#GARnotGar: The story of our name and logo

Brittany LaPointe \
October 25, 2016
Are you guilty of referring to us as "gar?" For every "Gar," 25 cents goes in the Gar jar.

Are you guilty of referring to us as “Gar?” For every “Gar,” 25 cents goes in the Gar jar.


When we decided to rebrand after many years, we took this opportunity to address the common mispronunciation of our name. Many of those unfamiliar or somewhat familiar with our work have referred to us a ‘Gar’ for decades. We get it, it’s easy to lean toward Team Gar; the lack of periods in our name lend to the easy assumption that it shouldn’t be spelled out, and the history on our old site made it difficult to understand what GAR really meant. During our research, we realized a few things: that a Gar is a fish (fun fact) and more importantly, in order to help people understand our name, we needed to better tell our story.

GAR was founded by Galen and Ruth Roush in 1967. Once known as the Roush Foundation, the name was later changed and shortened to GAR for Galen and Ruth. Galen, who was also the co-founder of Roadway Express, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies, was a modest man who’s core value was quality service. He was passionate about his company, his hometown of Akron, swimming at the YMCA on his lunch breaks, economic development, and his alma matter, Hiram College. Ruth, a lover of the arts,  was also passionate about the preservation of historic buildings (for example, the old post office which became the original Akron Art Museum), as well as conservation and ecology, and her alma mater, Oberlin college. We encourage you to read more about our history here.

After several rounds of logo revisions, we settled on the one we loved the most; one that showed that GAR is more than an abbreviation, but a symbol of sorts.  A symbol of a long standing commitment to our founders and our beloved community of Greater Akron.

Watch this: Our president Christine Amer Mayer asked around for the correct pronunciation of our name.