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.
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Donovan, Margaret F. Chair for Women in Engineering
An educator by profession, Margaret F. Donovan holds a strong belief that education is the pathway to betterment and success. A staunch advocate for the recognition of hard work, dedication, and persistence, this viewpoint, combined with a unique window into the challenges facing women in the engineering field, motivated Mrs. Donovan to take a decisive move to instigate change in the United States. Her goal is nothing less than to effect gender equity in engineering education and careers.
One of five daughters in a family of modest means, Mrs. Donovan came to realize that education was the difference between those who succeed in life and those who face continual challenges. Thus, she was the first member of her family to undertake and complete a college education.
Following graduation, Mrs. Donovan taught for three years before the birth of her children, then taught and counseled, on and off, for about 10 years. Then, together with her husband, the late Robert E. Donovan, continued to make education a priority in raising their children. Following Mr. Donovan's death and reflecting the Donovan’s long-held faith in the power of education, Mrs. Donovan created The Robert E. Donovan Scholarship Fund at The University of Akron. The Donovan Scholarship supports women in engineering, business, and law. The emphasis of the scholarship recognizes the Donovan’s belief in education and that, in some fields, females are not equally represented members of the profession.
Awarding the Donovan Scholarship afforded Mrs. Donovan the opportunity to witness the particular challenges faced by women pursuing engineering careers. This led to the creation of The Margaret F. Donovan Chair for Women in Engineering.
Established in 2001, the endowment creates a permanent chairship designed to encourage women to achieve equity in engineering careers and education. The Margaret F. Donovan Chair for Women in Engineering is the first of its kind to be established in the United States.
It is intended that the holder of the Chair will encourage women enrolled in undergraduate and graduate engineering programs at The University of Akron to undertake and complete degrees in engineering. It is further expected that the Chair will work to generate interest in studying math and science among female elementary and high school students, as well as supporting programs to achieve this end. Mrs. Donovan and The University of Akron’s College of Engineering believe the establishment of the permanent Donovan Chair will level the playing field and make engineering education more accessible for women.
The Donovan Chair will be:
- A top-flight professor in the College. Candidate would be a tenured faculty member in, most likely, the Department of Electrical and Computer or Mechanical Engineering;
- A lightening rod for change; and
- National, not just regional.
Beyond the Chair’s considerable contributions as a role model, objectives would be to:
- Generate interest in studying math and science from the elementary grades through high school;
- Encourage choice by helping high school girls see college/program choices as clear links to their careers; and,
- Sustain women enrolled in the College on their path to completing engineering degrees.
In addition, the Chair holder shall be an academician with a strong and demonstrated history of active support of women in engineering programs.