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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Leathers, Dr. Noel L. and Dr. Violet E. Honors College Scholarship for History and Education Majors

The Dr. Noel L. and Dr. Violet E. Leathers Honors College Scholarship for History and Education Majors was established in 2013 by Dr. Violet E. Leathers ’74,’79,’85, retired associate professor emeritus of education and former director of the Center for Child Development at The University of Akron. Dr. Violet E. Leathers wishes the scholarship to recognize her and her husband’s longtime commitment to The University of Akron, their belief in the value of higher education, and their admiration for students in the Honors College.

Dr. Noel L. Leathers, retired professor emeritus of history and head of the History Department at The University of Akron, passed away January 28, 2013. He joined the University in 1972 as professor of history and vice president of academic affairs, served as provost and dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, and taught European and Japanese history until his retirement in 1995. Two years later, he returned to the University and served as senior vice president and provost until his second retirement in 2000. He also served two terms as a trustee of The University of Akron Foundation.

Dr. Noel L. Leathers was born January 14, 1924, in Columbus and raised on a farm near Mansfield, Ohio. He left Ohio State University after a year to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as a Japanese interpreter from 1942-46 under General Douglas MacArthur on the USS Missouri, and on special assignment as a Second Lieutenant in 1947. Following his military service, he earned a B.S. in history and German and an M.A. in European history from Oklahoma State University and received his Ph.D. in European history from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining The University of Akron, he served as a special agent for the FBI, receiving two commendations from J. Edgar Hoover, taught at the University of Toledo, and served as Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Violet E. Leathers, a three-time University of Akron graduate, retired in 1996 after spending her career in the University’s College of Education, where she also was a member of the Education Alumni Board.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she spent her formative years in Warren, Ohio, and holds an associate degree from Ohio University and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in educational administration/higher education from The University of Akron. A lifelong supporter of education, Dr. Violet Leathers is a 1995-96 recipient of the UA Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Both she and her late husband came from financially challenging backgrounds, and scholarships helped them complete their studies. “My husband and I always valued those students who persevered and worked hard to complete their educations. I hope, in some small way, this scholarship helps lighten their financial burdens,” she said.

The Dr. Noel L. and Dr. Violet E. Leathers Honors College Scholarship for History and Education Majors was established to support full-time students in the Honors College who are majoring in education or history. Dr. Violet E. Leathers selected Honors College students for the scholarship in honor of her husband, a hardworking and studious lifelong learner who always felt Honors College students should be rewarded for their achievements. The dean of the Honors College, in collaboration with the Office of Student Financial Aid, will select recipients.

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