Philanthropist gives $1 million for UT-MUO surgery center


George Isaac, a longtime donor to the Medical University of Ohio, has donated $1 million to the University of Toledo's capital campaign for use toward expenses at a surgery center being built at MUO.

UT and MUO will merge July 1, with the MUO campus being referred to as the University of Toledo Health Science Campus.

Larry Burns, president of the MUO Foundation, said the $1 million donation will help cover operating expenses at the George Isaac Surgery Center. The $12 million outpatient center will open next month.

Mr. Isaac, an MUO Foundation trustee, previously served nine years on the then-Medical College of Ohio board of trustees, five of those as chairman. He is the 1998 recipient of the MCO Distinguished Citizen Award and received an honorary degree from MCO in 1999.

"For me, only having one semester of college, I really learned to appreciate the importance of a higher education," Mr. Isaac said. "I have such a great respect for the teachers, doctors, and nurses" at MUO.

Mr. Isaac, 83, lives in Bryan, where he still works at his development company, The Isaac Group. The youngest of nine children, he said he learned early in life not only the importance of hard work but also helping others.

"I believe the goal of life is to help make a difference for the betterment of the lives of others. That's what life is all about," he said.

Mr. Isaac donated $800,000 to MCO in 2000 to fund an endowed chair in cancer research. He hopes his latest gift will help convince other loyal MUO donors that the impending merger of UT and MUO is worth supporting.

"The overall goal is to support the merger and show support for the merger," he said. "I truly believe [the merger] is the right move."