BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Lee and Marge Meserve, two of Bowling Green State University's most loyal supporters, announced a historic gift earlier this evening that touches future generations of student-athletes, Lee's Department of Biological Sciences and the Meserve Softball Field.
The Meserve's gift is valued at more than $650,000. Coupled with a planned deferred gift to endow a biological sciences professorship, the overall total impact will be nearly $1 million. Lee and Marge's gift is one of the largest in BGSU's history from a faculty member.
"We often hear how BGSU impacts the lives of students," Director of Athletics Greg Christopher said. "Marge and Lee personify BGSU, and their relationship with our students has impacted thousands. Their gift today is an amazing gesture and will insure that future generations of student-athletes benefit from the BGSU experience."
Dr. Lee Meserve and his wife, Marge, were recognized in ceremonies at the Stroh Center prior to tonight's women's basketball game. A crowd of more than 100 friends and student-athletes witnessed the gift announcement.
"I can't imagine having been employed in a place that more suited my goals and aspirations, and Marge and I can't imagine having lived in a more providing, more embracing community for the greater part of our lives to date," Dr. Lee Meserve said. "The students have been great, the colleagues have been great, the support of the two of us has been great. Since each of us is an only child, we appreciate the sense of family that we have received. We are more than honored to be able to give back to our family."
Lee and Marge's gift impacts Bowling Green Athletics in several ways. Current and future Falcons will benefit from scholarships being established with their gift. The Meserve Women's Athletics Scholarship and the Janna Blais Scholarship will support deserving student-athletes for years to come. The Meserves continue to serve as part of the inaugural group of Champions Circle donors and are also providing the resources to install lights at Meserve Softball Field, of which construction will begin this spring. The biological sciences professorship will recognize Lee's dedication to teaching and will allow former students of the long-time educator to honor him through their gifts.
A native of Hollis, Maine, Dr. Meserve is in his 40th year at the University, and his 16th as the school's faculty athletics representative. He and his wife are fixtures at Falcon athletic events, rain or shine, day or night. The couple also endowed the Meserve Scholarship, given to BGSU's Senior Male and Senior Female Student-Athletes of the Year.
Dr. Meserve began his teaching career at BGSU in 1973 after receiving his Ph.D. at Rutgers University and working at Vassar College. During his time in Northwest Ohio, he has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor and distinguished teaching professor of biological sciences.
Dr. Meserve received his bachelor's degree from the University of Maine in 1966 in animal sciences, and his doctorate degree from Rutgers in 1972 in zoology.
He holds membership in numerous honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa and Sigma Phi Omega. In 1990, he was the recipient of the Hollis A. Moore University Service Award. Two years later, he was honored with the BGSU Master Teacher Award. Dr. Meserve was also the recipient of the BGSU Distinguished Teaching Professorship in 1993, received the BGSU Honorary Alumnus Award in 1997 and was given the BGSU President's Advising Award in 2001.
Marge Meserve retired five years ago after a career of over 30 years as a Medical Technologist at Wood County Hospital, where she was supervisor of the blood bank. Besides BGSU athletics, she is currently deeply involved in gardening and is an enamel-on-copper artist. She has been involved in the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green for each of the 20 years since its inception.