John Savage's legacy

April 4, 2018

This year, the UT community remembers the legacy of John Savage, an alum and former athletic director who passed away 25 years ago from leukemia.


Though Savage Arena is a structural reminder of the impact he had on the university community, Savage’s story stretches far beyond the building and throughout the city of Toledo. 


In 1957, he founded Savage and Associates, an insurance and financial service agency, which according to the General Agents Management Association is now one of the 100 largest agencies in the United States.


Savage had nine children and was described in a letter to UT News by his son Sean Savage as someone who “exuded confidence and positive energy to everyone he encountered.”


“People loved being around my dad because they felt better about themselves and what they could accomplish,” Sean Savage said. 


Outside of his business accomplishments, Savage was a gifted speaker and writer. He was a well-known guest speaker and lecturer as well as the author of three books.


He was also very active in the community, having been involved in UT athletics up until his death.


According to UT athletics website, Savage served on the Athletic Board and acted as a chairman of the Hole-In-One tournament.


He was also the co-founder of the University of Toledo Corporation, “which has raised more than $25 million in 14 years,” according to its website.


Savage was recently recognized for his accomplishments and was inducted into the City League Athletic Hall of Fame.


“The last words to his kids were ‘Keep it going.’ We all knew what that meant. Family, faith, hard work, and integrity,” said his daughter Kelly Savage on the Savage and Associates website. “I know he would be so proud of how his wife is doing, he would be proud of how his children and, especially, his grandchildren are doing, and he would be very proud that Savage and Associates has continued to grow and thrive.”



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