Anthony R. Zembrodt, Ph.D., ’65 (BA, Chemistry), and his wife, Geraldine ’66 (BA, English), have many passions, but their love for education just might be at the top. These alumni have embraced education with every aspect of their lives, and now they are giving back to the root of their success—Thomas More College.
$1 Million Gift Boosts Success Center Initiative
In February the Zembrodts made a generous $1 million gift to establish The Dr. Anthony R. and Geraldine Zembrodt Institute for Academic Support within the newly created Thomas More College Success Center.
“Gerry and I have been blessed by the education we received at Thomas More College, and we are happy to be able to give back to our alma mater in a way that will directly impact student success,” says Dr. Zembrodt. “Thomas More gave us not only the formal education, but also the ability to develop people skills through clubs, seminars and social activities. When you look around, it’s those people who are well rounded that are successful and interesting. Villa or Thomas More offered all of that to us, and fortunately, we grew from that experience. We want to show our gratitude for those gifts in the gift we are giving.”
The Zembrodt Institute for Academic Support will provide students with tutoring, academic counseling and persistence counseling, which includes intensive monitoring of at-risk students. These services are hailed as some of the most critical support services for student success, making the namesake institute a perfect match for the Zembrodts.
“Gerry and I have held the position that it’s education that allows anyone to open doors and look to see what’s inside or to recognize opportunities when they are presented to you,” says Dr. Zembrodt.
“We both think that one of the best foundations we have in education came from Villa or Thomas More,” he adds. “When I am mentoring I tell folks that they have received ‘keys’ through their education that will allow them to evaluate opportunities because of the skills and knowledge they have received.”
With the Zembrodt’s gift, the College has secured more than $1.5 million in just eight months of campaigning to match the $4 million gift it received from an anonymous donor in May 2014. When completed, the gift match will bring the Benedictine Endowment of the Thomas More College Success Center to $8 million. The college has four years to complete the goal.
The Thomas More College Success Center will have three major components, focusing on peer-to-peer tutoring, academic counseling and advising, and retention services. In addition to the Zembrodt Institute for Academic Support, two other institutes will be created with naming rights available—the Institute for Learning Differences and the Institute for Career Development and Graduate School Planning.