The Wolfe Center for the Arts
Donor Support of The Wolfe Center for the Arts
Alumni and friends of BGSU and the arts have provided significant gifts to support The Wolfe Center for the Arts. Read about the spaces within the building that have been made possible by gifts from individuals, families, companies and organizations.
Well-known northwest Ohio patrons of the arts Mary and Frederic Wolfe provided the lead gift for the new arts center.The Wolfes have a history of supporting the arts and education in northwest Ohio. Longtime supporters of arts organizations such as the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Symphony, they also have supported arts-related projects at private and public institutions of learning. Mary Wolfe has been involved with the BGSU art program for more than 30 years. She earned her master’s degree in fine arts from BGSU in 1968 and was an art history instructor for many years. She was director of the University’s McFall Center Gallery and a founding member of the Medici Circle, the patrons’ society in support of the School of Art. She also served as a member of the BGSU Foundation Board from 1992-95. Fritz Wolfe is known in business circles for his involvement in the health care industry as the current president of Kingston Residence of Sylvania, and former chair of Health Care and Retirement Corp.
Thomas and Kathleen Donnell are long-time friends and supporters of Bowling Green State University. After he received an MBA from BGSU in the early 1970s, the couple has maintained ties to the University for 40 years through their interests in education, the arts, athletics and international experiences. Mr. Donnell, a past director of the BGSU Foundation Board, is chairman emeritus of Fifth Third Bank, Northwestern Ohio. In addition to his professional work, he has been a member and past chair of the finance and investment committee of the Community Foundation of Findlay-Hancock County. He also serves as a corporate advisor to the Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County and is secretary/treasurer of the Donnell Foundation. The Donnells continued their support of the arts at BGSU with a leadership gift to The Wolfe Center for the Arts. The 400-seat main theater is named in their honor.
Eva Marie Saint, a 1946 graduate of BGSU, is an icon in the theatrical world. She has appeared in more than 40 films, most notably On the Waterfront for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1954. She has maintained a busy film and television career for more than 60 years, including long-time favorites North by Northwest, Exodus and Nothing in Common, to recent roles in Superman Returns, Because of Winn-Dixie, My Antonia and Loving. Her television credits include a number of made-for-TV movies, a recurring role as Cybil Shepherd’s mother in the hit television series “Moonlighting,” and Emmy nominations in 1977 and 1978, respectively, for the miniseries “How the West Was Won” and the show “Taxi.” The main auditorium in BGSU’s University Hall was renamed the Eva Marie Saint Theatre. Now, her legacy lives on at BGSU, with her name gracing the 120-seat, flexible, black box theatre.
The Eternal is an Ohio public art commission by Norwegian-American artist Anne Katrine Senstad. At 28 by 86 feet, the massive piece dominates the main lobby. The Eternal is actually a photograph of the horizon blown up over 1,000 times and divided into 39 pieces. When you look at the panels closely, you can see the pixelization. Ms. Senstad says she was inspired by Ohio’s flat landscape that leaves larges skies and a broad horizon.
Dr. Marjorie E. Conrad moved to Bowling Green in 1966 and practiced medicine until she retired in 1991. In addition to her commitment to medicine, Dr. Conrad is a lover of the arts and a supporter of education. She has established two scholarships at BGSU— one for pre-med students and the other for those pursing careers in allied health. She is best known for her establishment of the Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition. The endowment supports an annual competition for piano and voice students and supports music performance and music outreach programs. Her love of choral music prompted her to make a gift to support The Wolfe Center for the Arts. The choral room is named in her honor.
A pioneer in the women’s physical education program at BGSU, Professor Heskett made a career by combining her two loves—dancing and teaching. She taught dance at BGSU for years and will long be remembered for her talent and dedication to her students. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1920, Ms. Heskett served as the advisor for Orchesis, BGSU’s modern dance club, and directed the BGSU Performing Dancers. She also choreographed many University productions. In addition to dance, Ms. Heskett was dedicated to increasing the understanding and knowledge of different cultures. She continually promoted study abroad programs for BGSU and established the Bloch Heskett Ethnic Arts Endowment. Ms. Heskett made a commitment to The Wolfe Center for the Arts before her death. This classroom is named in her honor.
Falcon Flames Gerald and Nancy Rader have long served their alma mater. Gerald Rader earned a degree in accounting in 1954 while Nancy earned a degree in elementary education in 1955. Mr. Rader served on the Board of Directors of the BGSU Foundation, on the steering committee for the Sebo Center and on the Intercollegiate Athletics Steering Committee. In addition, he served on the Falcon Club Advisory Board. The Raders have provided significant support for various areas of BGSU. In addition to athletics, they have an endowment to support the vision and values initiative. When making their commitment to The Wolfe Center for the Arts, they asked that their support be directed to the scene shop. It is named in their honor.
Buckeye CableSystem is a premier local telecommunications company in northwest Ohio. Part of Block Communications, the company’s products and services include cable/video, high-speed Internet and residential phone services. The company’s gift to The Wolfe Center for the Arts was designated for the entrance area to the Eva Maria Saint Theater. Within the entrance area is a group of mosaics floor fragments from Antioch. The mosaics depict theatrical masks, including the head of Dionysus and various flora and fauna.
