The Gelbman Foundation has pledged a $1.5 million gift to Youngstown State University’s Zoldan Family Student Center campaign to rebuild and revitalize the campus’s student center.

In recognition of the gift, the Center’s new multi-purpose room will be named in honor of the Gelbmans, The Frank and Pearl Gelbman Room. The multi-purpose room in the new Center will be modeled off the current Chestnut Room in Kilcawley Center with modifications.  The Gelbman Room is planned to be larger and more versatile with a greater ability to section the space into smaller components.  The Frank and Pearl Gelbman Room is projected to become the premier gathering space on campus and will have the flexibility of hosting events such as concerts, lectures, career days, and more.    

“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. It will be a place to celebrate, learn and engage with others, regardless of the size and function of the event,” said Joy Polkabla Byers, the Associate Vice President of Student Experience.

The total cost of the Zoldan Family Student Center is projected to be $45 million with the goal of raising $20 million philanthropically.  The Zoldan Family Student Center will be built on the current site of Kilcawley Center with updates to accommodate and fit the environment of current and future students.

The Gelbman Foundation was established by Dr. Frank and Pearl Gelbman. Dr. Gelbman received his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1943 and went on to serve in the US Army. During that time, he graduated from the U.S. Army School of Neuropsychiatry.  After being discharged with the rank of major, he had an additional three years of medical training at other schools.

Dr. Gelbman returned to Youngstown in 1949 and worked in private practice until he retired in 1985. He and his wife Pearl were very civic-minded and contributed to numerous organizations in their lifetime, including but not limited to the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning Valley Historical Society, and Akron Children’s Hospital.