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
Semancik, Dr. William J. and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Endowment for Electrical Engineering
The Dr. William J. Semancik and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Endowment for Electrical Engineering was established in 2018 by University of Akron alumni Dr. William J. and Margaret M. Semancik.
William Semancik (from Bridgeport, Ohio), and Margaret Laco (from Lakewood, Ohio), met during freshman orientation at The University of Akron in the summer of 1972. William and Margaret were married on September 11, 1976 and moved to the Baltimore/Washington area in the spring of 1977. In appreciation of the educational foundation provided at the University for their respective engineering and nursing careers, they have established this endowment.
Margaret graduated in 1976 from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and received a Master of Administrative Science degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1986.
William graduated from The University of Akron in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. In 1981, he received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. In 1992, William earned his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from The Catholic University of America.
William had a 39-year career with the U.S. Department of Defense which was also his employer during his cooperative education program at UA. He ended his government career as a member of the Senior Executive Service. After retirement from the Department of Defense, William joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory as senior staff in the Cyber Systems and Operations Division. During his career, William practiced the engineering profession in a wide range of subject areas including digital signal processing, high-speed digital system design, compound semiconductors, electronic packaging, space communications, large scale telecommunications networks, cyber security and information assurance. William met and discussed problems with leaders in the commercial and scientific communities and occasionally proposed problem solutions to some of the nation’s premier technical study groups. These opportunities inspired him to develop an understanding of as many technical areas as possible, and the educational opportunities that made his career possible. This endowment is established so others may have the same opportunities to be part of this profession based upon a firm foundation of a technical education.
Outside his work life, William was active in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers having held positions at the local section, the region and in the technical societies and boards. He enjoyed hiking through many of the national parks and photographing the wonders that he saw.
The Dr. William J. Semancik and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Endowment for Electrical Engineering is designated to provide funding for the UA College of Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering and for electrical engineering student scholarships.
Annual distributions from The Dr. William J. Semancik and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Endowment for Electrical Engineering are to be allocated as follows:
Fifty percent (50%) to The Dr. William J. Semancik and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Electrical Engineering Scholarship, providing support for tuition and fees to UA students pursuing undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering. Selection will be made by the University Scholarship Committee.
Fifty percent (50%) to The Dr. William J. Semancik and Margaret M. Laco Semancik Electrical Engineering Fund, which will be distributed at the discretion of the department chair, or the chair’s designee, for University business expenses and purposes aligned with the mission and priorities of the Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering and UA. Resources may be used for, but are not limited to, additional scholarships, assistantships, research, equipment purchases, faculty and staff professional development and student travel to conferences.