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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Williams, Gary B. and Pamela S. Endowment for the Williams Honors College
The Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Endowment for the Williams Honors College was established in 2016 by Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams, who provided a transformational gift to dramatically elevate the educational experience for students enrolled in UA’s Honors College. To acknowledge the couple’s extraordinary generosity, the College was named The Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College.
Gary and Pamela, beloved community advocates known for their commitment to helping others, have a special interest in providing educational opportunities for intelligent and promising undergraduate students. Through this gift, the couple desires to support a more rigorous, transformative Honors College experience that will produce influential citizen-leaders with a global mindset, a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving, and exceptional interpersonal skills across cultures. The endowment will fund exciting, new programming and curricula such as the annual Hult Prize Competition, the Oxford study-abroad program, data science and entrepreneurial opportunities, and other learning and leadership programming to educate the next generation of leaders who will work creatively and collaboratively to solve complex problems at home or abroad, benefiting all of humankind. Essentially, the Williams Honors College will provide an ivy-league education without the ivy-league price tag.
Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams, who met as undergraduates at The University of Akron, are members of the Class of 1968 and longtime, generous benefactors of their alma mater. Their gifts to the University, which began in 1970, benefit generations of students.
Gary earned a B.S. in biology with honors from UA, where the future physician was a member of numerous organizations, including Alpha Chi Sigma (Chemistry) honorary, Omicron Delta Kappa honorary, Sigma Pi fraternity, Intrafraternity Council, Student Government, and The Buchtelite staff. He earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1972 and completed surgical training at Summa Akron City Hospital. Now retired from his position as a full-time surgeon for Summa Akron City and St. Thomas hospitals after nearly 40 years, Gary continues to see patients and do surgery on a part-time basis. He was chief of the Division of General Surgery at Summa Health System and also served as Medical Director of Summa’s Breast Health Cancer Center. He also is an associate professor of surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University and has been an instructor of surgery at The Ohio State University. Gary has served as president of the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, as well as on the Board of Governors for the national organization. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a past president of the Medical Society of Greater Akron, and a member of the Ohio State Medical Association.
Pamela earned a bachelor’s degree in education from The University of Akron and has devoted much of her life to volunteer work and philanthropy. As an American Red Cross volunteer, she often is deployed to disasters across the United States. She also is a member of Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation, which she served as president in 2009, and is chairperson of the City of Akron Housing Appeals Board. Previously, she served on the United Way of Summit County Board, as president of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association, and as a board member and president of the Summit County Bluecoats. In recognition of her community service, Pamela has received numerous honors, including the H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award from the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties in 2014; the Peter Bommarito Community Award from the United Way of Summit County in 1999; and the Distinguished Leader Award from Leadership Akron in 1999. She is a graduate of Leadership Akron-Class of 1992.
At her alma mater, Pamela is a member of The University of Akron Foundation Board of Directors and the Committee on Directors, as well as the President’s Advisory Council. She also serves on the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council and is a past member of the College’s Advancement Council.
Gary and Pamela are members of the Founder’s Club of the John R. Buchtel Society and the Society of Tomorrow at The University of Akron, and both are recipients of the Alumni Honor Award — the highest honor The University of Akron bestows. Pamela was honored in 1992, and Gary was honored in 2008. Additionally, the couple will be awarded honorary doctorates from The University of Akron at the May 2016 commencement ceremony.