2019 State of the University Address

independentcollegian University of Toledo President Sharon Gaber addressed students, faculty and community members concerning the state of the university on Wednesday, highlighting student and faculty accomplishments and campus improvement efforts. It was a full house in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium, as students waited for the president to speak. President Gaber thanked students, faculty, physicians and staff for their innovation and dedication. “[These] are the pillars of our campus community. Thank you for your ongoing effort.” Further into the speech, Gaber announced various new changes UT was making and the progress toward of the university’s Strategic Plan was also discussed. Improvement in students’ success has been one of the most successful components of the plan. The highest average incoming first-year student GPA of 3.45 in university history was recorded for last year. Retention and graduation rates have also been steadily climbing. UT’s value to students was also exemplified, as Gaber announced, “I am proud to report that when you compare average annual salaries to total student loan debt held after graduation, we are the most competitive public university of our size in Ohio.” Many students that have made commendable accomplishments in the past year were highlighted, including graduating disability studies student Justin Tapp, who has spent this semester in Washington D.C. at RespectAbility as a policy fellow and Rose Mansel-Pleydell and Tara Yarzand, who created the University Hall clock tower mural in the Carlson Library together. She included recently graduated alumni such as December graduate Quinton Babcock, who serves as the mayor of the Village of Oak Harbor in Ohio. Gaber also discussed new changes UT is working on to improve the campus for students. For instance, the Rocket Fuel Recovery Program has given more than 700 pounds of leftover catered food to students since this February and will continue its efforts into next year. The Rocket Recovery Emergency Grant …

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