Loyola receives gift to fund equity and inclusion initiatives and Fernandez Center project
| By Molly Robey
A $100,000 gift from Geraldine J. Geckle, ’74, senior vice president of Human Resources at Universal Health Services Inc., will support equity and inclusion initiatives at Loyola as well as capital renovations to Beatty Hall for the University’s Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning.
“We are excited and grateful for this generous gift. Gerry Geckle’s commitment to the mission and goals of Loyola University Maryland through our collective work in diversity, equity, and inclusion is extraordinary,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., chief equity and inclusion officer. “Enhancement of programs and training that support skill development in diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be made possible because of this gift.”
The Geckle Endowed Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be administered by the chief equity and inclusion officer.
Geckle’s name will also be placed on an interview room in the Dan and Kelly Rizzo Career Center housed in the Fernandez Center.
“I value the foundational knowledge and critical thinking skills that a Loyola education provides, said Geckle. “I was blessed to have excellent and caring professors with a low teacher to student ratio when I was a sociology major at Loyola. We were assigned field projects that allowed us to experience firsthand the diverse community surrounding Loyola and exposed the differences that exist in society. This allowed me to learn firsthand the importance of giving back personally and professionally to the community. Over the years, I have supported numerous organizations that focus on helping underserved populations, workforce development programs, and first-generation college students. The opportunity to assist the DE&I program seemed like a good fit and next step."
Geckle, the senior vice president of Human Resources at Universal Health Services Inc., serves on the Board of Advisors for Loyola College of Arts and Sciences. In 2018, Geckle was awarded the Carroll Medal by Loyola, which recognizes distinguished alumni for noteworthy and meritorious service on the University’s behalf. In 2010, a gift from Geckle helped create the Geraldine Johnson Geckle Scholarship, which provides tuition assistance to students studying Global Studies in the Loyola College of Arts and Sciences and who are from single-parent homes. She’s also a former Loyola parent with a child who graduated in 2012.
About the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning
The Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning will strengthen the University’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking by creating a dynamic, state-of-the-art space where Loyola will advance its outcomes and reputation as a place for innovation. Architects have designed a 35,000-square-foot addition to double the size of Beatty to create the Fernandez Center—which is scheduled to open in fall 2021. The Fernandez Center will be home to the Dan and Kelly Rizzo Career Center, the Green and Grey Café, and classroom and faculty office space. Take a virtual tour of the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning.
Pictured above is the construction of the Fernandez Center Project, partly funded with a gift from Geraldine Geckle, '74. Geckle's gift will also provide funding to equity and inclusion initiatives at Loyola.