Gelbman Foundation Contributes $1.5M to YSU Student Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Gelbman Foundation has pledged a $1.5 million gift to Youngstown State University for the Zoldan Family Student Center.

A multipurpose room in the center, which will be modeled after the Chestnut Room in Kilcawley Center, will be named The Frank and Pearl Gelbman Room. In addition to being a gathering space, the room will be able to host concerts, lectures, career days and more, a news release states.

“The flexibility of this space will allow us to provide a gathering place that encourages formal and informal community interactions to build meaningful relationships, educational opportunities and a sense of belonging,” said Joy Polkabla Byers, associate vice president of student experience. “It will be a place to celebrate, learn and engage with others, regardless of the size and function of the event.” 

The total cost of the Zoldan Family Student Center, which will be built on the current site of Kilcawley Center, is projected to be $45 million. The university’s goal is to raise $20 million through donations, the release states. 

The Gelbman Foundation was established by Dr. Frank and Pearl Gelbman. Frank received his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1943 and later served in the  U.S. Army. During that time, he graduated from the U.S. Army School of Neuropsychiatry. After being discharged with the rank of major, he received an additional three years of medical training at other schools. He returned to Youngstown in 1949 and worked in private practice until he retired in 1985. 

The Gelbmans contributed to numerous organizations, including the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning Valley Historical Society and Akron Children’s Hospital.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.