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Bleacher tickets available for $8 for Rocket basketball games over next month

The Toledo men’s and women’s basketball programs will provide a holiday special to Rocket fans for seven different games over the next month.

With UT students home for winter break, fans can sit in the bleacher seats for $8 (includes parking) for men’s games vs. Wright State Saturday, Dec. 16; Jackson State Wednesday, Dec. 20; Akron Friday, Jan. 5; and Western Michigan Tuesday, Jan. 9.

For the women, general admission tickets are available for $8 (includes parking) for contests vs. Akron Wednesday, Jan. 3; Ohio Wednesday, Jan. 10; and Northern Illinois Saturday, Jan. 13.

Ticket prices will increase to $11 on the day of the game.

In conjunction with the bleacher-ticket specials, Star Wars Day will be held for the men’s game vs. Wright State Saturday. Read more here.

The Rockets are teaming up with Leadership Toledo’s Students in Action for a toy drive. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the UT game vs. Wright State to help make the holidays brighter for the special kids at Toledo Children’s Hospital.

For ticket information, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online at utrockets.com, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as on game day.

‘Star Wars’ Day set for men’s basketball game Dec. 16

“Star Wars” Day will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. when the Toledo men’s basketball team hosts Wright State in a non-conference matchup.

Fans can dress up as their favorite character from the popular film series and have their pictures taken during the first half and halftime with “Star Wars” characters Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and a Storm Trooper.

Young Rocket fans also can take part in Jedi training in the Fetterman Gym from 1:15 to 2 p.m. The cost for the Jedi training is $7 and includes a game ticket, a light saber and a Jedi training certificate. Participants must be dressed up in a “Star Wars” costume; Jedi training is based on availability due to limited space.

Jedi are members of a powerful order of scholars and fighters skilled in manipulating the universe with their minds. They are endowed with incredible physical and metaphysical strength, and their power is well-known everywhere in the galaxy. While they are tough fighters when necessary, they seek peace for the galaxy. They are always looking for ways to help those around them and keep the dark side at bay.

A costume contest also will be held during the game with the winner announced during the second half.

The Rockets also are teaming up with Leadership Toledo’s Students in Action for a toy drive. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game to help make the holidays brighter for kids at Toledo Children’s Hospital.

For ticket information, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online at utrockets.com, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Bookstore to host holiday party Dec. 13

The Barnes & Noble University Bookstore at the Gateway will hold a holiday party Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will have plenty of fun and free activities to help students take their minds off the stress of finals, according to Colleen Strayer, general manager of the bookstore.

Stop by to hear from a Toledo Zoo education specialist, who will bring two small creatures and a touch tank.

There also will be holiday-related games and crafts, and one licensed therapist will give massages.

In addition, Rocky and Rocksy will be at the party and available for holiday photos.

Did someone say free pizza? Grab a slice while the pies last.

“We want to help students manage their stress during finals week,” Strayer. “This will be an opportunity for students to relax and take a break.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D. Sallah will return to his alma mater Sunday, Dec. 17, to deliver the keynote address during The University of Toledo’s fall commencement ceremony.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.


Sallah will address 2,067 candidates for degrees, including 118 doctoral, 523 master’s, 1,370 bachelor’s and 56 associate’s.

The ceremony is open to the public and can be viewed live at video.utoledo.edu.

Sallah’s investigative work as a reporter and editor with award-winning newspapers across the country has revealed public corruption, police abuses and government blunders, resulting in grand jury investigations, legislative reform, and the recovery of millions of taxpayer dollars.

He is a reporter on the national investigations team at USA Today/Gannett Network in Washington, D.C.

“This is where it all began for me,” Sallah said. “From the time I took my first journalism class in the fall of my freshman year, I fell in love with journalism, and UT is a big part of that. It’s part of my foundation — the professors, the values they conveyed to me about journalism, and why it’s so critical to our society, especially investigative work. I’m honored to be coming home to be the commencement speaker.”

“Journalists have an important role to inform the public about the issues that affect our lives, and Michael Sallah has embraced that responsibility uncovering many misdeeds through investigative reporting that resulted in positive change,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “I look forward to him sharing with our graduates how he got his start here in Toledo and inspiring them to stay curious and serve their communities.”

