A Life of Service
George Mylander ’58, ’70, ’03 (Hon.)
Bowling Green State University mourns the loss of alumnus and long-time friend Dr. George Mylander ’58, ’70, ’03 (Hon.) who passed away Sunday morning in Sandusky, Ohio, at the age of 83.
Mylander was a visionary supporter of BGSU Firelands and nurtured opportunities for students from the beginning. His support came full circle when, in September 2014, the University broke ground for an addition to the North Building and commemorated the renaming of the West Building as George Mylander Hall in honor of his educational leadership and generosity.
At the ceremony, Mylander gave a passionate recital of the alma mater, leaving many audience members teary-eyed, which Mylander later said showed “how much BGSU means to all of us.”
“George Mylander was instrumental in the success of BGSU Firelands from the very beginning and a strong supporter of both of our campuses,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “His vision, commitment and generosity has meant so much to our University, the community, and most importantly to the generations of students who received support from the scholarships he established.”
“It’s rare that one individual has such a dramatic effect on the outcome of an institution, but I can say without hesitation that Dr. George Mylander was one of the most instrumental figures in the success of BGSU Firelands throughout its history,” said former Firelands Dean Bill Balzer at the dedication.
Run backwards, a film of Mylander’s influence on both campuses would stop first at 2003 and the opening of the signature building on campus, the 30,000-square-foot Cedar Point Center, to which he contributed a leadership gift. It would continue with his 15 years as a member of the BGSU Foundation Board of Directors, including two years as chair, and all the way back to 1968, when Mylander, acting with a group of other civic leaders on the conviction that the region needed a higher education institution, became a driving force in the establishment of the regional campus of BGSU, his alma mater. Mylander earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1958 and a master's degree in education in 1970 from BGSU. In 2003 the University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in public service.
Recognizing that simply having a college nearby is not always enough, Mylander contributed generously to scholarships. He established the George L. Mylander Scholarship at Firelands, the George L. Mylander Alumni Laureate Scholarship, and the Mylander Foundation Scholarship. Collectively the three scholarships have aided 157 students in reaching their academic goals. Mylander’s contributions to BGSU, both personally and through his foundation, totaled more than $3 million.
“We are grateful for George’s many contributions. His impact is demonstrated throughout the campus; however, he will be most remembered for the lasting and meaningful impact he has had on our students,” said BGSU Firelands Dean Andrew Kurtz.
“I cannot express in mere words just how great an impact Mr. Mylander’s has made on my life through his scholarship. He has helped me feel special and I was able to continue on into my senior year,” said Brittany Graves, an inclusive early childhood education major at BGSU Firelands.
For his accomplishments and contributions to the University, Mylander received the BGSU Alumni Community Award and BGSU Accomplished Graduate Award, both in 1997. He was also named to the BGSU 100 Most Prominent Alumni list in 2010 and received a 50th Anniversary Award from BGSU Firelands in 2015.
Mylander was also deeply committed to the community at large. He served the Sandusky City Schools for 27 years as a teacher and administrator. He worked tirelessly to improve health care facilities and service in Sandusky and was honored in 2006 by the Ohio Hospital Association with its highest recognition.
A civic leader, he was for 16 years as a Sandusky City Commissioner, including six years as ex-officio mayor, helping create a better place to live for the community. Under his leadership, two business parks were started and progress was made in the improvement of the Sandusky Bay shoreline.
“George demonstrated throughout his life that one person could make a significant difference in bettering a community and the lives of so many,” Mazey said. “Bowling Green State University has lost a tremendous champion and friend. He will be deeply missed.”
Mylander’s funeral will be held Saturday, Jan. 16, at 10 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 315 Wayne St in downtown Sandusky. Visitation will be held Friday, Jan. 15, from 1 - 4 p.m. at the city building on Meigs Street, Sandusky. Per Dr. Mylander’s instruction, he will be put to rest in his University regalia from when he received his honorary doctorate. He will also have on his BGSU lapel pins that he always proudly wore.