The generosity of Roslyn “Roz” and Leonard “Len” Stoler runs deep at the University of Maryland Medical Center: from an outpatient pavilion to a chemotherapy robot, the Stolers have supported a vast range of priorities over more than two decades of charitable giving to the medical center.
Their extraordinary dedication has made an indelible mark on UMMC history — and now, thanks to their latest gift, it will have a profound impact on the future.
The new $25 million naming gift from Roz and Len Stoler — the largest philanthropic commitment ever made to UMMC and the University of Maryland Medical System — will help to fund a major expansion of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Scheduled to open in 2023, the expansive new facility will place the entire cancer center on contiguous floors, connecting to existing areas in the north hospital. Named for Roslyn and Leonard Stoler, the new building will ensure that all people who seek UMGCCC’s advanced care are treated with the most patient-centered approach.
“We knew immediately that this was the kind of project that we wanted to be a part of,” says Len.
Long before Roz and Len were in a position to give this landmark gift to UMMC, they were a young married couple struggling to make ends meet in 1960s Baltimore.
“Roz and I were as poor as church mice,” Len says. “It was tough.”
Roz and Len were able to draw from their strong work ethic, learned during their respectively modest childhoods, to begin to build a strong future for their family. After working first as a used car salesman and then as a general manager of Maryland Volkswagen, Len purchased a small car dealership in 1968. He made the business into a tremendous success, leading to the purchase of another car dealership — and then another.
With Len working nearly around the clock, Roz recalls some evenings when she and their two young children, Barry and Harriet, would bring dinner down to the car dealership so the family could be together.
“We would go into Len’s office, and the four of us would have dinner together as a family,” she says.
Ultimately, what started in one 7,500 square-foot building with 22 employees evolved into one of the nation’s largest automobile dealership groups. Today, the Len Stoler Automotive Group has 11 dealerships in Maryland and two in New York, employing a total of more than 400 people.
As their business became well established throughout the region, Roz and Len began to expand their focus to include community investment as well.
“Helping people is what’s so important to me,” says Roz. “It’s what’s so important to us both.”
The Stolers’ commitment to helping those in need grew even stronger in the early 1990s, when their 4-year-old granddaughter, Lindsay, was diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer at what was then University Hospital, now UMMC. Roz and Len realized that even when patients receive the highest levels of comprehensive care, the experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment can have a tremendous impact on families. The process can involve months and possibly years of consultations and appointments, when the patient must endure what can be very complex therapeutic approaches at facilities that lack the comforts of home. Roz and Len wanted to improve this experience for all involved.
“Our deepest wish is that we can bring some light to people who have less than we have,” Len says. “People with cancer are suffering physically and mentally, and if we can help them in any way, we’re satisfied.”
The couple saw their first opportunity to help in 2002, following a behind-the-scenes tour of UMGCCC by their friend and center namesake, Stewart Greenebaum. They were extremely impressed by the expertise, compassion, and friendliness they found from all of the faculty and staff who crossed their path.
“The staff genuinely cares for their patients and you can see it all of the time,” Len says.
Shortly after the tour, the Stolers made their first major gift to UMMC, supporting the construction of the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Pavilion — a multidisciplinary outpatient treatment facility at the heart of the cancer center. Inside of the pavilion, the couple also invested in a Nutrition Center to provide snacks to patients and families as they wait for appointments.
In 2007, Roz and Len made another significant investment that funded the Center for Image Renewal, which promotes personal wellbeing and positive self-image for patients dealing with the physical effects of cancer treatment and other conditions. The center provides an atmosphere of supportive personal care to restore and enhance appearance through individualized consultations, custom services for skin, hair and body, and other related personal services.
Over the next several years, Roz and Len continued to invest in the cancer center, purchasing advanced equipment, including the Trilogy Linear Accelerator, which combines the capabilities of several external beam radiation technologies in one state-ofthe- art machine, and the Apoteca Chemotherapy Robot, which prepares drug doses three times faster than a pharmacist or technician. They named the latter the “Lindsay Robot” in honor of their granddaughter.
“We truly believe in the leadership of Dr. Mohan Suntha and Dr. Kevin Cullen, as well as all of the extraordinary faculty and staff at the cancer center,” Len says. “It is just an amazing group of people who all have a willingness to serve and care for their patients.”
The Stolers’ historic $25 million gift for an expanded, cutting-edge building will enable UMGCCC to provide the most technologically advanced and integrated care to cancer patients.
“Do you know how many times Len and I look at each other and say, ‘Can you believe we’re doing this? Isn’t it wonderful?’” Roz says.
The new building will help cancer center experts meet the escalating demand for treatment well into the future.
“We’re growing very, very rapidly, and it’s really been the success of what we do here in providing multi-disciplinary care, access to cutting-edge clinical trials, and stateof- the-art therapies that has expanded our ability to serve patients,” says Kevin J. Cullen, MD, the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished Professor in Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of UMGCCC. “The Stolers’ gift ensures that we will have a facility that enables us to provide care in as patientcentered a manner as possible.”
To make a gift in support of the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, please click here.