Born in Toledo, Sallah is a 1977 alumnus of The University of Toledo, graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. He was named UT’s Outstanding Alumnus in the Social Sciences in 2004. Sallah also is a 1973 graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School.

He was a reporter and national affairs writer at The Blade for more than a decade, and was the lead reporter on the 2003 project “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths” that exposed the U.S. Army’s longest war crimes case of the Vietnam War. The series won numerous national awards, including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

While investigations editor and reporter at the Miami Herald, Sallah led an inquiry into local corruption. His team’s 2006 “House of Lies” series exposed widespread fraud in Miami-Dade County public housing and earned the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. He was named a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his series “Neglected to Death,” which uncovered deadly conditions in Florida assisted-living facilities, led to the closing of 13 facilities, and was the impetus for a gubernatorial task force to overhaul state law.

During his two years at The Washington Post, Sallah received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism for an investigation that exposed a predatory system of tax collection in the District of Columbia. 

He returned to the Miami Herald in 2014 and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016 for uncovering one of the nation’s most corrupt sting operations in a police unit that laundered $71.5 million for drug cartels, kept millions for brokering the deals, and failed to make a single significant arrest. 

Sallah is the author of the books “Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War” and “Yankee Comandante: The Untold Story of Courage, Passion and One American’s Fight to Liberate Cuba.” He also was a consultant for the Public Broadcasting Service documentary “American Experience.”

UT’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Honors College; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Ritter Planetarium hosting holiday shows

Join in some holiday cheer at the UT Ritter Planetarium this year and check out two educational and festive shows.

“The Alien Who Stole Christmas,” recommended for children 4 to 10, will run Fridays at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 22.

Follow along as Santa meets Mr. Feep, an alien from another world, and watch as they go on an adventure to the farthest regions of the solar system.

This scene is from UT’s original program titled “Santa’s Secret Star.”

“Santa’s Secret Star” will run Saturdays at 1 p.m. through Dec. 23.

The program is geared toward children ages 4 to 7 and tells the story of how Santa uses the constellations to find his way around the world on Christmas.

“Santa fans of all ages should attend,” said Alex Mak, associate planetarium director. “These shows are entertaining, educational and seasonal-appropriate.”

Both programs will take place in the full-dome studio and offer an immersive, 3D experience. UT’s full-dome projector, the Spitz SciDome XD, was installed in 2011.

Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for children, UT community members and seniors; children 3 and younger are free.

For more information, click here or call Ritter Planetarium at 419.530.2650 or its 24-hour information hotline at 419.530.4037.

Rockets preview Dollar General Bowl in Mobile

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle, along with seniors Logan Woodside and Terry Swanson, visited Mobile, Ala., Wednesday in preparation for the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.

The Mid-American Conference Champion Rockets will face Sun Belt Co-Champion Appalachian State Saturday, Dec. 23. The 7 p.m. game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Logan Woodside, left, and Terry Swanson met children at St. Elmo’s Elementary School during a Dec. 6 visit to Mobile, Ala.

The Rockets toured Ladd-Peebles Stadium, site of the Dollar General Bowl, as well as UMS-Wright High School, where UT will hold its practices during bowl week.

During a stop for lunch, the players met with and posed for photos with children from St. Elmo’s Elementary School. Candle and the players met with local media in a late afternoon news conference before returning to Toledo.

“We’re looking forward to playing a tremendous opponent in App State,” Candle said. “We’ve had a tremendous year, winning a conference championship, and it certainly would be awesome for our seniors to finish it with a win in their final game.”

Toledo will officially arrive in Mobile Tuesday, Dec. 19, in anticipation of bowl activities that will include a Mardi Gras-style parade, a visit to the USS Alabama, a bowling competition vs. Appalachian State, and a visit to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Ticket orders for the Dollar General Bowl are being taken online here, by phone or in person at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena.

Tickets may be picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket Office beginning Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m.

Tickets also will be available for sale at the ticket window beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.

