Eugene D. Graham ’54 Memorial Garden

As a UA student, Eugene Graham was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated with a bachelors degree in business administration in 1954.

In 1953, he began working as a new car salesman for City Chevrolet in Akron, becoming a Ford dealer in 1962. Eugene owned several dealerships throughout Ohio and became Akron’s top Ford dealer. His legacy, Graham Ford, Inc., in Columbus, is one of the largest Ford dealerships in the United States.

Eugene was a distinguished community leader and University of Akron leader. Working alongside his wife, Marie (’53), they supported higher education and preparing young minds for the future. Eugene was a University of Akron Foundation trustee and, at one time, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Marie was a member of the UA Women’s Committee.

Their advocacy also extended beyond campus. They gave their time and financial resources to share UA’s story and influence throughout Akron.


Eugene, '54 (Pictured) and Marie, '53 Graham

Benefits to campus

In 2004, Marie established the Eugene D. and Marie T. Graham Campus Beautification Fund in memory of her husband. The fund made possible the Eugene D. Graham '54 Memorial Garden, which is located at the northern entrance of the new Student Union. It is designed in remembrance of where Eugene and Marie met on the brick patio located near the former Student Union. Azaleas and rhododendrons complement annuals in the shaded meeting place. The walks incorporate brick pavers salvaged from the old terrace.

The fund also provides additional resources to further enhance the outdoor campus surroundings.

Through their help, the University continues to grow and succeed in its mission of providing for student success.



To honor a loved one through a named space opportunity on campus, please contact the Department of Development at