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.
Search for a Named Scholarship
Assaf, Ronald G. and Kathleen A. Endowment
Ron and Kathy Assaf are generous and involved philanthropists. They have served as chairpersons and board members for numerous universities, hospitals, schools, churches and charitable organizations in Southeast Florida and around the world, including their personal and corporate support for The University of Akron.
Ron grew up on Vine Street, near the new on-campus football stadium. He attended Central High School before enrolling in The University of Akron in 1955 to major in history and to play football. Ron is an honored member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, and in 1991 the University awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ron worked as a manager of a Kroger grocery store and, while apprehending a shoplifter, came up with a great idea for an anti-shoplifting device for retail businesses. In 1966 he and a partner founded Sensormatic Electronics. The company moved to Florida in the 1970s and went public in 1969. Sensormatic Electronics was hugely successful. Their device was utilized by major retail stores to prevent shoplifting, and even provided the electronic security for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the 1998 Winter Games in Utah.
In 1995, Ron and Kathy, through Sensormatic Electronics, provided a state-of-the-art electronic security system for the College of Business Administration. This gift advanced the University’s security awareness, and the result has been a safer campus for students. Ron retired as CEO of Sensormatic in 1996 and continued to serve as Chairman of the Board. Tyco International purchased the company in 2001 and it is now included within Tyco’s Fire and Security Division.
Ron and Kathy established an endowed fund, which will carry on their firm commitment to higher education and their belief in students. The couple has directed their gift be used for two purposes. A portion of the endowed fund will support College of Business Administration students enrolled in the Honors College. Special preference is to be given to students living outside of Ohio to encourage them to pursue their education at The University of Akron. The scholarship is to be awarded to incoming freshmen and to be renewed each year until the recipients complete their undergraduate education as long as they continue to meet the academic standards established by the Honors College.
The remaining portion of the annual distribution from their endowment will provide unrestricted support for the priorities of The University of Akron Foundation. Ron and Kathy Assaf have served in leadership roles on many charitable boards and have special appreciation for the importance of unrestricted support to meet the emerging priorities of The University of Akron.