Tickets can be purchased through UT through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

UT Alumni Association offers trip, party for Dollar General Bowl

See you at the Dollar General Bowl! The UT Alumni Association has organized a charter plane trip so fans can watch the Rockets play the Appalachian State Mountaineers Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m. Central time at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

The charter flight will leave Friday, Dec. 22, at approximately 7:30 a.m. from the Toledo Express Airport and return immediately after the game Sunday, Dec. 24, around 4 a.m.

The package includes:

• Round-trip charter air travel.

• A ticket to the mayor’s luncheon featuring Bob Stoops, college football coaching legend at the University of Oklahoma.

• The world-famous Mardi Gras parade and pep rally.

• A meal and tour of GulfQuest, National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico.

• UT Alumni Association pre-game party with a menu that will feature fried shrimp; catfish and chicken tenders; hush puppies; fried green tomatoes; Cajun seafood gumbo; peeled shrimp; red beans and rice with sausage; Creole coleslaw; marinated corn and tomato salad; cookies; brownies; sweet tea; and lemonade. A cash bar will be available. UT President Sharon L. Gaber, the UT Rocket Marching Band and UT cheerleaders will be at this event.

• Ticket to watch the bowl game.

• Overnight accommodations at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa in Mobile, Ala.

• A Dollar General Bowl hoodie, exclusive to travelers on the charter.

• All shuttles and gratuities.

The package cost, based on double occupancy, is $1,200 per person. The cost for a single is $1,300. Those who already have tickets to the game may deduct $45 per ticket.

There are 70 seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for more information and to register.

The deadline to register for the charter trip is Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Alumni and fans who are traveling on their own to the game can attend the pre-game party for $35; registration is required. Click here. The cost for fans who need a ticket and would like to attend the pre-game party is $80 per person.

Reservations for the pre-game party only — not including a game ticket — will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22.

Fans who want tickets to the bowl game can call 419.530.GOLD (4653) or click here.

For more information, call the UT Alumni Office at 419.530.2586 or 800.235.6766.

Rockets announce ticket information for Dollar General Bowl

The University of Toledo announced ticket information for the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.

The game will be played Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m. Central time (7 p.m. Eastern time) at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The bowl will be televised by ESPN.

The Rockets (11-2, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) are playing Sun Belt Conference co-champion Appalachian State (8-4, 7-1 Sun Belt).

Ticket orders are being taken online, by phone or in person at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena.

Tickets may be picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket beginning Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. Tickets also will be available for sale at the ticket window beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Tickets can be purchased through UT through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

Fans who are not able to attend the game may purchase tickets to be donated to charities in the Mobile area. For more information on purchasing tickets to donate to charitable groups, call the ticket office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Also, the UT Alumni Office is sponsoring a charter flight to the bowl as well as a pre-game reception. For more information, go to toledoalumni.org or call 1.800.235.6766 or 419.530.2586 (ALUM).

Information on how to order bowl tickets is listed below. For questions, call the UT Athletic Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Ticket information

Ticket price:

• $45 general public

• $15 UT students (limit one with valid UT ID in-person sales only)

All fans may purchase tickets through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. Order:

• Online: Fans may order tickets online at utrockets.com (online fees apply).

• UT ticket office: Fans may order tickets. Tickets may be picked up and go on sale Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex during office hours.

• Telephone: Fans may order by telephone through the UT ticket office with a Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card or American Express by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653). All tickets will be held in will call. Ticket orders will be assessed a $6 per order processing fee.

Additional ticket information:

• Toledo tickets purchased at the $45 ticket price will be placed on the west side of the stadium.

• A ticket is required for everyone ages 4 and older.

• Fans who want to sit together in a group must place one order. No requests will be taken to place ticket orders or groups together.

• Rocket fans not able to attend the game may support UT by purchasing tickets for donation to charitable organizations in the Mobile area. For more information on purchasing tickets to donate to charitable groups, call the ticket office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Will call

• UT Ticket Office: Ticket pick up begins Friday, Dec. 8, through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

• Tickets not picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket Office can be picked up at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile at Gate 4W beginning at 4:30 p.m. Central time through halftime.

• When picking up tickets, you must present ID and the major credit card used to purchase the tickets.

UT student ticket information

UT student ticket prices:

• $15 UT student (limit one with valid UT ID in-person sales only)

• $45 UT student guest tickets

• UT students may purchase tickets at the UT ticket office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena during office hours.

