionally, for the third time in four years our student athletes have earned the highest GPA in the Mid-American Conference. Compelling student research is regularly published in leading journals, and our students receive nationally competitive awards, such as an education student who recently received a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Germany.

One of my main goals as president is to share and build upon these successes to enhance the reputation of The University of Toledo. We will do this by investing in the academic and research core of the institution. My other goals for UT are to:

  • Increase the numbers and the academic preparedness of students enrolling at UT, put programs in place to support and retain them as they take robust curricula and make sure they graduate on time.
  • Recommit to increasing externally funded research, advancing scholarship and demonstrating for the world the new knowledge that we discover.
  • Increase our fundraising efforts to support more student scholarships, establish endowed chairs and professorships, develop academic programs and initiatives, and fund new and renovated facilities.
  • Reduce administrative costs over time to ensure a UT education remains financially accessible for students.
  • In the coming months, we will begin a formal strategic planning process to develop the necessary steps to achieve these objectives and move UT forward. Your support is essential to accomplishing these goals, and I look forward to working with you to help this University reach new heights.

Thank you for your support.


Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D., President
The University of Toledo

Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D., President
The University of Toledo

Support & Achievements

Professor Ron Raitt Remembered through New UT Law Scholarship

Motivation, focus, and hard work prove to be the main ingredients in achieving any goal. But a wise and influential teacher often makes a transformative difference in steering a student down the path to a successful career.

For Matt Mitten (Law ‘84), professor of law at Marquette University and director of the National Sports Law Institute, that teacher was UT Professor Ronald Raitt.

“From the time I entered UT Law as a naïve first-year student until his recent death, Professor Raitt was a steady source of advice, guidance, and mentoring. His focus was on doing everything he could for his students,” Mr. Mitten said. “He had a commanding classroom presence with a wonderful sense of humor. Civil procedure was probably the driest and most boring course during the first year of law school, but he was able to take uninteresting material and make it fun to learn.”

Consequently, Mr. Mitten took every course his law school mentor taught.

He did well in law school, and after his first year, Mr. Mitten unsuccessfully applied for a summer job with several large firms in big cities throughout the country. “I didn’t realize at the time that clerkships after only one year of law school were extremely uncommon,” he said. Disappointed that he didn’t obtain one, he considered changing schools. “I thought I might need a degree from a more prestigious law school to achieve my objectives of becoming a big firm antitrust lawyer and then a law professor.”

He discussed this with Mr. Raitt, who listened to his concerns and agreed to write a letter of recommendation in support of his applications to other law schools.

“After reflecting on my conversation with him, I thought it would be crazy to transfer somewhere else,” said Mr. Mitten. “UT Law’s outstanding faculty were excellent teachers and cared enough about you to help you down the career path you wanted to go, even if it meant losing you as a student.”

He talked it over with his parents. “They said, ‘Are you happy with the education you are receiving at UT?’ I said, ‘Yes, very much so.’ So I stayed, and it was definitely the right decision.”

Mr. Mitten went on to graduate at the top of his class, and received several job offers from firms across the country. “I was fortunate to have several great opportunities, but was confused regarding which one to accept. Professor Raitt had a broader perspective and more real world experience,” he said. “He helped me assess my options. And he was very helpful again, five years later, when I started teaching.”

The two men stayed in touch through the years, getting together often to talk or to play golf.

Mr. Raitt passed away in April. He served the University as a professor of law for 36 years, from 1966 until 2002. He served on nearly every standing committee of the College, was a five-time recipient of the law school’s Outstanding Professor award, and was also honored through the former Ron Raitt Open golf tournament.

“I established this scholarship as a tribute to Professor Raitt, who was not only a wonderful law professor and mentor, but who also became a close friend,” Mr. Mitten said. “I can never repay him for everything he did for me, so the scholarship is a means of paying forward and memorializing his legacy. I know he had a significant impact on lots of other students, too, so I hope others will contribute to the scholarship so it can benefit current and future UT law students.”

To make a gift to the Ron Raitt Memorial Scholarship, contact Barbara Tartaglia-Poure at barbara.tartaglia@utoledo.edu or 419-530-2713.

Matt Mitten

Ron Raitt

Support & Achievements

New Medical Research Society Awards Ovarian Cancer Grant

Many donors who give to The University of Toledo Foundation not only hope to change lives, but also hope to save them.

Supporting medical faculty research and new treatment is the goal of UT’s new Medical Research Society, which consists of community and medical leaders throughout the region. The Society was founded in 2014 by Marianne Ballas, owner of Ballas Buick GMC and a member of the UT College of Medicine Advisory Council.

Within its first year, the Society’s 20 members have already contributed $500,000, with a matching $1 million donation from The University of Toledo Physicians, LLP. The goal is to create a permanent endowed source of seed money for biomedical research projects developed in UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Three UT faculty members submitted biomedical research proposals competing for the first $50,000 grant. In June, Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann, assistant professor in the College of Medicine, was awarded the first research grant for her proposal, titled “Understanding and Treating Ovarian Cancer.”

“This was an extremely difficult decision for the membership,” noted Mrs. Ballas. “Each of the faculty members made outstanding presentations.” She said the consensus was that Dr. Eisenmann’s work showed great potential for securing additional funding and for making a significant difference in the fight against ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2015 statistics, ovarian cancer will strike 21,300 women and result in 14,180 deaths this year. Although ovarian cancer has only a 45-percent five-year survivability rate when treated using current therapies, Dr. Eisenmann’s work focuses on developing a novel approach to increasing the effectiveness of new drug therapies in the battle against the disease.

