Gregory L. Lof, PhD

Giving Back—A Perfect Fit

Growing up in a small town of just 300 people in Northern Minnesota, Gregg Lof, the son of a lumber store owner, never imagined he would end up in the bustling metropolis of Boston, Massachusetts, dedicated to a career in communication sciences and disorders.

“I’ve had an amazing ride, professionally,” says Gregg. “It’s all due to the luck of being in the right place at the right time and making the right connections.” Well, it may be a little more than Gregg gives himself credit for—his dedication to a solid education might have played a role, too. A first-generation college student for his family, Gregg holds his BS, MS, and PhD—all in speech-language pathology. As a young undergraduate at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Gregg stumbled upon the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences because he had to change majors. “I don’t think they had seen a male in the department for years!” recalls Gregg. “They hooked me immediately. Communication disorders was very interesting to me, and I felt it was a place where I could find success.”

Gregg went on to earn his PhD at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and then moved to teach in Boston. It wasn’t long thereafter that he received a call from Ray Kent, one of his mentors at the University of Wisconsin. Gregg remembers that Ray said something like ‘Now that you have your PhD, you should start giving back and donating to the ASHFoundation.’ “I knew a little bit about the ASHFoundation, but I didn’t think it was important for me to donate. But how could I say ‘no’ to Ray Kent!” So, Gregg began his long tradition of donating every year to the ASHFoundation. “I was poor; having just completed my PhD, I had no money,” explains Gregg. “So, I started small; I think my first donation was just $25.” Before long, Gregg started donating each month. “Automatic monthly donations are an easy way to give consistently, and you really don’t feel a financial sting,” he continues.

At some point, another one of Gregg’s mentors, Jon Miller, encouraged him to join the ASHFoundation’s President’s Circle giving level. Jon reminded Gregg of how much he had benefited from a successful career in the field and recommended that Gregg should be giving more. Mid-career at that point, Gregg was happy to do more and felt he had finally ‘arrived’ when he joined the President’s Circle. “I don’t think there is anything more important than helping our young professionals get their research started,” Gregg says. “We need to be sure speech-language pathology and audiology are scientific professions. That’s why it’s so important to me to support the science of our field.”

“Giving money away so that people can do research, and helping young professionals discover evidence-based solutions, is what it’s all about,” says Gregg. “That’s what I appreciate most about the ASHFoundation. As a department chair for over 10 years, I saw how a number of my junior faculty members benefited from ASHFoundation funding to kick-start their research careers.”

Gregg is also proud to be a member of the Legacy Leaders, a special group of individuals who have remembered the ASHFoundation in their wills. “Leaving a legacy for my profession is very important to me. I want to be sure my support continues into the future and that I’m helping the next generations of communication sciences professionals.”

Now living in Florida with his husband, Tom, since his retirement from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Gregg reflects, “My profession wasn’t just a job; it’s my lifestyle. That’s why it’s so important to me to give back, and the ASHFoundation’s mission is a perfect fit with my values.”