From the establishment of the Marlene K. Toot ’85 Endowed Scholarship for health care students to leadership roles on the Board of Directors, Marlene and Joe Toot have blessed Walsh with a 40-year history of generous patronage.

Today, a visible reflection of that generosity is Walsh’s newest academic building, The Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center, which recognizes the Toots’ legacy of support as well as their committed interest in education and innovation.

"This gift was very personal to me and provided an opportunity to contribute to an organization that I feel did a wonderful job of giving me the best education possible," said Marlene. "I’m happy we can make this gift to Walsh. As a mid-career undergraduate, I understand the importance of getting an education at any age. I am indebted to Walsh for giving me that opportunity."

A former trustee of Walsh, Joe Toot commented, "The Center offers an interdisciplinary approach to academic innovation on a global scale. That’s groundbreaking stuff. It’s a big step for Walsh and a giant step for the faculty and students who will teach and learn here."

An active Board member since 2012, Marlene is a Walsh 1985 Summa Cum Laude graduate with a degree in management and finance. She worked in business prior to obtaining her Walsh degree, spending a total of 17 years at the Timken Company and in various roles with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (Control Data, MD) and General Motors Acceptance Corporation. She received a master's degree in Nutrition from The University of Akron in 1992 and is a sought-after speaker lecturing at Walsh, The University of Akron and many other venues on wellness and nutrition.

"My wife graduated from Walsh Summa Cum Laude in 1985. She has served on committees for the University and today is a member of the Walsh Board," said Joe. "I am very proud of her accomplishments as well as her dedication to the University. We are immensely pleased to be part of the creation of this Center."