When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.
For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 named scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.
Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.
The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. Across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2016 was $37,172; for Ohio students, that figure was $30,239.
If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider a gift to the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND MOVING FORWARD scholarship campaign, which is the University's most important initiative. You may also establish a named scholarship at The University of Akron, which can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study.
To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238.
Search for a Named Scholarship
Verstraete, Joseph L. Biomedical Engineering Award
The Joseph L. Verstraete Biomedical Engineering Award was established in 1999 by Joseph L.,
Lois P. and Mary C. Verstraete to recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering students. After Joseph passed away in 2000, Lois and Mary re-named the award, revised in 2017, in Joseph’s name.
Joseph L. Verstraete was born March, 18, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan. The younger son of Achiel and Gadula Verstraete, both Belgian immigrants, he spent much of his youth working in the family butcher shop. After high school graduation, Joe enlisted in the United States Army and joined his brother defending his country during WWII. He was a ranger in the 94th Infantry Division and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. Wounded there, Joe returned to the U.S. for intensive medical treatment to his right forearm prior to the end of the war. He received a Purple Heart and then, taking advantage of the GI Bill, completed a chemical engineering degree at the University of Detroit in 1951. Joe began his engineering career at Chrysler in the Defense Division in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Lois P. Verstraete was born May 5, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan. The only daughter of Marguerite and Charles Lynch, Lois attended Marygrove College and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology in 1952. Lois worked for several years as an industrial psychologist at Detroit Edison. In 1957, the couple met at a Valentine’s Day party and were married a year later.
Mary C. Vertraete, daughter of Joseph and Lois, attended Michigan State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanics/Biomechanics in 1982, M.S. Engineering Mechanics/Biomechanics in 1984, and Ph.D. Engineering Mechanics/Biomechanics in 1988. Mary began her career as a professor at The University of Akron in 1988 in biomedical engineering, and served as the chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department from 1997 until 2001. In August 2016, Mary became the interim associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering and continues to serve as a professor as well. She has been active with the Society of Women Engineers serving as a faculty advisor since 1993, and also was president of the Northeastern Ohio Society of Women Engineers from July 2011 until June 2013.
The Joseph L. Verstraete Biomedical Engineering Award was created to annually recognize an undergraduate and/or a graduate biomedical engineering student whose academic and professional performance can serve as a model for their peers. The faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering will select the recipient(s).