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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Michalec, Andrew M. Endowed Scholarship in Jazz Studies
The Andrew M. Michalec Endowed Scholarship in Jazz Studies at The University of Akron School of Music was established by Stephen and Debra Michalec, in loving memory of their son, Andrew “Andy” Michalec. Stephen and Debra have established this fund to assist deserving music students who are enrolled in the School of Music Jazz Studies Program.
Andy Michalec was an accomplished jazz pianist. While his life ended too soon on June 4, 2010, his impact and talent will be remembered for years to come.
A 2001 graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Andy always had an intense interest in music. Andy was a beloved member of The University of Akron family, having graduated from the University in 2006 with a bachelor of music degree in jazz studies. After leaving the University, Andy resided in New Brunswick, N.J. and completed his master's degree in jazz piano from Rutgers University, where he also did some teaching.
Andy was passionate about music and people. He was an incredible performer, bringing joy to everyone who had the pleasure to see him play and was a teacher to many people, young and old. Andy was the musical director at the Livingston Avenue Church of Christ, where he quickly found his family away from home. The most remarkable thing about Andy was his ability to touch everyone he met. His selflessness and sense of humor made a lasting impression on everyone who crossed paths with him.
Jack Schantz, director of jazz studies at The University of Akron, said of Andy: ''A very talented cat. He had what jazz musicians call 'big ears.’ He could hear harmony, and he could hear ideas, and he was always listening to other musicians.'' Conrad Herwig, jazz musician and associate professor and chair of the Jazz Studies Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, said: "Andy Michalec was much more than a fine jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He was a creative human being who made the people around him better. He always had a kind word and helping hand for his musical colleagues, teachers, and friends. He was an inspiring mentor to his students and was well on the way to being a master teacher. On the bandstand he kept all of us on our toes. He improvised and accompanied with real flair and energy. His legacy will continue in supporting young musicians to follow and live their dream, just as he was doing so successfully."
Candidates for The Andrew Michalec Endowed Scholarship in Jazz Studies will be identified by the director of jazz studies and awards shall be made at the discretion of the director of the School of Music. Student candidates should have a demonstrated need for financial assistance. Scholarship awards may cover tuition, fees, books, room, and board - all or in part. The first award shall be made in fall 2012 and will be given annually.
“Everyone who met Andy left with something. He has given a part of himself to each of us … and for that, Andy, you are a legend, and legends never die.” — Friend of Andy Michalec