Weiss to continue Univ. projects in retirement

After playing many different roles within the University, Larry Weiss chose to retire exactly 34 years to the day after he started working at the University.

At 62, Weiss said his four grandchildren are the main reason he decided to retire from his position as associate vice president for University relations and governmental affairs.

While he said he enjoyed and is grateful for the support he received while working at the University, his frequent business trips to Columbus caused him to miss soccer games and school programs.

His wife wanted him to retire sooner, but Weiss said he wanted to stay at the University until the state budget agreements were completed in July.

Weiss, originally from Canton, Ohio, came to the University in 1967 to earn his bachelor’s degree in journalism and came back to work at the University in 1973 after working in the advertising and public relations field.

He started as the assistant director to alumni affairs and worked his way up to director of alumni affairs and assistant vice president for University advancement in 1978. He held that position until he was promoted again to his most recent position in 2000, which allowed Weiss to work in Columbus on state budget issues, including those within higher education.

“He is highly respected in the college and will be very missed,” University President Sidney Ribeau said.

Weiss will come back on a part-time basis starting Nov. 1, working a few hours a month on two special projects Ribeau has assigned to him.

Ribeau chose Weiss to co-chair the University’s 100th anniversary celebration to take place in 2010 because he co-chaired the University’s 75th anniversary celebration in 1985.

He said he hopes the University’s centennial will be a yearlong Northwest Ohio event with many activities to highlight its achievements throughout the years.

Weiss will be co-chairing the event with Kimberly McBroom, director and associate vice president for University advancement.

McBroom said she has worked with Weiss for the past nine years and is looking forward to doing so again.

“He’s wonderful to work with,” McBroom said.

The co-chairs’ responsibilities will include overseeing the Centennial Anniversary Committee’s 40 to 45 members, made up of faculty, staff, alumni, students, retirees and others from both the main campus and Firelands. This committee will be broken down into six or seven subcommittees that each co-chair will watch over.

Weiss said he has a “running start” since he knows the right alumni and people to contact.

One of his recruits is Randy Gardner, a member of the Ohio Senate and a Bowling Green resident.

Gardner, who has known Weiss for 20 years, said he is the strongest University advocate and is a vital part of the University’s history.

“I’ve never seen him bleed, but if I did, I bet it would be orange and brown,” Gardner said.

He is looking forward to planning the centennial celebration and learning more about the University from which he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

On top of this project, Weiss will be writing a book on the history of the BGSU women’s basketball team from the team’s start to its recent successes.

He said he has been following the basketball team for a long time and is expecting to complete the book in conjunction with the centennial celebration in 2010.

As of right now, there aren’t any other projects lined up for him.

Weiss joked after three more years he might want to retire.

In his free time, Weiss said he loves to travel with his wife, spend time with his grandchildren and play in an adult men’s baseball league.

“I think I’ll be pretty busy with all this,” Weiss said.