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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Kilanowski, Michael and Mary Ellen Scholarship Fund
The Michael and Mary Ellen Kilanowski Scholarship Fund was established in 2007 by Michael and Mary Ellen Kilanowski of Slidell, La. Michael was raised in Youngstown and Boardman, Ohio, and attended Kent State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in economics in 1970. He attended law school at The University of Akron in the evening division, graduating in 1975. During law school, he joined the Contracts-Legal Department in the Industrial & Marine Division (I&M) of the Babcock and Wilcox Company in Barberton and North Canton. After law school, Michael became an attorney and then manager of the department. He earned a master of business administration degree from Ohio University in the first class of its executive program in 1979. He then became manager of the Market Data & Forecasting Department in I&M. At that time, he also taught law during the evening in the College of Business Administration at Kent State University. In 1981 Michael joined McDermott International Inc. in New Orleans, as a corporate attorney. In 1986 he joined Freeport-McMoRan in New Orleans as a senior attorney. He retired from there in 2000 after being a Corporate Legal Officer and Secretary of multiple publicly traded companies and subsidiaries. Michael then became a consultant to Freeport-McMoRan for one year. After retiring, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the following non-profit organizations: Children’s Wish Endowment, East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center, and St. Tammany Association for Retarded Citizens. In 2007, Michael was elected president and remains a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Wish Endowment, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. He completed Leadership Slidell in 2007, a conscious-raising, nine-month program that provides a forum for participants to address a broad scope of community issues.
Mary Ellen Kilanowski was raised in Canton, Ohio, and earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement and a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a major in criminal justice from Kent State University in 1974. Her professional career included being director of safety and security for the Stern & Mann Company in Canton and Alliance. She also has devoted her time and energy to non-profit work. Mary Ellen completed Leadership Slidell in 2000 and received a national Distinguished Leadership Award for her vision and creativity in establishing the only Alzheimer’s adult day care center in Slidell. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Goodwill Rehabilitation Center of Stark County, chair of the Slidell Symphony Society, co-founder and president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, and a member of the Board of Directors of the international Stencil Artisan League. She is a certified stenciler and certified stenciling teacher. Currently, Mary Ellen is a member of the local chapter of the American Heart Association and the Slidell Memorial Hospital Women’s Health Alliance.
Michael and Mary Ellen Kilanowski have strong philanthropic views and choose to give back to help improve the lives of others and provide assistance to those attempting to reach their educational goals.
The Michael and Mary Ellen Kilanowski Scholarship Fund is designated to scholarships for evening division students of The University of Akron School of Law who work full time (at least 40 hours per week), with a preference for applicants from Youngstown, Boardman, or Canton. Scholarship awards may cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board, all or in part.