Named scholarships

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

How do I apply for a scholarship?

This is not the page to apply for scholarships.

Students who want to apply for scholarships should visit the scholarship page on the Financial Aid site.

The Department of Development does not accept applications for or distribute scholarships. Scholarships are distributed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

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Focht, Lawrence G. Endowed Scholarship in Chemical Engineering

Lawrence G. Focht was born in Alma, Mich., and lived most of his youth in Atlantic, Iowa. He spent the early years of his career as an engineer for Exxon. He was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he served from 1958 to 1967. After several years in the petro-chemicals industry, Dr. Focht returned to school to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. He joined The University of Akron in 1968 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1975. In 1996, he was appointed chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. In 1973, Dr. Focht was instrumental in the successful incorporation of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary society, into the College of Engineering. He also served as the adviser to the Ohio Kappa Chapter. He established several new undergraduate courses and many innovative methods in student performance and evaluations. His industrial experience was most useful in realistic laboratory and process economics and equipment design courses. Dr. Focht served as a consultant to Chemstress Consultant Company. He was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and had served as the local section chairman. He was a member of Sigma Xi and the American Society for Engineering Education. 

Dr Focht was a talented teacher dedicated to providing an outstanding education experience for all University chemical engineers. He especially devoted himself to modernizing the Department of Chemical Engineering’s transport laboratory that links basic principles to practical problems. This lab allows students to develop a comprehensive understanding of chemical engineering. 

Along with his distinguished academic career, Dr. Focht was dedicated to his family: wife Mary; children James, Gary, Kathleen; grandchildren Jared, Christopher, Caroline, Michael, Stephen, and Matthew. In addition to many societies, his personal interests included the Boy Scouts, where he served as scout master for several years. 

Dr. Focht’s students, family, friends, and colleagues established The Lawrence G. Focht Endowed Scholarship in Chemical Engineering in his honor. Their gifts created an endowment to recognize Dr. Focht’s longstanding service to the College of Engineering and students in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Focht Scholarship shall be awarded each year to one undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The student shall hold a GPA of 3.3. Preference will be given to candidates who exhibit a particular interest in practical applications of chemical engineering concepts. The Focht Scholarship may be renewed if the student continues to meet all specified criteria. The dean of the College of Engineering, in conjunction with the University’s Office of Financial Aid shall, select the recipient.

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