Student Success

Leadership Gift Provides Educational Resources at Kresge Library

Teckla Rhoads understands the important role Kresge Library plays in the lives of current, and future, Oakland University students.

Tekla Rhoads sitting inbetween aisles of a library

Kresge Library

icon of a calendarNovember 20, 2019

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Teckla Rhoads understands the important role Kresge Library plays in the lives of current, and future, Oakland University students.

Rhoads has committed a blended gift to Kresge Library which consists of a cash pledge which will be used for immediate needs, and a bequest to support future generations of students.

Already, Rhoads’ pledge is making a difference in providing textbook resources through Kresge Library’s affordable textbook program. This program allows students to access textbooks for free at Kresge Library through course reserves, thereby alleviating the financial burden of college expenses and ensuring that students have the resources they need to be successful. She is the first chair of the board of advocacy and resource development at the Kresge Library, so Rhoads knows firsthand the importance of supportive educational tools. 

“Students have needs beyond the cost of tuition,” says Rhoads. “I am pleased that my gift will help by allowing Kresge Library to purchase textbooks for some of the largest classes on campus. These books will be available for students who may not be able to purchase their own copies.”

Rhoads’ bequest gift will establish the Teckla A. Rhoads and Michael E. Rhoads Endowment. This fund will provide students with textbooks, tools and other resources in perpetuity. She describes this as a “living gift” that will evolve as the needs of students change over time.

“Learning is fluid and my gift provides Kresge Library with the flexibility to respond to changes in the educational landscape,” says Rhoads. “The needs of today’s students are different than students in three years, or even thirty years, into the future. Kresge Library will designate funds in a manner that will have the largest impact.” 

Rhoads grew up in Rochester, near the Oakland University campus, and later became the executive director of global industrial design at General Motors. Her parents were involved with many aspects of OU and Meadow Brook Hall. This influence has had a lasting impact on her life. Rhoads and her late husband, Michael, continued the family tradition by becoming advocates for the Kresge Library and staunch supporters of education. 

“Growing up, I really got to know Oakland University,” she remembers. “I realized that Kresge Library is the center of the campus — not just in location but also in the services and programs it offers. It benefits all schools, programs and students.”

Kresge Library is deeply grateful for Rhoads’ partnership. “Teckla’s longstanding support and leadership are helping to create an even brighter future for Kresge Library and the students we serve,” says Mariela Hristova, interim dean of University Libraries. “We are very thankful for her generous gift and her unfaltering commitment to our mission.”

Reflecting on the impact that OU makes on the region, Rhoads says “OU serves the diverse needs of the community. It is home to first generation students, transfer students, returning students and more. It is a regional school that impacts others far beyond the region. I am proud to support this great institution and all of the amazing students who come here to achieve their educational dreams.”

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