Couple gives $1.11 million for scholarships

Ten years after its formation, the Dr. L.O. and Louise Toomey Scholarship Fund will begin assisting Western students in their pursuit of an education.

A $1.11 million donation from the Toomey family is the second-largest endowment ever given to Western for scholarships.

The Toomey scholarship fund was set up in 1992 after the death of Dr. Toomey. His will stipulated that Western would not receive the money until the death of his wife, Louise Toomey, who passed away June 29.

“This is a magnificent expression of support from two loyal Westerners,” said Alex Downing, president of the College Heights Foundation, in a news release.

According to President Gary Ransdell, students from Warren and Metcalfe counties interested in health-related professions will get preference.

Western’s nursing department may benefit from the donation.

Donna Blackburn, head of the nursing department, called the gift wonderful. She said the scholarships are right in time to help recruit new students.

“Hopefully it will help attract students to nursing,” she said.

Tom Hiles, vice president of Institutional Advancement, said that although the gift from the Toomeys shows preference to a certain group of students, Western is not limited by the stipulation.

Dr. Toomey studied pre-medicine at Western before attending the University of Louisville Medical School. He returned to Bowling Green after graduation to practice medicine for 45 years.

He was also a director of the Warren County Health Department.

Louise Toomey, like her husband, was a student on the Hill. Later, she taught at Western as an art professor.

The Toomey gift brings Western’s Capital Campaign to $82.5 million. Western has set a $90 million goal for the campaign, which ends in June.

Reach Molly O’Connor at n[email protected]