New Wellness Center named after late Leonard Kaplan

Aden Hizkias
   Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, March 16, Chancellor Franklin Gilliam announced that UNC-Greensboro will recognize the new Wellness Center as the Leonard J. Kaplan Center, which is located on 1301 W. Gate City Blvd.

“The Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness will expand the opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage and participate in active, healthy lifestyle behaviors,” said Dr. Jill Beville, Director of Campus Recreation.

The Board of Trustees voted to approve naming the facility for the philanthropist after a private meeting that morning.

Leonard Kaplan, who passed away last April at the age of 86, was a businessman and served in the Korean War before starting the Kay Chemical Company, a supplier of cleaning products.

Kaplan grew up in High Point and attended UNC-Chapel Hill before leaving when his father became ill.

He was forced to leave school and run the family’s janitorial supply company before becoming a well-known community philanthropist.

Tobee Kaplan, wife and co-founder of Toleo Foundation, made a $5 million donation to UNCG in honor of her late husband, Leonard Kaplan.

Tobee Kaplan stated that, “Leonard was a humble man, and putting his name on a building isn’t something he would ordinarily have done, but he truly believed that it was our responsibility to make a better world for the next generation and I think he would have been proud to be associated with UNCG’s efforts to promote mental and physical wellness.”

Their non-profit organization has made several donations to the Greensboro community include a $5 million dollar contribution to the development of the downtown Greensboro Performing Art Center (GPAC) in summer of 2013.

Other contributions to the community include building a new home for the Women’s Resource Center and Greensboro Urban Ministry, among others.

In the message Chancellor Gilliam sent out to announce the donation and naming, he stated that Leonard and Tobee Kaplan, “made an indelible mark on the community through their extraordinary record of philanthropy and leadership.”

Chancellor Gilliam also believes that the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness will serve as an important resource for UNCG’s increasing residential campus.

The Director of Campus Recreation believes that the focus of the programs and services within the facility will be on promoting and improving the health and wellness of the UNCG community. 

Director Beville also stated that the  facility will offer more space for informal recreation, group fitness classes, Intramural and Club Sports, Outdoor Adventures, and Team QUEST among other wellness programs. 

In addition, the facility will have a climbing wall and two pools (one activity pool and one lap pool). 

“The Kaplan Center will also have meeting rooms and multi-purpose spaces that can be used for student training, special events, workshops/seminars, academic classes and student organizations,” said Director Beville.

Once in the facility, users will be able to access all the spaces and see activity from many vantage points.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this fall during the scheduled opening in August.

“The Kaplan Center will be a place to be active, meet people and engage in and explore healthy habits. It will be an exciting, vibrant facility with a variety of activities,” said Dr. Beville

Categories: News, Uncategorized, UNCG Faculty & Staff, UNCG Students

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