Between 1989 and 1992, the Heritage and Vision Campaign was the University’s first attempt to raise its endowment to a level similar to that of peer institutions. Three extremely generous individuals were associated with the campaign and the University’s growth during the era: Dr. Norman P. Auburn, president of the University from 1951 to 1971; Paul E. Martin ’35, president of the Martin Automotive Group; and William C. Zekan, president of A. Schulman Co. These three leaders formed the cabinet of the campaign and were among its major donors. 

The campaign raised $52 million during its first phase. Like fund drives before, faculty and staff contributions were important to the campaign. College of Education Dean H. Kenneth Barker assumed a major role with a very substantial personal gift.

The Cora M. McFadden Scholarship Fund was established in 1989 by a gift from Walter W. Born in memory of his wife’s mother. Mr. Born was a successful real estate entrepreneur in Akron.

In 1989, Edwin J. Thomas, retired chairman of Goodyear Tire & Rubber and for whom E.J. Thomas Hall is named, and his wife, Mildred, celebrated 22 years of giving to the University with another gift.

The 1990s followed the initiatives and goodwill of previous years. Two of Akron’s largest corporations, The BFGoodrich Co. and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, stepped forward with contributions that created the Benjamin Franklin Goodrich Professorship in Polymer Engineering and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Professorship in Chemistry. Hower family descendents, including Jean Taber and James and Otis Hower, provided funds for continued renovations of Hower House, and a bequest from Wilbur and Mary Robart created student scholarships in medicine.

Also in 1990, the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust and the McMurdough Foundation joined in a commitment to support the College of Business Administration and Students in Free Enterprise. 

The Donald Demkee Internship in Applied Politics was established in 1990 by Donald and and wife, Imogene, to benefit University of Akron students selected to serve as interns with party officials, candidates, or officeholders within the state of Ohio or Washington, D.C. The Demkee internship is housed in the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, and recipients are chosen by the director of the institute. Special preference is given to members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

The Frank H. and Dorothy J. Schellin Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1990 by Mary Lou (Schellin) Linnen in loving memory of her parents, Frank H. and Dorothy J. Schellin, who lived and worked in Akron and who educated their only child at The University of Akron. They instilled in her a love of education and a respect for its value, which she would like to pass on to another by awarding the Frank H. and Dorothy J. Schellin Memorial Scholarship yearly.

The year 1991 marked significant growth for the University’s College of Business Administration. A new building was erected to house the College, thanks to significant gifts from the Akron Bank Clearinghouse, Milton and Henrietta Kushkin, and many others.

University trustees honored another major gift from Harold “Dutch” and Catherine Folk by renaming the accounting department the “George W. Daverio School of Accountancy” in honor of Mrs. Folk’s late first husband, a prominent Akron attorney and accountant. The accounting school became only the third “named” academic school or college at the University.

Franklyn Dickinson created the Leone and Franklyn Dickinson Endowment Fund in the College of Education, and AT&T created a special learning opportunity through a large grant.

Mrs. Betsy Harpley established the Theodore Raymond Harpley Electrical Engineering Scholarship in 1991 in memory of her husband, Ted R. Harpley, a 1958 honors graduate in the College of Engineering. Mr. Harpley was a talented power systems engineer, holder of six U.S. patents, and senior vice president of engineering and a corporate officer of Vicor Corporation in Massachusetts.

The Alberta M. and William C. King ’42 Scholarship Fund was established in 1991 as a memorial to Alberta M. King, wife of William. The scholarship fund recognizes Mrs. King’s belief in the value of higher education and Mr. King’s appreciation for his civil engineering degree earned at The University of Akron.

Bruce W. Rogers Jr. and his wife, Suzanne, stepped forward to establish the Bruce W. Rogers Jr. Honors Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Rogers is a 1956 mechanical engineering graduate of The University of Akron and a close friend of the College of Engineering. His scholarship is designed to reward students for their accomplishments and encourage these individuals to continue to pursue academic success. It is a Scholarship for Excellence. 

On campus, the closing of Buchtel Avenue and efforts to make the environment friendlier for pedestrians marked the early '90s. Buchtel Common was created with the help of a gift from James D. Oatts and his wife, Dorothy. A gift from William Jennings created the Jennings Plaza near the College of Business Administration, and a similar donation by Donald W. McClelland helped erect a southeast gateway for the campus. 

Paul Martin continued to give and give again, funding numerous campus amenities. His efforts graced Buchtel Common with the contemplative and refreshing Dorothy Garrett Martin Fountain, as well as the eastern pedestrian walkway. With his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers, he provided funds for an eastern campus gate, and he was the major influence and benefactor behind renovations to the University Club, which was renamed in his honor.

In 1992, Joseph G. and Sally A. Miller created an endowed fund to begin the Joseph G. Miller Institute for Professional Responsibility in the School of Law, and alumnus Robert Broadbent helped establish the Murphy Seminar Room in the new College of Business Administration through a grant from the John P. Murphy Foundation.

The Julia Mikis Stell Scholarship Fund in Accounting was established in 1992 by Robert and Julia Stell. The scholarship is in recognition of the Stells' belief in higher education and their desire to assist young people.

The Beatrice A. Chauncey Music Scholarship was established by Beatrice Chauncey, a graduate of the School of Music (1943). Miss Chauncey pursued graduate education, including the master’s and professional diploma at Teachers College, Columbia University, from 1945 to 1948. Bea worked in public school settings in Wyoming, California, and Florida before joining the faculty of East Carolina School of Music in 1949. Miss Chauncey then taught flute at the East Carolina School of Music for 41 years until her retirement in 1990.

The Harlin G. and Thelma L. Sisler Engineering Scholarship was established in 1992 with the intent to support students in The University of Akron College of Engineering. Harlin Sisler graduated in 1930 with a degree in mechanical engineering. It was his desire to make his assistance available to outstanding engineering students and, through his support, to encourage excellence in the College.

The Barbara A. Goellner Scholarship Fund was established in 1992 with a bequest from Mrs. Goellner’s estate. She was born and raised in Akron. The scholarship provides financial assistance for deserving University of Akron students based on academic talents.

Walter J. and Genevieve Staiger, friends and avid supporters of the University’s athletic program, established the Walter J. and Genevieve Staiger Endowed Scholarship for Athletics in 1992.

The Richard W. Corns, Pi Kappa Epsilon ”Lone Star” Fraternity Scholarship was initiated in 1992 through a gift from Mrs. Richard W. (Doris) Corns in memory of her husband, Richard. Mr. Corns had been an enthusiastic member of the fraternity as a student and during his professional career. Mr. Corns enjoyed great success in the corporate world, retiring as the vice chairman of the board of Roadway Express Inc. The University’s quality academic preparation and the fulfillment of fraternity life served as a solid platform for his career success. This scholarship is established to memorialize Mr. Corns, as well as to provide assistance for student members of the “Lone Star” fraternity.

The following year, the University met a challenge grant by the Kresge Foundation to enable the Department of Chemistry to establish a state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance (NRM) laboratory. Creation of the facility, one of the first in Ohio, also reflected the generosity of the Knight Foundation, A. Schulman Co., BP America, the Lubrizol Corp., Nationwide Insurance, Charles Herberich, and others who helped with the purchase and endowment.