When Alberta Hensley joined The University of Akron in the mid-’70s at the request of then-president Dominic Guzzetta, neither could have imagined the numerous benefits the University – and Hensley – would reap from the relationship.
Throughout her career and long after her retirement, Hensley was the catalyst for much of the goodwill the University enjoyed, never missing an opportunity to serve as the school’s unofficial ambassador. And in doing so, Hensley garnered for herself countless lifelong friends and acquaintances – on campus and throughout the community.
Lured from Marian College in Indianapolis, where she was director of the alumni association, Hensley joined The University of Akron in 1974 as assistant to the executive director of University relations and development. Five years later she became assistant executive director of University relations and communications, and she retired in 1989 as director emeritus of special projects.
Hensley’s professional expertise proved invaluable to the University, and her 15-year tenure coincided with a period of unprecedented growth, both of the campus and the student population. Her oversight of special projects, including groundbreakings, dedication ceremonies, anniversary events, dinners, and receptions for campus and community projects provided memorable backdrops during a historic time. What’s more, she served on committees that played important roles in the University’s progress, including the Commission on Institutional Planning and Development, the Subcommittee on University Mission and Goals, the Information Development Advisory Committee, and the University's Outreach Council.
Hensley also gave selflessly of her own time to the University, volunteering on the UA Women’s Committee, Homecoming Committee, Commencement Committee, United Way Committee, and Family Campaign Leadership Committee. In addition, she was a longtime member of Friends of Hower House and Hilltoppers/Buchtelles and a driving force behind the establishment of the Association of University of Akron Retirees.
Following her retirement, Hensley never slowed. She provided public relations services for the Akron Roundtable for 15 years and volunteered with the Victim Assistance Program, the Newman Foundation, Western Reserve Girl Scout Council, the Women's Network, and St. Sebastian Catholic Church – all while continually generating support for her beloved University of Akron.
Not surprisingly, Hensley’s passing in May 2012 left a considerable void for a grateful University family, which mourned the loss of a longtime supporter whose contributions ranged from professional to personal to financial.
Hensley, in fact, had been a generous UA benefactor for nearly four decades, and among her many achievements was the establishment in 2010 of a scholarship in her name to benefit students, particularly females, majoring in political science.
Memorials for Hensley, who is survived by numerous cousins and their families in Indiana and Georgia, include The Alberta Hensley Endowed Scholarship, c/o The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-2603.