Matthew J. Wilson, interim president

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How you can help more students graduate

We recently launched a campaign to raise dollars for scholarships.

Last fall, 72 percent of our students received financial aid. The need for support grows each year. Declining support from other sources means scholarship gifts are more important than ever.

Learn how you can make an immediate impact on students.

Priorities and purpose

President introduces video

We are Zips. We are family. That’s what makes us The University of Akron

On Dec. 8, I had the pleasure of presenting to our students and employees a new video that highlights the partnership between UA and the LeBron James Family Foundation, and the deep connections the Zips family has with our city.

People here care deeply about the success of our students and are determined to advance society through higher education. This video conveys their sense of pride and commitment to our mission.

I invite all UA students, alumni, friends and employees to support our efforts by taking time to think about moments that have defined your UA experience and then share those memories through social media, answering the question “What makes us The University of Akron?”

I hope you enjoy the video. Feel free to share our Facebook and Twitter posts with your online friends!


Announcement of Knight endowment

At the Nov. 1 announcement about the endowment are, from left: Eric Amis, Ph.D., dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and vice provost for research; Matthew J. Wilson, president of The University of Akron; Matthew Becker, Ph.D., the first holder of the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering; Dr. W. Gerald Austen, cardiac and thoracic surgeon, and former trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation; and Dr. Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, president and chief executive at the Cleveland Clinic.

Record gift creates Austen chair in polymers

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded a $3 million endowment to create the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Dr. Matt Becker, an outstanding young researcher and educator, is an excellent choice as the first holder of UA’s largest endowed chair. Story and video.


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Black Male Summit Academy

Our Black Male Summit Academy launched in October, with more than 200 students from Akron, Canton and Cleveland public schools in attendance.

At the first meeting, they learned how to prepare for college, including a mock classroom session during which they learned lessons from our freshman orientation course curriculum.

We hope they will join us as students in a few years!


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Meeting and listening to high school principals

I’m in the process of visiting as many high schools as I can in Summit and surrounding counties, meeting the principals to better understand how we may best serve their students and faculty. Above, visits to Revere, Our Lady of the Elms and Firestone. More to come!

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