Shaun Moorman, a graduate of BGSU, has managed some of the most successful musicals on Broadway and National Tours in the past decade. From the mega world wide musical “Mamma Mia!”, “Billy Elliot”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, “Lennon”, “In My Life”, and recently the new hit musical “Ghost.” Shaun continues to give to BGSU through personal donations, gifts-in-kind for theatrical equipment, internships, and hiring BGSU graduates. He was a member of the Men’s Chorus and Collegiate Choral under the direction of his mentor Richard D. Mathey. After graduating he worked in the BGSU Department of Theatre and Film and it’s summer stock division the Huron Playhouse where he served as the business manager/production coordinator for six years. He was a founding member of the Arts Roundtable on the campus and was an integral part of the initial planning of The Wolfe Center for the Arts. Shaun created and has served as the Chair of the BGSU Alumni Men’s Chorus Society for the past 11 years, is a member of the Arts Advocates Board and was the recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Alumni Award. The box office in The Wolfe Center for the Arts is named in his honor.
David Levey graduated from BGSU in 1971 and is a member of the Board of Trustees. The Leveys have provided support for various areas of the University and are actively involved with the Akron Children’s Concert Society. In recognition of their support of The Wolfe Center for the Arts, this classroom is named in their honor.
The Misamores have long supported BGSU. Bruce Misamore is a member of the Board of Directors of the BGSU Foundation and is treasurer of the board. He also helps with recruiting at BGSU and often attends college fairs representing the University. The Misamores have established a scholarship in the College of Business Administration and a scholarship for the Falcon Marching Band. During the Building Dreams Capital Campaign, they provided support to various areas of BGSU including The Wolfe Center for the Arts. This classroom is named in their honor.
Glen Jackson is an alumnus of BGSU and has been committed to the success of his alma mater. He and his wife have provided support for the Alumni Fund and the Excellence Fund. Their most recent gift was in support of The Wolfe Center for the Arts. This dressing room is named in their honor.
Carol Sluhan earned a bachelor’s degree from BGSU in 1970. She is a violist for the Perrysburg Symphony and has served as a private music teacher. She has also played viola with the Toledo Symphony. The Sluhans provided support for The Wolfe Center for the Arts and asked that their gift go toward a dressing room in the facility. This dressing room is named in her honor.
Geoff Walbroehl earned a degree from BGSU in 1997 and currently works at the Center for Mapping, which is affiliated with The Ohio State University. In addition to establishing the Geoff Walbroehl Scholarship, he also provided support for The Wolfe Center for the Arts, designating his gift for a computer classroom in the state-of-the-art facility. This computer classroom is named in his honor.
Northwest Ohio is fortunate to have several benefactors of the arts, including Dorothy Price. She has provided support for the Gene Transfer Laboratory, the Dorothy M. Price International Music Studies Fund, The Dorothy MacKenzie Price Student Scholarship, the German, Russian and East Asian Language Fund and the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Grand Piano Scholarship. One of her gifts to BGSU was a piano for University House, the official residence of BGSU’s president. In addition to her other gifts to BGSU, she provided support for two performance quality pianos for The Wolfe Center for the Arts. The piano storage areas are named in her honor.
Jeffrey Conner earned a degree from BGSU in 1970. Along with his interest in theaters and old movies, Conner played the guitar in a classic rock band. Before his death in 2007, he committed a gift for The Wolfe Center for the Arts for the office of the business manager/production coordinator. In recognition of his business career and interest in the arts, this office is named in his memory.
Allen and Joyce Kepke have long served BGSU and the Bowing Green community. Dr. Allen Kepke is the former chair of the Department of Theatre and Film and also served as chair of the University’s Faculty Senate. In additional to his teaching and administrative duties, he often directed University Theatre productions and was a performer in the Bowling Green Summer Musical Theatre productions. Dr. and Mrs. Kepke asked that their gift to The Wolfe Center for the Arts go toward the office of the chair of the Department of Theatre and Film.
Allen and Joyce Kepke have long served BGSU and the Bowing Green community. Dr. Allen Kepke is the former chair of the Department of Theatre and Film and also served as chair of the University’s Faculty Senate. In additional to his teaching and administrative duties, he often directed University Theatre productions and was a performer in the Bowling Green Summer Musical Theatre productions. An anonymous donor provided the funds for this lounge area to be named in honor of the Kepkes.
Drs. Wally and Diane Pretzer have been faculty members at BGSU since the early 1960s. Dr. Diane Pretzer is an associate professor emeritus and former chair of Romance Languages. Dr. Wallace Pretzer is a professor emeritus of English. They have provided support to many areas of BGSU. At the center of their giving are the humanities and the arts. In recognition of their support of The Wolfe Center for the Arts, the prop workshop room is named in their honor.
Each morning for 17 years, David J. Lake would make the final decision on what stories would make the edition of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. A 1967 graduate of BGSU, Lake died in 2004. A gift from his estate was designated for The Wolfe Center for the Arts. In recognition of his support, the scene paint room is named in his memory.
Dr. Carol Cartwright was the 10th president of BGSU and the first woman to hold the position at the University. She is credited with increasing student recruitment and retention and implementing a master plan to update the physical campus, among other initiatives. Prior to coming to BGSU, Cartwright was the longtime president of Kent State University and the first female president of a state university in Ohio. In recognition of her husband Phillip’s and her support of The Wolfe Center for the Arts, the graduate student work area and lounge is named in their honor.