Major Gifts from Maurer Family and other loyal falcons provide foundation for new cba building
BY MATT MARKEY '76
Transformational Excellence with a lead Gift
The Maurer family has generously supported the University in many philanthropic ventures, and has long held a prominent place in the Bowling Green community and real estate market. Attorney Robert Maurer, a 1965 graduate, said when a new business facility was first proposed, his family was eager to play a significant role.
“We’ve always been involved in buildings, so that certainly appealed to us, but more than anything I think that we’re convinced that BGSU is on the right track,” he said. “Their leadership team is one that we have confidence in.”
Maurer and his wife, Patricia, made a transformative gift of $5 million to fund the new business facility, which will be known as the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center.
“In today’s business environment, you’re either going forward or you’re falling behind, and we need to provide the coming generations of students with the best facility possible,” Robert Maurer said, adding that as the business world changes, the onus is on the best universities to stay out front.
“The more the business education offered at BGSU is as close as possible to what the business people see in today’s age, then the better prepared our students will be for the business world of tomorrow,” he said. “This new building will provide a great foundation for that.”
Millions of dollars in support paves the way for success
William Schmeltz spent three decades at BGSU as an accounting professor, a department chairman and dean of the College of Business Administration. His wife, Peggy, said that since her late husband had played such a prominent role in the college for so many years, she believed it was important that his legacy be a catalyst for its future.
“Bill always had the interests of the students in mind,” she said. “He wanted to make their education as much like learning to run a business as possible, and this new facility will continue that type of approach.”
She hopes the alumni that Bill helped to train and educate will use the William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium as a place where they gather on visits to campus and fondly recall his days in the classroom.
“I want the new students to know about him, and the alumni to remember him. If he were alive today, he’d be so proud of the direction the University is taking, and proud of it for building this new facility,” she said.
After graduating from the University, Paul and Margo Hooker had been busy raising a family and building a company. But once they re-engaged with BGSU, they were quickly reminded of the outstanding experience they had on campus.
“Over my 40 years in the business world, I find myself thinking often of lessons that I learned as an undergraduate,” Paul said. “The University offered me so many avenues to grow and mature.”
In recent years, Paul has been involved with mentoring BGSU students in The Hatch annual business competition and guest lecturing on entrepreneurial opportunities.
“I’ve met so many talented young people through my interaction with various groups on campus,” he said, “and it is crucial to have exceptional facilities for these students.
“When I was at BGSU, the current College of Business Administration building was new, but teaching methods have changed and the building needs to change, too,” he said. “To draw the top business students, we need a state-of-the-art facility.”
The Hookers will fund the Sister Mary Noreen Gray Student Success Hub, naming the vital hub after Paul’s aunt who passed away two years ago following a long career devoted to education and charitable work.
“We immediately thought that Aunt Noreen’s name would be much more fitting than ours to adorn this space,” Paul said. “Any accomplishments I may have had in my life pale next to those of my aunt.”
Michael and Mary Lee McGranaghan met four decades ago as BGSU students. Calling theirs “an exceptional education,” they intend to provide a similar experience in the CBA classrooms of tomorrow.
“What is required to be successful in a college of business is bright and fully engaged students, outstanding teachers utilizing the latest educational techniques, and a world-class facility that promotes learning and dynamic interactions,” Mike McGranaghan said. “If one of those three things is out of sync with the others, then this ecosystem will not work.”
Mary Lee said building an excellent facility and then showcasing that to prospective students and the business world will reap many rewards. “It will bring the top students there, which is very important,” she said.
The 1980 graduates hope the Michael and Mary Lee McGranaghan Dean’s Suite will play a critical role in launching BGSU to the forefront of business education”. They decided to name the suite in honor of the college’s dean, Ray Braun.
“There will be remarkable functionality in the new building, with extraordinary classrooms that are consistent with how business is run today,” Mike said, adding that a business school needs to be constantly reinventing itself in order to keep pace with industry growth.
“Bowling Green finds itself in an extremely competitive environment, and if you are going to be a highly successful and vibrant university, this growth is essential.”
BGSU Board members supplement service to the University with private philanthropic support
Board of Trustees Chair David Levey and his wife, Shirley, are funding a high-tech classroom that will allow BGSU to provide one of the top teaching and learning environments in the nation. The Leveys previously sponsored learning centers in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, and they recently created the M. Neil Browne Professorship.
The Daniel R. and Laura C. Keller Lounge will be a gathering space and study area for students, faculty and staff. The Kellers, who both hold multiple degrees from BGSU, have been active in their support of the University through scholarships; significant gifts directly supporting the Firelands campus, the McBride Arboretum and the Bowen-Thompson Student Union; and Dan’s service as a Board of Trustees member.
University trustee David O’Brien and his wife, Lisa, both BGSU graduates, have provided a gift to create a meeting room for student organizations in the new College of Business Administration facility.
The R. Max Williamson Conference Room is the result of a gift from the BGSU Foundation Chair and 1959 graduate R. Max Williamson, who has supported numerous fundraising efforts at the University.
The Bruce E. and Katherine M. Nyberg Conference Room is a gift from Bruce, the BGSU national trustee, and his wife, Katherine. She serves on the Leadership Council of the College of Education and Human Development.
“BGSU is changing lives for the world,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey, “but we can’t do it alone. I am grateful for these loyal members of the Falcon family who are generously supporting this ambitious initiative so students of tomorrow can enjoy the advantages afforded by a BGSU education.”