• UT students must have a valid UT student ID at time of purchase, and only one ticket per UT student ID and one ID per UT student.

• UT students will receive their ticket(s) at time of purchase. There will be no UT student will call.

UT Athletic Ticket Office hours

• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The UT Athletic Ticket Office is located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena.

Alumni charter flight and pre-game reception

• The UT Alumni Office is sponsoring a charter flight to the bowl, as well as a pregame reception. For more information, go to toledoalumni.org or call 1.800.235.6766 or 419.530.2586 (ALUM).

UT publishes first research paper making substantial use of Discovery Channel Telescope partnership

The University of Toledo’s partnership with the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona has helped launch the UT astronomy program onto a new level. For the first time, a UT graduate student published a significant paper made possible by data collected from observations with the telescope.

The paper on the properties of interstellar dust appears as a cover feature article in the September issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics. The UT research team studied the dust properties present in the Vulture Head nebula, a collection of dust and gas 420 light years from Earth. The team observed the nebula with the Discovery Channel Telescope, a 4.3-meter telescope located south of Flagstaff, overlooking the Verde Valley. It is the fifth largest telescope in the continental United States and one of the most technologically advanced.

In one of the first detailed images of the Vulture Head nebula, the cloud is illuminated by the faint starlight of the Milky Way and couldn’t have been captured in this detail without the power of the Discovery Channel Telescope. Dr. Aditya G. Togi took this photo.

“To understand the evolution of the universe, it’s important to understand the galaxy evolution and how stars are formed,” said lead researcher Dr. Aditya Togi, a former UT doctoral student who is now a research assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. “If you know dust properties of the cloud, you can better understand star formation.”

The research team also included Dr. Adolf N. Witt, UT professor emeritus of astronomy, and Demi St. John, an undergraduate student from Murray State University. St. John, selected by the UT Physics and Astronomy Department to join the team, was part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and funded through a National Science Foundation grant. She is in her first year of graduate school at Montana State University.

The team chose to observe the nebula with the Discovery Channel Telescope to test a model developed by French astronomers about the types and properties of dust particles. No one had ever tested those models through observation.

The French model posited that certain dust grains have specific properties. But the astronomers didn’t know for sure what types of dust grains were in the nebula or what size, temperature or density they were, Togi said.

The UT team measured the temperature and mass of the nebula’s dust and found that the dust grains in the cloud closely matched the properties predicted by three dust grain models in the French astronomer’s work. The research confirmed most of the model’s predictions and led the astronomers to new understandings about the dust particles that form stars.

They also learned that the cloud had something called “core shine.” The team knew that in order to scatter the light that creates core shine, some of the dust grains had to be larger than normally encountered in interstellar space. They found that the grains were more complex or “evolved.” They were coated with ice and frozen gases and had grown to about 100 times the volume of a typical interstellar dust grain.

“In order to reach this grain growth, the cloud must be at least a million years old,” Witt said.

Access to the Discovery Channel Telescope was crucial to this research. It’s also a powerful tool when attracting graduate students and young faculty.

“To be truly competitive, to have a first-rate program, you’ve got to have this kind of access to a first-class instrument,” Witt said.

UT is scheduled to host the annual Discovery Channel Telescope partner board meeting Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, at the Driscoll Alumni Center. About a dozen representatives from UT, the Lowell Observatory, Boston University, Yale University, the University of Maryland, Northern Arizona University and the University of Texas at Austin will meet to discuss shared governance of the telescope and the best scientific uses of the instrument.

The Discovery Channel Telescope partnership has been a boon to UT astronomers and helped put the astronomy department on the map.

“Our astronomy program at Toledo is on an accelerating path,” said Dr. J.D. Smith, UT professor of astronomy, who is planning the board meeting. “We’re being recognized nationally and internationally, and this partnership is a big part of the reason why.”

UT groups to collect canned goods at Dec. 6 concert

The UT Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will perform Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

The program will feature a mix of holiday and secular music.

While the concert is free, members of the ensembles will accept canned and nonperishable food items at the event. Monetary donations also will be welcomed.

All donations will be distributed to local food banks.

For more information, call the UT Department of Music at 419.530.2448.