Notre Dame College Receives its Largest Gift Recognizing Faculty, Academic Excellence

Notre Dame College has received the largest donation in its 95-year history in support of its academic programs: Funds will endow three distinguished professorships in support of STEM programs.

The families and friends of the late Marie Goetz Geier, represented by Richard, Robert and Thomas Geier, are providing $1.5 million to establish The Marie Goetz Geier Endowment for STEM Education and Professor(s) in STEM Education. 

Named in honor of their late wife and mother, who graduated from Notre Dame in 1960, the endowment is dedicated to supporting and growing the College’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs and to establish three Distinguished STEM Professorships.

The three Notre Dame faculty members selected as Distinguished STEM Professors are: Tracey Meilander, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, program director of Choose Ohio First STEMM @ NDC and co-director of community based learning, David Orosz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry, and Josephine Pophal, MBA and B.S. engineering, assistant professor of mathematics.

“We are extremely grateful for the relationship we enjoy with the Geier family and cannot thank them enough for their generosity. Their $1.5 million gift surpasses any the College has ever received in support of its academic programs and in a very special way, it recognizes our dedicated faculty,” said Notre Dame President Thomas G. Kruczek. “We are honored by the confidence the Geier family has placed in us by recognizing and rewarding the exceptional work we do here every day at Notre Dame College.”

The endowment will provide funding and support for innovation and student-centered efforts in the programs and professional staff in STEM education, like release time for faculty to develop new curricula and student internships in science and mathematics.

The gift may afford learning assistance programs, student or professor attendance at professional conferences and related travel expenses. Distributions also may be used to pay professors’ salaries and for professor recruitment and professors’ professional expenses.

In addition, the endowment may be used for the purchase of laboratory equipment, research materials, software or hardware.

Marie Goetz Geier’s husband, Richard Geier, and sons, Robert and Thomas Geier, said they have chosen to recognize her memory with the financial gift to her alma mater.

“The College continues to be blessed by a creative and dedicated faculty who believe deeply in the mission of providing exceptional student-centered education in the STEM fields—education, which can inspire and change lives,” Robert Geier said. “Our family is proud to support the work of these professors by providing resources to support their commitment and vision. We invite others to follow our lead in supporting the continued mission of the College.

“Notre Dame College has always played a special part in the life of this community and in our lives as a family,” Robert Geier continued. “My mom acquired an outstanding Catholic education, a love of learning and lifelong friendships during her time here. I was even introduced to computers here by Teresmarie McCloskey as a young outreach student!”

16 March 2017

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or



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