UNCG students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered together on Friday, Sept. 16, to celebrate the official dedication of the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the ringing of the university bell and an open house for the campus community.

“To me, what this center represents is the health of the community and the health of the campus,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. “It really serves all of our missions of service and education and research.”

During his remarks, Gilliam expressed deep gratitude to the late Leonard J. Kaplan and his late wife Tobee Kaplan. In March, UNCG announced a $5 million gift made by Tobee Kaplan in honor of her husband. The gift, which created an endowment in support of health and wellness programs on UNCG’s campus, was recognized in the naming of the new wellness center.

“The Kaplan family has contributed a lot to the Triad community philanthropically,” Gilliam said. “This building in many ways not only stands in testament to Leonard J. Kaplan, but also to the vision of his wife, Tobee.”

The Kaplans were widely known for the indelible mark they left on the community through their extraordinary record of philanthropy and leadership. Together they established the Kaplan Family Foundation (later renamed the Toleo Foundation), which has been active in furthering the causes of education, health, social services and community involvement.

The Kaplan Center opened to students, staff, faculty and alumni members on Aug. 1. The facility features more than 20,000 square feet of weight and cardio space, seven basketball courts and a 54-foot climbing wall, among other wellness spaces and classrooms. The center also provides education on sexual health, mental health, sexual violence and relationships, alcohol and other drugs, nutrition and body image.

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications