Three Generations of BGSU Alumni
Pictured above are three Generations of BGSU alumni: (back row, left to right) Dr. Anthony Linz '71, '06; Kathleen (Kovach) Linz '72; and Sara Linz '03. (Front row, left to right) Tony Linz '01; Kristy (Wetzel) Linz '01; and Margaret (Ballah) Linz '65, '69. Also pictured, Future Falcons A.J. Linz and Grace Linz.
Kathleen Linz ’72 is a proud graduate of BGSU and, like many fellow alumni, she met her ‘Falcon Flame’ at the college; but her family tree boasts many more branches linked to BGSU.
The Linz’s family history with BGSU Firelands and BGSU dates back three generations, beginning with Margaret Linz ’65, ‘69. Having changed careers and started college later in life, Margaret attended as a nontraditional student and raised a child while she was taking classes - first in Sandusky and then later at the BG campus. Margaret earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education and her passion and love for BGSU created the foundation for other Linz family members to later follow.
According to Kathleen, Margaret’s studies had a strong impact on her son, Anthony J. Linz ’71, ‘06. “He often accompanied his mother to BGSU and would wait in the library while she attended her classes,” said Kathleen of her future husband.
Anthony eventually followed in his mother’s footsteps and studied at BGSU Firelands before earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the BG campus. It was while he attended classes at the BGSU Firelands campus that he met his future wife, Kathleen. They would marry in 1973.
Kathleen and Anthony remained active with their alma mater. Following a fulfilling and successful career in pulmonary/critical care, Anthony accepted the position of medical director of the BGSU Firelands respiratory care program in 1983. He was also an adjunct faculty member for both campus. Anthony received the BGSU Firelands Distinguished Alumni Award and was posthumously awarded the BGSU Firelands 50th Anniversary Award in 2015.
Kathleen and Anthony are also credited with creating the Margaret J. Linz Legacy Scholarship to honor the educational impact Margaret had on the community. Established in 2011, the Margaret J. Linz Legacy Scholarship annually provides support to nontraditional education majors.
The couple also ensured the Linz family legacy at BGSU would continue by encouraging their two children to attend the University. Tony Linz ‘01 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health administration and Sara Linz ’03 with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics.
Not to be upstaged by his parents, and adding another branch to the Linz Family BGSU tree, Tony met his ‘Falcon Flame’ and future wife, Kristy Wetzel ‘01, while attending BGSU. They married in 2005.
Three generations of Linz family members have attended and graduated from BGSU, but there may be more. “We are looking forward to the next generation of BGSU Firelands and BGSU alumni,” said Kathleen in reference to her grandchildren, A.J. and Grace.
When Kathleen’s husband Anthony passed away in 2015, she was eager to honor his memory and created a second scholarship opportunity - the Anthony J. Linz Memorial Scholarship in Respiratory Care. Collectively, the two family scholarships ensure the memory and legacy of the Linz family will offer generations of students the opportunity for a quality BGSU education.
Today, Kathleen remains committed to supporting BGSU Firelands through the new Allied Health & Sciences Project. The construction and renovation project represents a $16 million investment in the future of health care education and a commitment on behalf of BGSU to satisfy the growing need for the education of healthcare professionals in our community.
In December, Kathleen provided a $200,000 capital gift toward the project to fund a completion of a respiratory care lecture room and a respiratory care laboratory. “Anthony would be proud of the progress BGSU Firelands has made in the areas of science and technology, and this gift honors his contributions to the field of respiratory care,” said Kathleen.
With generations of family members as alumni, educational leadership and instruction provided to the campus community, and generous contributions to the continued success of BGSU Firelands students, the Linz family name has become a hallmark of the campus and will not soon be forgotten.