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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Wells Jr., Denise G. and Norman E. Family Gift Fund for College of Engineering Student Assistance and Scholarships
The Denise G. and Norman E. Wells Jr. Family Gift Fund for College of Engineering Student Assistance and Scholarships was established in 2008 by Denise and Norm Wells on behalf of the Wells Family for their noted belief in the value of education and their desire to invest in the engineering future of this community by offering scholarships to undergraduate engineering students who reside within the Northeast region of Ohio.
Norm and Denise were raised in the state of Washington and moved to Northeast Ohio in 1989. Norm has undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington in metallurgical engineering and industrial engineering and earned an MBA from Gonzaga University. Throughout his career, Mr. Wells has held prominent executive roles with companies that have included Sovereign Specialty Chemicals (Chairman and CEO, 2002-04); Rand McNally (CEO and Chairman of the Board, 2000-02), Easco Aluminum (CEO 1996-2000); and CasTech Aluminum (CEO, 1991-96). His most recent venture is as a founding partner in SFW Capital Partners. SFW is a middle-market private equity firm with offices in Rye, N.Y., and Hudson, Ohio.
Norm and Denise have two grown children and four grandchildren. They also support other community organizations such as Open M, Summa Health System, Haven of Rest, and the Akron-Canton Foodbank.
The Denise G. and Norman E. Wells Jr. Family Gift Fund provides for four or more annual undergraduate scholarships for engineering students in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to support tuition and fee expenses, as determined by the College of Engineering. The recipients will be deserving men and/or women pursuing degrees in engineering in any of the available disciplines offered by the College of Engineering. The student recipients should demonstrate outstanding personal characteristics, including a strong work ethic and a dedication to engineering. The recipients will be students in good standing who have completed at least one year at The University of Akron (with a standing of sophomore or higher). The students also will have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, be a U.S. citizen, and have resided in a Northeast Ohio community for a minimum of five years. One or two of the annual scholarships will be awarded to a student with minority status.
In addition, up to $5,000 of the annual pledge amount may be used at the discretion of the dean or his designee in the College of Engineering for assistance in helping an engineering student finish his/her academic studies and continue on a path to earning an engineering degree. Students must meet the same criteria as listed above. The purpose of this support will be to alleviate undue burden in a student’s life that threatens to impede his or her ability to enjoy the academic success otherwise possible. Requests for this type of support come from academic support personnel within the College of Engineering or from those academic support personnel who have regular interactions with engineering students.
The Denise G. and Norman E. Wells Jr. Family Gift Fund will be funded annually for four years, from June 2015 through June 2018, through gifts from the Wells Family. This pledge will replace the current pledge, which expires in 2015. The funds shall be held by The University of Akron Foundation and awarded to students under the discretion of the Dean and the College of Engineering’s scholarship committee.