“I am thrilled to be the first recipient of the Medical Research Society’s Award,” Dr. Eisenmann said. She added she looks forward to working actively with the members of the Society to update her progress and to provide a fuller understanding of the research approach the grant will help her pursue.

“Biomedical research is critically important,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “It is in the process of discovery that we create a better world.”

As a contributing donor through the Medical Research Society, Dr. Cooper said he was grateful for the commitment of the other members, “who bring a passion for excellence to The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences.”

For more information on being a part of the Medical Research Society, contact Howard Newman, associate vice president for development for UT’s Health Science Campus, at howard.newman@utoledo.edu or 419-383-6840.

Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann

Support & Achievements

Scholarship Support Allows
Luke Zastrow to Make His Mark on UT Community

Many UT Foundation scholarships assist students with financial need. Several benefit those with high academic achievement, and still others are designed for those with leadership skills and outstanding community or campus service.

And, occasionally, one student fits every bill.

Luke Zastrow, a senior majoring in exercise science in the College of Health Sciences, is one of three 2015-2016 recipients of the Frank E. Horton Presidents Club Scholarship, funded through gifts to UT’s highest annual giving society. In addition, he is a past recipient of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Scholarship, the Rocket Scholarship, and the Dick and Kay Bensman Scholarship.

Scholarship credentials? He has them all.

Academic achievement: With a 4.0 cumulative GPA, Mr. Zastrow has been named to the UT dean’s list and the president’s list, and is a nationally certified peer educator.

Community and campus involvement: To name just a few affiliations, he has served as an academic advisor for UT athletes, a rehabilitation aide, and a clinician for the Perceptual Motor Development Program. He is a member of the National College Honor Society’s Mortar Board, the Student Wellness Awareness Team, and Lift-Off UT. He also took part in a mission trip to Honduras and has participated in more than two dozen community service projects.

Leadership skills: Mr. Zastrow serves as president of The Bridge, a campus organization providing lunches to Toledo’s needy; serves in a half-dozen leadership positions for Sigma Phi Epsilon; and was recently chosen as a Presidential Ambassador, one of a select group of students serving as public representatives of UT’s student body.

Financial need: He hopes to pay for most of his college education without assistance from his parents. While attempting to focus primarily on his schoolwork and campus/community involvement, he has also held down two part-time jobs to offset his expenses.

Mr. Zastrow, a graduate of Sylvania Southview High School, will receive his bachelor’s degree next year and was recently accepted through the early admission program for UT’s Physical Therapy Doctoral Program. “I intend to specialize in orthopedics and become a manual therapist, working in a hospital outpatient setting,” he said. “I also hope to participate in medical mission trips to offer physical therapy services to those in need.”

Making an impact on the lives of others is not a surprising career aspiration for someone who has strived to impact lives during his college years, too. The scholarships he has received at UT have made the ultimate difference in his ability to be a highly active and involved college student.

“Scholarships have had a very positive effect on my college experience,” he said. “Without this financial assistance, I would most likely have to work much more often than I do. I know these scholarships help give me the necessary time I need to continue making a positive impact on this campus through my leadership and involvement.”

Mr. Zastrow is extremely excited for what his senior year has in store. “UT has given me the opportunity to get involved with so many amazing organizations, and I hope to make an even bigger impact this year.”

Luke Zastrow

Support & Achievements

Comings & Goings

History was made at The University of Toledo in March as the UT Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Sharon L. Gaber UT’s 17th president. In addition to her service since 2009 as the provost at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Gaber also served as an officer on the board of directors for the 366-bed Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Ark. She holds a Ph.D. of city and regional planning from Cornell University, a master of planning from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees in economics and urban studies from Occidental College.

Leadership of UT’s Institutional Advancement area also changed guards with the July 15 retirement of Vern Snyder, vice president for Institutional Advancement since 2002. Mr. Snyder, one of only 106 in the nation to have earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive certificate, led the University’s The Time Is Now capital campaign, which surpassed its goal and raised $106 million. During his tenure, more than $200 million was raised in support of UT.

Mr. Snyder’s replacement, Samuel I. McCrimmon, J.D., recently joined UT from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The former executive director of clinical development at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh was named vice president of advancement. Mr. McCrimmon will oversee the merger of UT’s Institutional Advancement Division and its External Affairs Division into a single Division of Advancement including Alumni Relations, Development, University Communications, University Marketing, and Special Events. He holds a juris doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a master of theological studies degree from Duke University, and a bachelor of arts degree from Wabash College.

Dr. Sharon L. Gaber

Vern Snyder (middle)

Samuel I. McCrimmon, J.D.

Financial Statements

The Year in Review

July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Total UTF Assets $288.6M
Endowment $419.2M
Investments Under Management $456.6M
Total Contributions $13.9M
Total Support Provided to the University $16.4M

Mission, Vision, & Values Statements

Mission Statement

The mission of The University of Toledo Foundation is to secure the future for The University of Toledo, through prudent asset management and philanthropy. We build strong linkages between alumni and the University, fostering a spirit of loyalty and opportunity for engagement.

Vision Statement

The University of Toledo Foundation embraces the mission of The University of Toledo by aspiring to be a forward-thinking, philanthropic organization, providing impactful financial support and engagement opportunities for transformation throughout the University community.

Values Statement

The University of Toledo Foundation will be guided by its commitment to:

  • Integrity, respect, and transparency
  • Earn the respect, trust, and confidence of donors and the general public
  • A long-term perspective and focus on growing a sustainable organization
  • Its mission and that of The University of Toledo to improve the human condition
  • A demonstrated desire to achieve excellence through innovation