Your Alma Mater — January 2020

By President Sharon L. Gaber

Celebrating One Year, Welcoming Another

The University of Toledo celebrated a long list of achievements in 2019, and I’m looking forward to what we’ll accomplish together in 2020! Our students are succeeding at record levels, our research is being recognized nationally and our Rocket pride and national reputation continue to grow.

I’d like to share just a few highlights from the last year. For the full recap of all of our great stories from around campus in 2019, check out our UToledo News Year in Review.


  • Student success reaches new heights: We were excited to announce following spring commencement that our six-year graduation rate improved to a record high of 51.2% – an improvement of nearly 10% since 2015 and a milestone we surpassed three years ahead of our strategic plan goal! For the seventh consecutive year, our first-to-second year retention rate also improved thanks to all Rockets’ commitment to student success.
  • Solar technologies powering the future: In August, a team of our physicists led by Dr. Randall Ellingson was awarded $7.4 million by the U.S. Air Force to develop solar technology to power space vehicles. And in November, Dr. Yanfa Yan received the third largest award in a round of grants from the U.S. Department of Energy with $5.7 million in grants to develop the next-generation solar panel. These investments in UToledo recognize our leading role in energy research and renewed focus on research to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.
  • UToledo hosts a 2019 National Lab Day: For the first time, our campus was chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to host National Lab Day. The two-day event in October brought together representatives from the 17 Department of Energy National Labs and more than 450 researchers exploring the critical scientific challenges of our time, including renewable technologies, astrophysics, water management and materials manufacturing.
  • Fueling Tomorrows at UToledo: In July, we launched a new brand that elevates our national reputation with bold, impactful visuals and highlights the success stories of our students, faculty and alumni. The new brand, featuring the Fueling Tomorrows tagline, debuted with a redesigned website and on billboards and digital advertising to better tell our story locally and across the country.

We couldn’t have done all of this without the support of alumni and so many others in the Rocket community. I wish you much success in the coming year.

Go Rockets!